At the start of last year I did a bit of crystal ball gazing and made 12 predictions on the 2018 marketing trends (it’s worth a read!). Based on my own experience, personally as a consumer and professionally as a marketer, I can crudely say I got 8 out of 12 of these predictions correct. Some were predicted ahead of time so they’ve been included below incase they arise this year:

– Increase in push notifications

There was an emergence of this from desktop sites last year and I suspect it will increase in 2019. While I like the idea of this technology, I’ve seen it implemented in a very generic way that doesn’t add value to the user/customer of the site. My advice would be to use it for specific audiences with personalised messaging and make a few KPI’s to ensure you can measure the performance, before diving head first into adding it to your site for the sake of it.

– Mobile average order value is on the up!

Historically, mobile average order value (AOV) has mostly been behind desktop for a number of reasons; security, poor user experience and generally consumers are less likely to make expensive purchases on-the-go.

Throughout 2018 we saw the gap close and in 2019, we’ll see this gap shrink even further and in certain sectors it’ll surpass desktop if it hasn’t already.

As search engines increase the weighing of mobile as a ranking factor and the user experience increases, we can definitely expect larger purchases via mobile.

– Campaigns that push boundaries

While to world has gone slightly PC mad, we can expect a few campaigns that tread on thin ice and risk potential negative PR in aid of higher reach. Here’s an interesting campaign that was released recently: https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/army-snowflake-recruitment-campaign-mocked-twitter/1522051

Lucy Fisher, Defence Correspondent @TheTimes said: “Judging by Twitter reaction today, the Army’s new ad campaign is highly divisive – but consequently generating a hell of a lot of chat… & surely that’s a major metric of success in advertising?”.

From a PR/brand perspective, I can’t say I agree with this at all! Yes, the campaign is generating chat, impressions and shares, but if it’s negative and brand damaging what good is that? I’ll let you be the judge of “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.”

It does seem that you can’t please everyone though! The latest Gillette advert aims to be positive, but it has faced some backlash!

– Increase in Chatbots

Forbes suggest that this trend will continue to grow through to 2022. Chatbots can massively help with engaging a customer throughout their journey with you. Chatbots allow fast and tailored responses to customers, rather than a ‘traditional’ email with day long responses. However Chatbots are flawed by the fact that they are limited to what they can respond too. So we could well see improvements throughout 2019  in the speech recognition artificial intelligence realm.

– Local Influencer marketing

Try partnering with local influencers and put together long-term campaigns and promotions.

Make a list of the top influencers in your market. Check out podcasts, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram and other platforms. Follow them first, and learn about them and their brand. Then, reach out with a casual message and start a conversation.

It is often found that celebrity influencers are short lived and there will always be a ‘next best thing’ therefore local influencers are a safer and more secure option.

Check out some of the key trends in influencer marketing here.

– Live video

Video is still at the top of content marketing. The only thing better than this is live video. There are two key action steps to move the needle with live video.

Keep in mind that video should be your starting point, but these assets can be leveraged across multiple platforms and turned into other forms of content (audio, blogs, white papers, infographics, social media, etc.)

Step two is to pick the platform you want to focus on — Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Instagram Live, Periscope, or even Livestream.com. Right now, we are advising our clients to focus more on YouTube Live and Instagram as the space is less crowded. Keep your videos fun, engaging and create experiences along the way.

– Artificial Intelligence

Lets face it computers are much more intelligent and swift than we are. Therefore Forbes suggests that the new way forward is to have our computers generate more behaviours and patterns throughout our databases.  We can then use this data to interpret more ways to reach out to our target audiences in a way that they may appreciate more. Artificial Intelligence allows for more precise data to be gathered such as a postcode or the most popular time of day an audience shops at.

– Smart speakers and audio

Forbes suggest to capitalise on use of smart speakers and audio. The best way to do this is by optimizing your website for voice search. To do this, you must understand what your audience are searching for. Keep in mind that audio queries are conversational and longer. A prospect searching for a restaurant wouldn’t say: “Alexa, restaurant,” but something like: “Alexa, what restaurants are serving dinner now?”

The second step is to incorporate those questions and phrases throughout your website. The best way to do this is to build a FAQ section and answer all of those questions you discovered. You could also write blog posts on the various topics and questions, but the best way is to naturally incorporate the particular phrases. If you were optimizing for “restaurants serving dinner now,” you could write content that says, “We serve dinner from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday thru Saturday.” This would get picked up and allow you to rank higher with voice search.

– A potential increase in print

From a B2C perspective I saw a decrease in print last year, but from a B2B perspective I saw an increase (especially at trade shows!). Obviously I can’t talk for the whole of the UK and I’m yet to find any stats on this subject, but I did see an increase in advertising for print and the Royal Mail are continuing with their ‘Door Drops’ campaign.

Need a hand with the above? Or want to be a trendsetter? Get in touch:

ross.collins@fuelcommunications.com