As we approach the final months of 2018, it’s a good time to start thinking about what we can expect to happen to the marketing industry in 2019. Driven by ever-changing technology and forced to keep up with changing standards, it’s certainly an interesting time to work in this field.
From new innovations yet to break out to established practices that still have room to grow, you should expect to see a lot of big things happen in the coming year — but what things in particular? That’s what we’re going to look at.
In this piece, we’re going to cover 7 marketing trends that are going to significantly affect the landscape in 2019. Let’s get started.
AR – Augmented Reality
Marketers have been talking about using AR in marketing since it first reached the mainstream just a handful of years ago. A lot has changed in a fairly short period, and the current potential for growth in the AR field is massive.
With the average smartphone camera now being fairly capable, brands can now deliver valuable AR experiences to almost anyone, making it a technology with broad appeal.
A recent Deloitte report found that almost 90% of companies with annual revenues of $100 million to $1 billion are now leveraging AR or VR technology. As the cost to entry is reduced and consumer adoption increases, we can expect smaller firms to quickly follow suit in 2019.
While we have seen some brands venturing into the field of AR, not all attempts have been effective, with many focusing mainly on the element of novelty. Expect this to change as diverse brand categories begin to deliver value to their customers through AR.
VR – Virtual Reality
Although AR and VR are sometimes mistakenly used interchangeably, there is a BIG difference in delivery and tech. VR is typically delivered through a headset with special lenses and provides completely immersive experiences that shut out external “reality”.
Virtual experiences can take you deep into the ocean to see coral reefs and marine life, or whisk you away for a tour of the Louvre — all without leaving your desk. Expect to see more companies leveraging VR technology in 2019 to create truly immersive and exciting experiences for their customers.
Ecommerce brands in particular will invest heavily in updating their platforms to be VR-viable: there are online businesses for sale from every industry that run on VR-friendly platforms, so expect no shortage of small businesses picking up-to-date sites to rebrand instead of trying to upgrade their old systems.
With the proliferation of voice assistants like Alexa, Cortana and Siri, these “ladies” have really changed the
According to BrightLocal’s 2018 Voice Search for Local Business Study, 58% of consumers have used voice search to find local businesses in the past 12 months. Voicebot.ai reports that 47.3 million U.S. adults have access to smart speakers.
Better voice recognition technology and consumer adoption have enabled this category to grow fast — in 2019, marketers will need to step up their efforts to capture consumers with creative approaches that delight and convert.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Though the concepts have been around for a long time, there are still many people who don’t fully understand what Artificial Intelligence (AI) involves. Simply put, it functions through using computer technology to simulate human thinking and adapt (or “learn”) over time.
While AI in marketing is still in its infancy, about 51% of marketers are currently using AI to automate some tasks (according to a Salesforce report), and this percentage is expected to grow significantly in 2019.
Currently, AI helps marketers automate tasks and the delivery of information based on data, but the potential is limitless. Expect to see great things and continued innovation in helping brands improve their customer journeys.
With the implementation of GDPR and the Facebook scandal, 2018 was a tipping point in consumer data rights. Brands have had to give up their cloaked control over how consumer data is used and who has access to it, and are now under more scrutiny than ever before.
In 2019, we’re going to see even greater controls and data regulations implemented to safeguard the collection of customer data. Marketers will have to deal with this demand for increased transparency in a whole new way.
Another aspect of technology that is still in the early stage for marketers is visual recognition. It’s so fresh that the term used to refer to it hasn’t really been cemented, so you might hear about image recognition, image analysis, or computer vision — but it’s all the same thing.
This goes well beyond measuring sentiment for a particular image, which is something that has been done already. This delves into the consumer psyche by “recognizing” distinctive parts of images and assessing context, principally through social media. By understanding these subtle elements, marketing algorithms can instantly determine what ads should be delivered to any given consumer to achieve the best brand sentiment and the greatest conversion rate.
Other applications are also unquestionably in the making. Think about how Facebook can already identify you in mostly any picture while also gleaning your location. Visual recognition can also analyze everything within a digital image. For example, it can identify the branding on the products you use, or identify the foods you’re consuming.
Yes, as we continue to live our lives on our mobile devices, it is only natural that smart marketers meet their consumers there.
What can we expect to see? The increased deployment of geolocation marketing, geotargeting, geofencing, and beacons. Each one of these approaches takes a person’s physical location into account by pinging their mobile device.
According to a Salesforce/Publicis.Sapient study, 71% of retail customers use their phones while they shop. This is because they’re looking up products, doing additional research, and sharing their experiences through social media. While this is happening, marketers using geofencing can send messages to the consumers.
The Salesforce/Publicis.Sapient research also showed that 84% of shoppers who receive and respond to these personalized promotions are very receptive to further offers. This means that marketers can deploy offers to consumers while they’re buying, allowing for a great deal of creativity in the approach.
New and more finely-targeted methods for reaching consumers continue to emerge through innovations in technology and the adoption of these technologies into everyday life by consumers. What we’re going to see in 2019 is the continuation of these trends, with smart marketers figuring out new ways in which they can build and maintain connections with customers and shape distinctive brand experiences.
Marketing Trends Concept– stock image