It wouldn’t be a new year without New Year’s resolutions. In addition to getting to the gym more, meditating, and whatever other personal goals you’ve set, it’s likely you have a few career-related resolutions too. Hopefully, these resolutions include your company’s marketing methods, because there’s a lot to watch out for in 2019. We cherry-picked the most important upcoming trends. If you take note, your marketing efforts will be at their best in the new year.
1. Stay accessible
Remember when you could take a week to respond to an email or a social media comment? Those days are long gone. Consumers, clients and business partners alike are looking for high-speed responses for immediate solutions. Technology has created a standard for real-time communication. Your business or product may be discussed anywhere in the world, at any time, on many forums. A company representative must be accessible to answer questions and complaints instantaneously. If necessary, this could be a chatbot, but the real brownie points go to the C-suit professionals that step into the spotlight on behalf of their brand. When business leaders speak out on social media, it fosters a sense of trust and accountability that is otherwise impossible with automated answers and customer representatives.
2. Listen + act accordingly
With more trends, products and news than ever before, social listening (or monitoring) has become vital to marketing success. Whether you’re listening for general, community happenings or customer conversations about your brand, social monitoring will give you unparalleled information. In 2019, this practice will even be used for lead generation and selling. There are numerous tools that assist the listening process, weeding out specific keywords, mentions and hashtags. Listening is just the first step; you must respond (quickly, of course) and record relevant feedback to be used as hard data. Customer reviews and comments cannot be overlooked this year. It takes a single conversation to change the nature of your business and reputation. So whether it’s good or bad, you need to listen to and act on all feedback.
3. Find genuine, ‘micro-influencers’
Social influencers are all the rage. For the past few years, every notable brand has partnered with celebrity or high-profile influencers in order to promote their products. However, this has become increasingly ad-like and expensive! So, if you’re a local business or SMB, consider working with micro-influencers instead. Micro-influencers are niche – making it easier to target a specific audience. Although a micro-infleuncer’s audience is smaller, it’s still notable in size, and their followers are eager to hear what they have to say. Micro-influencers are often considered experts in their niche, so the products they push are seen as must-haves, not just another paid ad.
4. Personalize, personalize, personalize… responsibly
Communication is expected to be more personal than ever. Consumers now expect companies to know their location and tastes, and to recommend nearby stores or services. This age of personalization is a major way to boost marketing performance and customer experience. However, after many data faux pas, we’re also in the age of accountability. The ethics of data usage are being scrutinized like never before, and more businesses are expected to be transparent with their information. Many businesses are attempting to use data to make a positive societal impact to benefit their brand and overall bottom line. Consumers want personalization, but they also want responsible action, and they will pick and choose the companies they deem fit. Resolve to balance personal information with accountability in 2019.
5. Create an innovative, internal culture
You may be wondering, ‘what does my company culture have to do with my marketing services’? The answer is everything. With Gen Z’s rapidly entering the workforce, new expectations and work styles enter the office too. These young professionals are innovative, direct and fast-paced. They expect a work environment that both challenges and inspires them. By creating an open, team-oriented atmosphere, you’ll make the most out of your employees’ ingenuity, which will affect every aspect of your marketing efforts.
In marketing (and in life) there is a lot we can’t control. However, by staying aware and staying steadfast, we can remain informed and relevant. Choose to follow through with your marketing resolutions, and your business will reap the benefits. If you need more information on any of the topics listed above, contact us today. We can help integrate the latest practices into your marketing routine. Here’s to a year of prosperity, which we hope to assist you with! Cheers!