What does 2019 hold for marketers? We share our trends & predictions

2018 was a busy year for us at Something Big and we worked on some amazing projects, including rebrands, video and print campaigns. As we enter 2019, we’re already spotting some new trends on the horizon and we’re excited to get stuck in!


What’s to come in 2019


Omni-channel marketing

We’ve talked before about the emergence of a more multi-channel marketing approach and how marketers juggle an average of nine communications channels – and in 2019 this is only going to evolve further. As we move from multi-channel to omni-channel, we are going to start seeing even more channels emerge, including through intelligent personal assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant.

Whilst many marketers won’t jump on these new channels straight away, maintaining the multi-channel approach is now just basic hygiene, and simply being present won’t be enough. It will be critical to drive individual channel strategies, and with the requirements of channels like YouTube and Facebook evolving at such a pace it’s essential to keep on top of what great content looks like by following best practice and creating channel appropriate content.

In each channel there are evolutions that marketers will have to embrace if they want to keep up:

  • Email automation continues to drive effective email marketing strategies and is fast becoming common practice in B2B and internal communications now too. Dynamic content is also driving cut-through in personalised emails.
  • It turns out print wasn’t dead after all (we never believed it!) but merely evolving. Following the introduction of GDPR we can expect to see the return of printed Direct Mail, particularly with the extensive personalisation possibilities now available.
  • Video continues to be top of marketers’ agendas and will thrive in 2019 with a growth in both micro and longer videos, as well as personalised videos being used to grab attention.
  • The social media landscape is still evolving at pace with new features being released all the time. Facebook might have had a challenging 2018 but Instagram has remained in high growth.
  • We’re also expecting to see a growth in experiential activity, which is likely to emerge as brands use face-to-face contact to engage their audiences and encourage them to sign up to other channels in the post-GDPR environment.


Less lead generation with better customer experience

Whilst finding new customers is a given for marketing, a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Adobe found that 80% of business decision makers said improving their company’s customer experience was among their top priorities in the year ahead. Brands are looking beyond the single transaction with a view on lifetime value and loyalty as key drivers. This is underpinned by continued growth in customer-led thinking with CMOs increasingly being replaced by Chief Customer Officers (CCOs). Research by recruitment consultancy Talecco showed the number of CCOs at UK companies rose from 14 to 90 between 2014 and 2017, with 46% of those introduced in the previous 12 months.


A drive on marketing ethics

There are several clues that demonstrate that we’re likely to see a general growth in ethical behaviour in the marketing industry. Perhaps kicked off by the introduction of GDPR in May last year, brands have now been forced to be more transparent and respect consumers’ privacy.

Advertising industry regulations have also been evolving, initially cracking down on junk food and gambling advertising, followed by a UK ban of gender stereotyping in advertising at the end of last year. Underpinning all of this is the societal call for the reduction of plastic with a strong message to reduce, reuse and recycle. Consumers are now demanding that brands are authentic and ethically-aware.


How we’ll be getting things done in 2019


So, how will marketers find the time to drive all of this? The good news is that with GDPR now fully embedded into our marketing processes and no longer requiring the same mental bandwidth, we’ll have a little more capacity to take on some of these new changes.

The other key shift we’ll see is the continued growth of in-house marketing resources. As the world speeds up, the demands on marketers to respond quickly is increasing, so it makes sense to look for any opportunities to simplify the process to output.

To simplify the process many businesses are moving their digital and creative support teams in-house, working on updating websites or managing the design of collateral and everyday communications materials. An in-house team often simply makes sense as it can be cheaper and quicker than relying on agencies for every little request – but it is possible to get the best of both worlds.

Blending in-house resource with external outsourced expertise is a great way to nurture in-house teams, allowing them to be responsive to urgent needs within the business while having the ability to lean on external skills and capacity when you need it. We call this unique approach Blended Teams™.

If you’re running an in-house team or thinking of setting one up on 2019, make sure you talk to us about how we can help, just give us a call on 01483 746650 or drop us an email hello@somethingbig.co.uk