Each year brings a raft of weird and wonderful predictions for the next big marketing trends. Of which the vast majority prove to be somewhat farfetched.
Still, now really is the time to begin thinking about what could be making waves in 2019 and beyond. Based entirely on factual evidence and raw statistics, the following four look set to dominate the scene for the foreseeable future:
1. Your voice will no longer be trusted
For younger audiences in particular, the vast majority of brands are not to be trusted. Even if they don’t know them from Adam, today’s consumer instinctively distrusts most businesses. Hence, to make your message heard, it needs to be communicated via someone else. This is precisely where the power of social proof comes into the occasion.
Influencer marketing doesn’t haveto mean reaching out to famous faces and influential icons. Instead, you could simply collect and publish reviews, ratings and recommendations from your customers. If it speaks volumes for your business but doesn’t come directly from your mouth, it’s far more likely to have the desired effect.
2. Conformity is out, creativity is in
It wasn’t long ago that simply owning and operating a website was enough to boost your brand’s performance. These days, what was considered innovative in 2010 is no more than mainstream. For anyone looking to stand out and gain a competitive edge, the key to success in 2019 lies in creativity.
The problem being that modern audiences also expect a simple, streamlined and sleek user-experience. Rather than the mechanics or technical aspects of your website therefore, it’s a case of getting creative with your brand. What can you do to stand out from the crowd? How can you differentiate yourself from the competition? Does your USP need rethinking for modern audiences?
3. You need to know where your customers are
Not just where they are, but also how they communicate. Believe it or not, there are some who believe that at least 50% of all web searches will be carried out through voice search within the next two years. In any case, web audiences are becoming more fragmented than ever before, when it comes to their preferred sources for information and advice.
Some instinctively follow the herd on Facebook, others are addicted to Instagram and then there’s the usual Google crowd. On the plus side, it’s perfectly possible to target even the most niche audiences with pinpoint precision. It’s simply a case of knowing where to look, which is down to you to take care of.
4. Customer support is a big deal
Last up, customers in growing numbers are already sick to death of automated chat bots. When they want to ask a question, they don’t simply want a looping FAQ cycle that never provides a straight answer. Customer relationships are being lost far and wide through excessive automation – traditional customer support is back with a bang.
A strong customer support isn’t just a welcome addition. Instead, it can be one of the most powerful selling points in its own right. If they know they can contact you quickly and easily, they’re far more likely to do business with you. If you can’t realistically offer real-time customer support, at least consider introducing a ticketing system.