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Published December 4th 2018

6 Marketing Trends That Will Affect Your Business in 2019

To find out the most important marketing trends of 2019, we spoke to some of the smartest minds in marketing, research, and intelligence.

“How can we assess the new decision matrix for consumers in an increasingly complex purchasing journey?” asks Julie Pender, international marketing manager at Jim Beam Bourbon.

If this question resonates with your end-of-year planning, you’re not alone. It’s one of the biggest challenges facing marketers as they prepare for the coming year.

But customer journeys aren’t the only changes impacting marketers. As customer preferences, marketing tools like Facebook, and new technologies change, how can marketers keep up?

We don’t have all the answers, but after speaking to folks from brands and agencies large and small, we do have some of them.

In our recent guide, we discuss a few trends that marketers are preparing for, and outline some strategies that can help your team nail 2019.

Here’s a preview of those marketing trends and strategies.

1. Evolving customers AND evolving customer journeys

We’ve discussed many times how customer preferences and brand perceptions are evolving. But 2018 also saw changes to customers’ pathways to purchase, and the expectations customers have along that buyer journey.

Voice search and purchasing from tools like Alexa is adding a crucial touchpoint many brands still ignore. Meanwhile, companies like Facebook re-evaluate the data they provide to their vendors and advertisers, changing social media marketing and advertising strategy around the world.

Customers want convenience, but there’s a fine-line between delivering exactly what they want and personalization to the point of creepiness. Marketers will need to be experts in their customers in order to tip-toe this line.

2. Ditching traditional personas

Since customer preferences and purchase behavior is constantly changing, what brands consider their “customer bases” are in continuous flux. This means the profiles brands create of their customers must be flexible by nature.

The way personas influence the strategy of companies will need to change, especially for marketers. Your decade-old cardboard cut-out of ‘Millennials’ will not help you resonate with the 20- and 30-somethings of today. It is time to put in place personas that are inherently subject to change.

3. Proactive CSR and brand values

Belief-driven buyers now make up the majority of consumers in every market. This means that, if they haven’t already, brands will need to solidify their corporate values and decide on which issues they want to take a stand on.

While the risk of alienating some customers will always be there, companies that manage to resonate with consumer’s values have an opportunity to deepen brand-customer relationships on an emotional level.

4. Crisis management affects everyone

As online media and easily accessible information exploded in recent years, brands and consumers are more connected than they’ve ever been.

Brands have the opportunity to advertise on nearly every website and platform consumers use online. But on the flip side, the 24-hour news cycle coupled with a more educated customer have given the public a uniquely candid view of brands.

Especially in this age where brands – intentionally or accidentally– get wrapped up in political controversies or polarized social issues, no company is safe from reputation or brand crises.

5. More tech promises, more problems

Trust, especially trust in marketing tools, was a theme in many conversations we had when researching our guide. The marketing technology (martech) landscape is huge, fast-moving, and dynamic – trust us!

This dynamic growth of tools has led to an influx of new technical opportunities for marketers, as well as new buzzwords that have yet to truly prove their worth.

On the topic of martech, Courtney Silverstein, the global head of corporate social media at Bloomberg LP had this to say:

“The winners in 2019 will be the companies that restore faith with the marketing industry by consistently proving ROI.”

While CMOs say that their marketing and martech budgets will increase in 2019, marketers must be use a critical eye when evaluating what tools they add to their stack.

6. Breaking down data silos

One opportunity that marketers predict will grow in 2019 is the need for blended data.

From how you understand your customers to how your report your results to executives, the marketers that show the value of integrating different data sources will be the ones most successfully proving ROI.

Steve Dodd of Socialgist spoke to us about the importance of integrating data to get a more complete picture of the market:

“In 2019, marketers will need to be able to blend corporate data (what you know) with social data (what’s coming).”

This huge opportunity also reveals a key challenge many marketers face: siloed data. Whether because of technical limitations or cross-team miscommunication, getting over this obstacle will be a key priority for marketers in 2019.

For more information on how these trends are impacting marketers, and strategies to tackle each of them, read our guide.

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