The world of marketing communications is constantly changing as social attitudes shift, new technologies emerge, and a host of other factors ebb and flow over time. At Beyond Fifteen we think there’s value in taking stock at the beginning of each new year, and evaluating what marketing trends we might expect to see over the coming 12 months. Here are a few of the things we think you should pay attention to in 2019.
- Think beyond conventional advertising. There is still a place in marketing, of course, for conventional paid ads, whether that’s in traditional print, TV, radio and other media, or online. However, consumer surveys consistently put paid adverts near the bottom when people are asked about their most-trusted sources – not to mention the fact that it’s been estimated that by the end of 2018 almost a third of all internet users will be using ad blockers. At the top of that list of most-trusted sources? People you know, followed by branded websites, editorial sites and reviews. That’s why we’re increasingly going to see marcom professionals put their time and efforts into approaches such as influencer and content marketing, providing consumers with trustworthy sources and valuable, meaningful content.
- Understand how your customers communicate.It’s vital to keep up not just with technological trends, but with how people – and, more importantly, your specific target audiences – communicate and interact with the world around them. As an example: with the explosion of mobile devices and, more recently, smart speakers and similar products featuring virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri, the way people search is changing. According to ComScore, by 2020 around half of all searches will be voice searches. Think creatively about how your marketing communication strategies can identify and leverage such trends.
- Don’t neglect internal communications.Too often departments and business functions – particularly in larger companies – see themselves as separate entities from each other, with little reason to interact unless there is a procedural need to do so. In fact, there can be great synergies found in marketing teams, in particular, getting out there and mixing with the managers, sales staff, engineers and drivers. Having greater contact – whether that’s formally or informally – with the people who make your business tick can provide great insights into your company’s culture, its attitudes, its strengths and even weaknesses, and all this information can be used to inform your marketing efforts. Internal communication can be a great source of engaging and creative content too.
- Explore creative ideas.It may seem cliché, but often it really does pay to think outside the box. A few years ago the financial newspaper The Economistset up a mechanical bull (representing the stock market and the real estate market) and invited passers-by to take a ride and see how long they could stay on. Unconventional, but it got a lot of people to pay attention to the brand. Conventional marketing communication techniques clearly have their place, sometimes it’s that quirky, original idea that will gain the most traction, and we expect to see more great examples of that over the next 12 months.
With changing habits and new technologies thrown into the mix, 2019 is likely to be another challenging year for marketing professionals, but one that has the potential to reward those who stay ahead of the curve. We hope these four tips will help you to achieve your marketing goals in the coming year.