In the dynamic world of PR & marketing only those who are able to adapt and constantly improve are destined to strive and flourish. Therefore, as many industry specialists agree, it is important for business leaders to look ahead and predict which are the key trends that will define the industry in 2019.
The in-house research team at United Partners got together in the beginning of 2019 and outlined 5 key trends that will influence marketers’ day-to-day work in the next twelve months and beyond. The outcomes of the productive discussion are listed below.
1. Content, content, content …
In January 1996, Bill Gates wrote the essay “Content Is King” claiming that content is where much of the real money will be made on the Internet just as it used to be with broadcasting. More than twenty years later the arguments of the Microsoft founder are as relevant as ever with content creation shaping to be one of the biggest marketing trends in 2019. Creating a consistent in-depth content plan is a must-do for each business that wants to position itself as an industry expert. In addition, the published authentic materials should align with the relevant business goals while aiming to compliment the organizational sales process.
It must be outlined that the produced content should also be highly personalized and relevantly customized towards the target recipients as web readers are currently bombarded with more content than they can handle, thus, a successful business should not just add to the existing noise but aim to provide real value.
2. Inbound Marketing & PR
The concept of inbound marketing & PR is becoming a hot topic among industry specialists. However, it is just one part of a larger movement in the business world – the movement of inbound.
Our partners at Hubspot – a leading marketing, sales and service software, describe inbound as a method of attracting, engaging, and delighting people to grow a business that provides value while building trust. In other words, inbound is a better way to market, a better way to sell, and a better way to serve your customers.
When all organizational teams are aligned around an inbound approach, the company can provide a holistic and highly personalized experience for anyone who interacts with the business no matter their stage within the buying journey. In other words, engaging is not just the role of sales, delighting is not just the role of services but a result of a combined effort.
Last but not least, each inbound holistic strategy should be complement by producing a valuable content that would position the business as a thought leader within the sphere where it operates.
3. Data & insights driven strategies
In the past, big data was used mainly by larger business, not only because of their broader service scope but due to the fact that they were the only entities who could afford the required technology as well as channels to collect and analyze such volume of information. However, with its gradual development Big Data have become affordable even for smaller businesses who can base their organizational strategic approach on meticulously collected data.
Therefore, a key 2019 trend for business leaders and marketing experts will be the formation and execution of data and insights driven strategies that can benefit organizations in multiple ways including:
Understanding what is being said about the business – key conversations drivers as well as story generators.
Measuring the organizational online presence (owned and earned), its share of voice versus competitors as well as the success of the corporate campaigns.
Detecting & Monitoring reputational issues to ensure a quick and effective reply in a crisis situation.
Bringing qualitative insights that reveal opportunities and can be turned into actionable recommendations.
Identifying & mapping key influencers / audiences the business can engage with to leverage its messages.
Nurturing the organizational social channels via news that will feed your real-time community management.
In sum, it is believed that successful data-driven solutions should bring better results to each brand while improving its corporate communication. This can be achieved by collecting data and insights, providing relevant recommendations as well as strategic consulting all along the mutual collaborative process.
4. Influencer Marketing
Marketing specialists argue that traditional advertising might no longer be able to solely provide brands with the required publicity. Therefore, businesses are coming up with better and more effective avenues to reach consumers. Influencer marketing is such an approach which has been growing in popularity for the past few years. It can be argued that through technology, the traditional word of mouth marketing approach has evolved into what we call an influencer marketing today. However, what does the future hold for this tactic in advertising products and services?
Ever-growing technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) will gradually become part of the larger bandwagon that drives influencer marketing while enabling the establishment of trust-based relationships between influencers and consumers. In other words, by adopting these two technologies into an influencer marketing campaign, it will have a higher potential to attract more engagement, thus, leading to consumer conversion.
Additionally, influencer marketing platforms such as Indahash will continue to grow in popularity while connecting social media content creators with the world of advertising for their mutual benefit. The primary advantage of such tools is their ability to enable brands as well as agencies to reach millions of mid-tier (micro) digital influencers instantly while letting them to collaborate only with those that are most suitable. It must also be outlined that by providing direct access to micro influencers, platforms such as Indahash assist smaller business that cannot afford to hire celebrities as brand ambassadors.
5. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
CSR campaigns have become an integral tool for many businesses across the globe. Numerous organizations continue to invest resources in causes related to sustainability, globalization as well as advocacy on social issues to name a few. While CSR campaigns are contributing to a better world, they can also benefit each business that gets involved. The discussed projects can aid the organizational development by improving the overall corporate image in public, increasing its media coverage, boosting employee engagement as well as attracting investors.
In addition, CSR campaigns can benefit the organizational corporate culture by creating a positive work environment while increasing employees’ creativity, encouraging professional and personal growth and last but not least – by promoting the idea of personal philanthropy among colleagues. Therefore, CSR can even be seen as a valuable tool in the organizational employer branding strategies – an area that is becoming crucial for the business development of competitive companies around the globe.
As a conclusion, it is important to outline that the marketing field is an area where new developments emerge on a daily basis demanding the attention of both industry specialists as well as their relevant audiences. Therefore, it is recommended that business and marketing leaders approach each strategic decision with their followers’ particular needs in mind – otherwise, one might risk spreading too thin across various activities. Hopefully, these 5 marketing trends will assist you when preparing your broader corporate strategy for 2019!