It’s the end of another year, which means it’s a time when many companies like to predict marketing and advertising trends for the coming year. Back in January 2017, we predicted that video, chatbots, and personalization was going to be big that year, and our guess was arguably right on the money. Since the McFadden/Gavender prognosticators are clearly as good as any, we’re ready to reveal what will be the five hottest marketing and advertising trends in 2019.
From food safety to government accountability, many Americans are demanding greater transparency from companies and organizations. Consumers want information on corporate salaries, supply chains, pricing, and environmental policies and they’re prepared to go elsewhere if they don’t get it. Millennials are especially fond of transparency. According to Forbes, when a company offers complete transparency, 94% of millennial respondents are likely to be loyal to that brand. The demand for transparency extends to a business’s digital presence, with consumers rejecting companies that have 100-page, cryptically written privacy policies and user agreements, or secretive data collection policies. For brands to succeed online, they’re going to have to become more authentic and transparent.
Consumers don’t mind being sold products—they just don’t like knowing that they’re being sold. The opposite of in-your-face advertising, native advertising is incorporated into the media in which it appears. As subliminal as product placement, a native ad becomes a part of its surroundings, and discreetly connects the consumer to a product or service.
The term broadcast was used in television and radio to indicate that a message was being delivered to the widest possible audience. Hyperlocal marketing is the exact opposite, focusing an advertising message to well-defined area or group within a community. Hyperlocal marketing can be geographic—targeting a specific ZIP code—or demographic—targeting an age or income. Another example of hyperlocal marketing would be the beacons employed by an increasing number of brick-and-mortar stores, which send messages to the phones of passers-by, or that can pinpoint your location within a store to send you coupons for items that happen to be within your reach.
It’s predicted that, by the end of 2019, 50% of searches will be conducted through voice technology. Why does that matter? If you’re expecting to be found in an old-school search, using keywords such as “Cuban restaurants Phoenix,” good luck. That may have been what was used in a pre-Siri Google search, but today searches are made on mobile devices, by voice, in complete sentences, and by specific location. This means that companies will have to use long-tail keywords or question phrases, which are longer and more specific such as “traditional Cuban restaurant near Chase Field in Phoenix.”
Another search strategy that will soon be but a memory is the goal of landing on the first Google results page. Tell Siri, “Find a Cuban restaurant near me,” and you’ll get one result. If your restaurant isn’t that one result Siri finds, no one will ever know you exist.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
We run into artificial intelligence (AI) every day, often without even thinking about it. When you ask Siri or Alexa to find that Cuban restaurant, it’s AI that not only finds the restaurant, but analyzes traffic to give you the fastest route. You inadvertently watch a Jim Belushi movie on Netflix or Amazon Prime, and suddenly AI is filling your recommended list with embarrassing selections such as Snow Buddies, showing how quickly that technology has advanced in a relatively short period of time. You make the mistake of doing a search for Nickleback on Apple Music, and now the app keeps urging you to add All the Right Reasons to your playlist. Ads for things you actually use and enjoy pop up on every website you visit. YouTube pre-rolls are for movies you’d actually see. You use the Starbucks app to order an Iced Blonde Cold Foam Cappuccino on the way to work and a smart, attentive, conversational Starbucks employee gives you the details of when and where to pick up your order. That employee is actually a chatbot utilizing AI.
AI can do what humans do, only it can do more of it faster. That’s handy when you consider the huge amount of useful data your website produces, with no one to analyze it. AI can personalize a customer’s experience by directing website visitors to items of interest, predicting what a customer will want or need in the future, and communicating with customers via messaging or emails.
Companies today must stay ahead of the trends to stay ahead of the competition. If you’re worried about falling behind, contact the marketing and advertising experts at McFadden/Gavender. We’ll use the latest in marketing techniques and technology to promote your business.