We can’t help it. We’re addicted to keeping up with the latest trends in marketing. So when we saw the new year looming on the calendar, we jumped at the excuse to reach out to some of our favorite marketing leaders to see what trends they saw on the horizon for 2019.
1. Creativity Matters Again in 2019:
“Data” has secured top billing for marketers for the last decade–amassing data, mining data, putting data to work. Sounds pretty robotic, eh? But consumers are hungry for new, creative, human voices from brands—across all channels. In 2019, successful marketers will use machine learning to identify new patterns and outliers to test the limits. They’ll use algorithms to surface the exact color, syntax, imagery, and video elements to use. In 2019, data-driven creativity wins.
—R. J. Talyor, Founder + CEO, Pattern 89.
2. Podcasting Is The New Black:
The unregulated industry of podcasting has taken the world by storm and will only continue to grow in 2019. In 2018, around 124 million Americans listened to a podcast, and the U.S. was only the fifth most popular country for podcasting. In 2019, we’ll see more companies produce internal podcasts as a State-of-the-Company address or as an engagement tool for current and prospective employees. We’ll also see companies repackage this content to give to prospective customers since sharing your challenges and triumphs makes your brand more vulnerable and transparent. A great example of this is Trader Joe’s podcast called “Inside Trader Joe’s.”
—Hayley Brown, Interviewer + Influencer, DRNK CLTR
3. Influencer Marketing Gets Smarter:
B2B influencer marketing will be bigger than ever in 2019. Instead of seeking out the biggest, most influential people in their areas, partnerships with micro-influencers will be more beneficial for brands. By building meaningful and long-term relationships with niche industry experts, brands can co-create content that’s extremely valuable to audiences. From social media and blogs to video and webinars, these partnerships will be a great opportunity to engage with audiences on a new level.
—Rachel Saltsgaver, Content Manager, Lessonly
4. Less Noise, More Conversations:
Think about your last great conversation—no one would describe the act of being yelled at as having a chat, right? Nor would anyone desire to be aggressively talked at, by anyone, PERIOD. With the onslaught of stimulus hitting us from phones, tablets, TVs, watches—we’re in a constant state of ingesting noise. The digital world doesn’t inherently fulfill our basic human need: to truly feel connected and invested in others’ success. That’s why conversational marketing will be big in 2019.
—Drew Kincius, Marketing Director, beLithe
5. Better Alignment of PR, Social and Content:
In 2019, we will continue to see public relations, content marketing, and social media become increasingly aligned. PR and marketing professionals will find ways to better integrate these three functions as they are more powerful combined than standing on their own. When properly coordinated with a content marketing strategy, PR plays an integral role in helping an organization educate and engage its audiences while building third-party credibility. Social media is a great medium for amplifying those PR and marketing messages. As always, it’s not about shoving self-promotional material down your audience’s throat—it’s about delivering value.
—Megan Custodio, VP and Partner, Dittoe Public Relations
6. Imperfect Video Gains Traction On Instagram:
Video content in 2019 will take over the “picture perfect” curated content… meaning STOP over filtering all your images! For the past few years we have all become obsessed with making sure our instagram feed is #instagoals, when in reality we have lost sight of what our audience really wants—to be entertained. I still remember when Instagram first became a thing. We all would take pictures of our Starbucks cups and over filter them with the caption #artsy. Starting to create more video content might look a little like this in the beginning, but it’s better to start there than nowhere at all.
—Maddie Scott, Founder and CEO, The Buzzing Blonde
7. Brand Messaging That Builds Community:
In 2019 the most successful businesses will have marketing tactics based on building movements and organizing communities. Whether you are a B2C or B2B company, if your product and messaging aren’t looking out for people’s best interests, you might as well hang it up. With a people first approach, you allow your customers’ ownership over your product or service and the customer in return helps position you to reach your desired business goals. When we focus on engagement and integrating these customers, everyone benefits through fortified brand loyalty and forming ambassadors for your business.
—Brandon Evans, Community Engagement Manager, IndyGo, President, Marion County Young Democrats
8. Branding Goes Modular:
When it comes to brand development, 2019 will see a continuation of the emphasis on modular brand systems. Modular brand systems are dynamic suites of identity elements that can be used flexibly across all of your brand touchpoints. These systems can include primary logos, alternate logo applications, custom type, textures, badges and other elements. If executed correctly, this flexibility can make a brand story more engaging without harming recognition or straying too far from identity guidelines.
—Ryan Hunley, Art Director, Second Street Creative
9. Digital Marketing and Customer Experience Intersect:
A personalized, seamless customer experience is still the most effective way for both B2B and B2C brands to win customers. And because delivering that experience requires alignment across all stages, 2019 is the year marketers collaborate even more with other teams, and incorporate those collaborations into marketing campaigns. When B2B marketing teams stay in sync with product and client success, for instance, they can deliver more targeted messaging, offer a singular customer journey across channels from first touch to close, and stay ahead of competition. Easier said than done—but smart marketers build strong relationships across their organizations, and leverage them to help craft compelling experiences.
—Sharmin Kent, Digital Marketing Educator, Kenzie Academy