Building brand awareness and successfully interacting with consumers is a crucial part of doing business today. Customers enjoy and expect a personalized experience, and delivering just that will set you apart from your competition.
Voice search and live videos were just two of the methods marketers explored to improve consumer interactions and brand awareness in 2018. As innovations in technology and ideas come forward, 2019 is also sure to see its share of trends having an impact on marketing. Below, 11 Forbes Agency Council members shared their predictions for the year ahead.
1. A Bigger Role For AI In Personalization And Automation
We are all watching the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) in marketing and how it affects our clients’ relationships with consumers. As a company that focuses on bringing out emotional connections through physical environments, we’ll see AI play an even bigger role for brands as they look to personalize and automate more digital and traditional communications. - Jessica Reznick, We’re Magnetic
2. Smart Speaker Advertising Opportunities
Smart speakers and voice assistant devices are more affordable than ever before, making them a huge potential marketing tool in the upcoming year. As the relationship between big tech and the consumer grows deeper, marketers can more effectively reach their target audiences with personalized messaging and content. Expect to see more ad opportunities surrounding smart speakers in 2019. - Timothy Nichols, ExactDrive, Inc.
3. Growth In Content Marketing
Content marketing will always have a strong impact because of the exposure and backlinks you can receive for your brand. Writing interesting content and marketing it to influencers is a win-win. You are helping people with solution-oriented content, and the influencers help your exposure and outreach so it’s widely seen by the right audience and shared with their peers. - Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design
4. A Turn To The Human Side Of Marketing
We are fortunate to live in an age of advancing technology, but we run a risk of oversaturating our market with off-the-shelf tools that gather faceless data and create ineffective content. Marketing has a remarkable power to inspire audiences. Instead of an influx of new tech to adopt, I predict we’ll embrace a deeper understanding of human behavior that will foster more meaningful relationships. - Hamid Ghanadan, LINUS
5. Integrated Online, Social And Mobile Marketing
2019 will be all about the integration of online, social and mobile marketing. Many businesses have dabbled in one or all of these marketing strategies, but true success in the year ahead will be marked by a fully integrated marketing program that incorporates all three. This will eliminate redundancies, increase efficiency and fully leverage content across these three major players. - Laura Cole, Vivial
6. The Growth Of Micro-Influencers
As influencer-tracking technologies continue to improve, brands are becoming better equipped at fielding and managing large networks of high-engagement, low-following micro influencers for their campaigns. This largely untapped market will soon allow for more brands to avoid the significant costs of mid- to high-level influencers and invest in more down-to-earth and relatable influencer marketing. - Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC
7. Audiences Made Part Of Brand Stories
The ability to engage with audiences (that is, making audiences part of the brand story) will have a huge impact. The less friction there is to engagement, the more connected people feel. Brands that are more willing to interact with customers publicly will have a strong impact—and brands that can show how this engagement influences their products and services will make an even bigger impact. - Bernard May, National Positions
8. Thought Leadership
Audiences seek expertise, critical insight and ways to be better at all points of interest. Experiential and interactive engagement with a brand is the future of consumer-brand connectivity. From live video, to recorded advice, to content with real-time responses, to contests and beyond, it’s about offering information and encouraging feedback from stakeholders in a way that establishes trust. - Scott Kellner, GPJ Experience Marketing
9. Transparency As Key To Winning Customers
Technology is giving us so many new tools and platforms that sometimes we forget that communication always happens between human beings. Brands are groups of people who try to communicate with other persons: their customers. In 2019, I expect transparency to be the key to winning the hearts of consumers, who will reward those brands that share their values in an authentic and transparent way. - Daniela Pavan, The Ad Store New York
10. Quality Trumping Quantity In Marketing
Content marketing has been preached to death by most marketers. Content marketing is important, but oftentimes companies are capitalizing on this strategy with over-optimized and bland content that is largely regurgitated from other companies doing the same thing. In 2019, I believe we will get more discerning and choose low-volume, high-quality content instead of high-volume, low-quality. - Brandon Stapper, Nonstop Signs
11. Customers Empowered As Brand Ambassadors
By utilizing tools like YotPo and BazaarVoice, we can now chalk up a percentage of a marketing campaign to leveraging our customers as brand ambassadors by asking them to share info on a product to their own networks. This helps bypass “influencer marketing” to an extent and lets us empower our customers to do the talking. - Loren Baker, Foundation Digital