It’s always interesting to hear what marketers are predicting for the upcoming year, and even more entertaining to look back in hindsight and see how right (or wrong) they were. Marketing trends continue to change at lightning speed in the digital era, and it’s anyone’s guess as to what will truly stick and which technologies and techniques won’t live up to the hype.
As early as summer, marketers are trying to peer around the curve and see what could be coming their way in 2019. So far, it looks like the year will end with a technological bang with Marketing Automation, and set the stage for a disruptive new era in AI. Here’s what we’re predicting for MarTech in the next 12 months:
MarTech Will Capitalize on Smart Speakers
The entrance of Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomePod into millions of homes are offering marketers a whole new platform for forging connections. Smart speakers have been game-changing for their owners, of which 65% say they could never go back to life without one.
Amazon, Apple, and Google will need to find a way to monetize the content they’re providing via their assistants, but marketers should start exploring their options now. Creating content that embraces voice search and sounds conversational when read aloud will be paramount. There may even be an advertising platform launched for each of these devices (just speculating), though what that would look like and how it would function is anybody’s guess.
As The Trend Continues, CRM Will Be in High Demand
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is far from being a new technology, but businesses are finding it increasingly necessary to break its siloed approach in favor of interoperability.
Enter CRM solutions like Sugar, HubSpot, ZoHo, and Salesforce. These CRM tools are conducive to both sales and marketing, and offer solutions to multiple areas of your organization. This means that sales, marketing, customer support, field techs, billing, and your help desk all work within the same system. The disconnected office is a thing of the past.
Let’s take Salesforce for example… It’s a single solution collecting data points from each area and, in turn, delivers greater insights and connections about your client base. Your customers are the number one focus of your business. Don’t put your business at risk; invest in a quality CRM tool.
The Push for Native Advertising Is Growing
Earlier this year, it was predicted that native ad spend will account for almost 60% of all digital display ads in 2018, and this growth is poised to continue next year.
Consumers are becoming smarter when it comes to recognizing marketing ploys, which also means they’re getting more efficient in tuning out the onslaught of messages. Native advertisement is an obvious remedy to this issue because it blends more naturally with the content surrounding it.
Native ads are less “in your face” than traditional banner ads, plus they look as though they were built for a specific website or environment. This seamless integration can be critical in building trust with your audience, but it will also require much more creativity and effort from marketers.
Outsourcing Marketing Will Be a Higher Priority
If the trend of native advertising continues, marketers will have an increased workload ahead of them. In order to devote more time to strategy, planning, execution, and tracking, there will be a natural push for outsourcing lower level tasks to smaller agencies or freelancers. In fact, it’s estimated that a whopping 50% of the US workforce will be freelancers by 2020.
Given the shortage of labor and a drastic shift to freelancing, outsourcing seems like a viable option. This may also free up valuable resources for companies to invest in AI, automation, and other sophisticated MarTech.
What Will 2019 Bring to MarTech?
The future of MarTech isn’t just dependent on the technology your competitors are using, but also the technology your customers are using. Regardless of what’s trendy, it’s more important your tech fits your strategy to help you reach your goals.
What are your predictions for digital marketing in 2019? Drop us your thoughts.