2018 is coming to an end, and consumer marketing has experienced a major shift in the past year. Access to data has increased and marketing strategies are becoming more focused and measurable. When preparing for 2019, marketing strategists should understand the imminent changes and trends of the future to be up-to-speed and remain ahead of their competitors. Here are five key marketing predictions for 2019:
Apple’s much anticipated launch on Sept. 12 included various new iPhone models, but the star of the show by far was the Apple Watch, with its new, built-in, FDA-approved ECG monitor. This is the brand’s largest step forward into the healthcare/medical equipment field and can mark a huge shift in their marketing strategy.
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Dark Marketing will reign supreme
Dark posts, or unpublished social media ads that only targeted users have access to, are becoming more popular amongst marketers, and comprise a larger strategy called dark marketing. Dark posts are like regular campaigns, but are much more precise, as they can be targeted through specific keywords, such as the friends of people with birthdays, or people who recently became in a relationship. You can create unique creatives for different audiences and launch them at the same time. This way, a 23-year-old recent college graduate and a 45-year-old father of two see messages that are appropriate to their preferences. It’s important to understand the concept and make sure your marketing teams are aware of dark posts to begin reaping the benefits.
More companies will use Facebook as a customer acquisition tool
Facebook was the first mainstream social media network, and is still dominating in terms of number of users as well as advertising. According to Statista, by October 2018 the number of active Facebook users rose to 2.23 billion. Our research, which was published in Digiday, showed that brands such as Gillette, Pampers and Aveeno are significantly increasing their spend on ads for conversion, as opposed to awareness or consideration. As we mentioned in our last blog post, “brands are increasingly leveraging Facebook to promote their Black Friday offerings, with a massive increase in impressions of 50% from 2017 to 2018.” It’s clear that advertisers know they must use Facebook to turn potential customers into customers, and it will only increase throughout next year.
Marketers will become more accountable for their campaigns and programs
Vanity metrics, or those that are not directly tied to revenue (such as Facebook Page likes), will become less and less popular as marketing programs become more measurable.
Marketers will be using more tools that will directly affect their businesses bottom line, and be held accountable for directly acquiring new customers. With direct to consumer companies scaling up their customer acquisition efforts on social media platforms that were once solely used for awareness campaigns, brand teams are now being tasked with how they can impact business results and ROI.
Agility in Marketing: Brands will bring more agency capabilities in-house and/or bring an agency closer the product itself
More and more companies are building out their digital capabilities, crafting their own creative ideas, and strategizing their own placements. They are becoming their own in-house agency, dedicated to themselves as opposed to hiring a strategic team working on multiple accounts. This allows them to become more agile and ensure their campaigns reflect their most up to date messaging. Brands are also turning to self-service platforms, another reason to cut out the need for a (sometimes) over-priced middleman. We have observed that for the highly digitally oriented companies, if they are working with an agency, these agencies are often thoroughly embedded within the company.
Marketers will increasingly utilize AI to more effectively strategize their marketing efforts
AI has the ability to analyze and consolidate user data, helping companies pinpoint their target markets with more ease and accuracy. BrandTotal’s Agile Marketing Platform uses machine learning and clustering algorithms to aggregate different ads and creatives across digital channels like Facebook, Instagram and Youtube, and group them into one holistic marketing campaign - with the goal of providing marketers with intelligence and insights into their competition.
According to IBM Watson's 2019 Marketing Trends Report, usage of AI among marketers is increasing, and is creating new capabilities for marketers to further improve the consumer experience; Marketers will drive more efficient inter-communication between platform and end-users, automate routine tasks, and quickly generate/serve advertising responses to reach consumers where they are most likely to engage.
Looking to bring AI into your marketing mix, and gain new insights about your marketing ecosystem in 2019? Get in touch, we’d love to talk!