The hot item on everyone’s agenda heading into 2019: how to climb to the top in today’s ever-changing, omnichannel, content saturated marketplace. Keeping up with the innovations and trends of the industry is key to developing actionable marketing plans and breaking through the noise.
Here are 6 actionable marketing and advertising trends to take notice of as you finalize your 2019 marketing plans.
1 – Welcome the New Layer of the Lead Funnel: Fierce Brand Loyalty
Casper. Warby Parker. Bonobos.
What do all of these direct to consumer (DTC) brands have in common? Each of these DTC companies have disrupted their industries and are proving the power of a strong brand narrative and streamlined shopping experiences. The return… fiercely loyal communities of brand ambassadors.
The modern consumer is interested in more than just product features. They strive to cultivate an emotional connection with the brands they invest in. These successful DTC brands make engaging customer experiences their core offering. In turn, their customers convert into loyal advocates.
We are seeing other consumer-oriented companies taking notice and doing something about it. Gigasavvy’s Brand Strategy Director, Kristy Gulsvig, notes, “in 2019 true brand engagement will come first, and the sales and leads will follow.”
In 2019, all companies should be asking themselves:
- Do consumers understand who you are and what you’re about
- Are consumers excited about what you offer? Why?
- How can you create a connection beyond product features and functions?
2 – Data Fueled Marketing Campaigns
From Mark Zuckerberg testifying before US Congress, to the General Data Protection Regulation in the EU, customer data has been the buzzword of the past year. But what does this mean for marketers entering 2019? How do marketers responsibly use data to fuel tailored and personalized marketing campaigns?
Gigasavvy President, Kyle Johnston, elaborates, “a sound marketing strategy should always be data driven. The problem is most organizations don’t know what to actually do with their data to drive good decisions. In its simplest form, good data should help your brand’s story to be more relevant. In an age where we are overloaded with content, relevance is often overlooked, but is also the most important step in obtaining your audience’s attention.” Johnston adds, “only from creating that attention, does your brand identity have the opportunity to connect on a human level and build an actual relationship with the consumer. Only then can we even begin to talk about loyalty. Everyone wants a loyal group of brand ambassadors, but you have to work harder to earn it in today’s marketplace. This is the area we want our clients pushing into in 2019”.
Being responsible with the customer data that we are provided is essential. From this place of respect, marketers will earn the fierce brand loyalty as we drive relevant and highly targeted campaigns.
3 – Social Media from A… to Gen Z
Introducing: Gen Z – the first generation to grow up with the internet and social media as a regular part of their everyday routine. According to a recent survey conducted by Pew Research Center, 45% of teens now say they are online “almost constantly.” That’s almost twice the percentage of teens who answered the question when Pew conducted the same survey three years ago.
So what does this mean for marketers and executives?
In 2019, influencer marketing and ambassador programs will continue to grow in demand. Gen Z consumers understand that these individuals are paid, but the personal connection and transparency of the brand interaction offsets any dissonance that they might have during their purchase process. In November of 2018, Instagram announced that the social platform will have additional machine learning tools to help identity accounts utilizing third-party apps to purchase fake followers or likes – continuing to reinforce that brand’s prioritize transparency during influencer campaigns. 2019 will be the year that the buzzword “authenticity” will actual be put to the test.
Gigasavvy’s Senior Media Strategist, Angie Guevara, comments, “finding a correct influencer to fit a campaign is a highly personal and investigative process… especially with Gen Z in mind. We think of everything from voice of the influencer to engagement rates and potential conversion metrics. It’s the science of digital storytelling”.
In the future, Gen Z will be the generation to challenge how we consume social media and give marketers the opportunity to set the standard for strategic and transparent campaigns. In turn, brands will feel the benefits as vanity metrics diminish as a focal point, and instead the drive will shift to a healthy ROI.
4 – Branding Converts to Engagement
Today’s consumers are looking for more than just a product to purchase; they are looking for a brand to invest in. At the intersection of strategy and design, interactive brand stories come to life.
In application, our Wahoo’s Fish Taco 30th Anniversary campaign did just that. Wahoo’s found a way to convert customers into brand advocates by involving fans in their history: from distributing custom designed stickers echoing popular surf brands, to a documentary-style brand video sharing the heart behind the tacos.
This interactive campaign resulted in a dramatic increase in Wahoo’s Fish Taco sales as well as a boost in social media engagement and followership. Everyone from the casual Southern California surfer to pro skateboarder Tony Hawk in Japan joined in.
5 – Design of the Future is Here
Surrealism and imagination are taking over the design space moving into 2019. From banner ads to interactive web design, marketers can expect to implement vivid color combinations, as well as dreamy color transitions. To break through the noise – the designs create their own.
The design experience should be curated to draw the consumer into an element of brand ownership. This piece of ownership comes from layers of customization of messaging and imagery. Our clients need to engage with their audiences in meaningful ways – at a quick pace. Because of this, motion design is now deeply embedded in the customer journey. Movement is a critical component to enticing the audience to click and view the promotional content. Design and technology will continue to overlap with a strategic approach to brand experience.
6 – Hey Siri? (SEO and Search)
Google claims that 50% of searches will be conducted using voice search by 2020. Voice search growth statistics have exploded with the introduction of “smart speaker” devices, such as Amazon’s Echo, Google Home, and Apple’s HomePod.
Heading into 2019, we can expect changes in the way people search with their voice. When consumers talk to their devices – instead of typing – they use very different terms than long-form text search. With this change in consumer behavior, our tactics should also change as we understand the fundamental differences between voice and text search.
Transition into 2019, each of these trends will work in tandem with the innovating technologies and growing customer data insights that marketers gain.