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The Marketing Trends That Will Impact You In 2019 & Beyond
by Jeff Allen
The uprising of AI/Machine learning, voice assistants, chatbots, new tech, and features to manage these new channels makes the confluence of marketing both easier AND more difficult. While Google and Facebook still dominate ad spend, Amazon is growing faster than anyone originally predicted, there’s more social platforms available now than ever to sink your dollars into, and you should absolutely not be ignoring the rise of voice search and voice commerce. There’s a lot to digest and figure out, but once you know the path you want to take, new tech and optimized features on ad platforms will make your job easier to find strategies most successful for your business.
Whether you are a B2B marketer or a B2C marketer, there will be trends this year that impact your processes and your strategies. Here are the 7 I think are the most important to consider as you dive into your 2019 digital marketing plan.
Chatbots are all the rage but their growth is flattening. There are chatbots for verticals now and chatbots for better engagement with your content and there will be more. Figure out a solid conversation strategy first. Where does it make sense for a bot to engage versus where is that a solution searching for a problem? Then you can translate that strategy to your keywords, your content, and of course, chatbots. Once ad formats in Voice Search becomes a thing (and last year, I said it would be the year of Voice until 2022…still true), you’ll be much better served as a marketer if you have already been testing and honing conversational strategies.
Segmenting Marketing Strategies By Goals
2019 will be about brand building. Marketers have been so focused on ROI that they forget marketing is also about creating demand for a product, as well as creating brand loyalty. From Display, to YouTube, to keeping some low-performing generic keywords running… digital marketing in 2019 will stop trying to make every click profitable and start segmenting strategies by goals. This way each strategy is measured by what it’s trying to accomplish versus all strategies being measured by ROI.
Amazon’s dominance makes segmenting marketing strategies by goals even more important. If you sell your products on Amazon, it’s easy for Amazon’s brand to replace yours in the mind of the people buying your product. I don’t think this is a reason not to jump on Amazon. The reach is there. Most ecommerce companies can make the economics work. But if you don’t do enough to have a strong branded element, including how you follow up post-sale with the products you sell through Amazon, you’ll get near zero repeat buyers. Your Lifetime Value will go through the floor. This means Direct Response marketers are going to have to think and act more like creative shops.
More Direct Response Ad Formats Through YouTube
Search is growing slower each year. Right now it’s growth is propelled by Mobile, but sales of smartphones is also slowing. The growth center for Google is better monetizing YouTube. They’ve been pushing advertisers to the platform for years, but we’re starting to see long-tenured, and high performing Googlers move to the YouTube division and we’re starting to see more direct response oriented ad formats pop up.
Single Campaigns for Serving Ads on Multiple Properties
We’ll see at least a few new campaign types that allow folks to serve ads targeted at a specific audience (not keywords) across various properties. For example, one campaign that targets a remarketing audience across search, display, Play store, and YouTube. Not only will this simplify campaign management, but it will also broaden your reach. Also, this will help Google and others, drive revenue growth as desktop and mobile search flattens.
Whatever Happens with Facebook
This is a big question. Users are dropping the app faster than signing up, yet Facebook is still showing strong demand from advertisers, which is keeping revenue growing. There’s been a lot of news stories about how Facebook has been abusing users’ data and the platform is currently being sued by Washington, DC, over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Eventually, there’s a good possibility that there will be backlash against the brands that chose to continue to advertise on the platform.
Automation is Going to Take Control
It’s not a question on if, but when. I predict that Google will launch fully automated campaigns within the next 12 months. It will increase visibility into what those campaigns are doing, but reduce what advertisers have the ability to change in it. And once Google does this, other platforms will follow suit. All in all, it will be a major focus on simplifying their platforms by using automation and machine learning, with the hopes to bring in more SMB advertisers.