Changing with the times and newer technology is inevitable, and it’s happening at faster and faster rates, leaving businesses and marketers scrambling to keep up with the pace. The evolution of strategy and tactics is also a crucial step in keeping your business relevant and thriving. So, what changes should we expect to see in marketing this year?
The most impactful marketing change we’ll likely witness in 2019 involves a term we call “BrandStanding.” What does that mean? It’s a word coined to better describe the evolving “activist capitalist” trend. Unlike grandstanding, which is engaging in attention seeking behavior or trying to influence opinions in a way that’s gimmicky, fake or flashy, BrandStanding should stem from deep, authentic values shared by an organization and its consumers. More and more brands are taking strong stands on social issues, no matter the potential backlash. Studies show that consumers feel a stronger connection and are more loyal to companies that take a position on major issues, and less to those who choose to lay low and stay out of the line of fire.
Gillette’s recent “The Best Men Can Be” campaign was a direct challenge for men to take a long look at themselves in the mirror and ask if they’re really living up to be “the best men can be.” The campaign tagline “We Believe” directly confronts the issue of toxic masculinity. The campaign encourages men to hold each other accountable for bullying and sexual harassment and to raise a new generation of men who’ll live up to the idea of Gillette’s classic tagline: “The Best a Man Can Get.” As part of the campaign, Gillette has pledged to donate $1 million each year to nonprofit organizations supporting the brand’s ideals.
Another trend to look for in 2019: Enhanced personalized recommendations. This strategic tool will continue to rise in importance to marketers and businesses alike. Enhanced personalized recommendations allow for carefully curated, highly-targeted ads to be served to the individuals who are most likely to buy based on a range of digital behaviors. Ever-changing Artificial Intelligence algorithms can make this more difficult, however, when executed correctly, new technologies will produce highly accurate customized recommendations. Savvy marketers have the ability to understand customers and motivations for buying at each point of the sales funnel more than ever before.
Hot on the heels of enhanced personalization and AI technologies is the ongoing issue of proving ROI inside the complex digital world and different delivery platforms. The long-standing problem of being able to present true measurements of marketing investment value to clients is a must have in 2019 for every marketer. By identifying and isolating data contained in analytics, clients and marketers can agree on a set of key performance indicators for any campaign or outreach initiative, and then use these insights to fine tune the enhanced personalized recommendations in order to increase conversions.
In the closing years of the 21st century’s second decade, shifting values and demographics will continue to expand and evolve the highlighted trends. As the influence of elder generations begins to fade, analytics predict younger generations will increasingly align with companies serving progressive values. It’s a great time to revisit and solidify corporate values and decide where your brand stands. Younger generations increasingly expect their digital worlds to be highly customized to their needs, beliefs and tastes. Enhanced personalized recommendations will continue to produce individualized web experiences to Internet savvy and digital natives. Finally, marketers that can prove out ROI will continue to thrive as their clients do.
Alexis Krisay is Co-Founder and President of Marketing at Serendipit Consulting in Phoenix, AZ.