What influenced your small business

6 marketing trends that will influence your business in 2019

We don't have all the answers, but after speaking with some experts from brands and companies big and small, we can provide some.

In our latest guide, we highlight some of the trends marketers are preparing for and some strategies they can use to start the new year successfully.

Here is a preview of these marketing trends and strategies.

1. Customers AND customer journeys that are evolving

We discussed many times how consumer preferences and brand perception are evolving. In 2018, however, we were also able to observe how consumer purchasing routes have changed and thus consumer expectations along the buyer journey.

Voice search and shopping through tools like Alexa are important touchpoints that many brands still ignore. Meanwhile, companies like Facebook are reassessing the way they share data with vendors and advertisers, changing social media marketing and advertising strategies around the world.

Consumers want convenience, but there's a fine line between delivering exactly what they want and personalizing to a degree that gets scary. Marketers need to become experts on their customers in order to master this fine line.

2. Bury traditional personas

As consumer preferences and buying behavior change continuously, the “customer base” of brands is constantly changing. This means that the profiles brands create of their customers also need to be flexible.

The way personas shape business strategy will need to change, especially for marketers. Your decade-old cardboard cutout of a Millennial won't help you reach today's 20- and 30-year-olds. It is time to start using personas that are basically customizable to reflect changes.

3. Proactive corporate social responsibility and corporate values

The majority of consumers in any market are now moral buyers. This means that if brands have not already done so, they need to cement their corporate values ​​and decide what aspects to address.

The risk of losing customers will always be there, but companies that are in tune with consumer values ​​have the chance to deepen customer-brand relationships on an emotional level.

4. Crisis management affects everyone

Online media and information available have exploded in recent years, and brands and consumers are better connected than ever.

Brands have the opportunity to advertise on almost every website and platform that consumers use online. The downside, however, is that due to the 24/7 news cycle and better informed consumers, the public has an unbiased view of the brands.

Especially in an age in which brands are - knowingly or unintentionally - embroiled in political controversy or polarizing social problems - no brand is safe from a crisis.

5. More tech promises, more problems

Trust, especially trust in marketing tools, has been an issue in many of the conversations we had while researching this guide. The marketing technology landscape (martech) is a huge, fast-moving, and dynamic field.

This dynamic growth in tools has resulted in an influx of new technology opportunities for marketers, as well as new buzz words that are yet to be discovered if they are worth the hype.

On the subject of Martech, Courtney Silverstein, Global Head of Corporate Social Media at Bloomberg LP says:

"The 2019 winners will be the companies that can restore confidence in the marketing industry by consistently proving ROI."

While CMOs say their marketing and martech budgets will increase in 2019, marketers need to keep a close eye on what tools they will add to their stack.

6. Break down data silos

One opportunity marketers are predicting is the growing need for blended data in 2019.

Integrating different data sources, from understanding your customers to presenting your results to executives, will be one of the most successful ways to prove ROI.

Socialgist's Steve Dodd emphasized the importance of integrating data to get a more complete picture of the market:

"In 2019, marketers must be able to combine company data (what they know) with social media data (what is to come)."

This great opportunity also highlights a critical challenge for many marketers: isolated data. Be it due to technical constraints or cross-team miscommunication - overcoming this obstacle will be a critical priority for marketers in 2019.

For more information on how these trends will affect marketers and strategies that address these trends, check out our guide.