2019 is about to end and it is time to find out what awaits us in the near future regarding the 2019 trends in the digital world , from web marketing to social media.
Foreword: we will not propose futuristic stuff or technological evolutions exclusively within the reach of large companies with monstrous budgets, or important trends, but not very usable on the direct marketing side. In this article, then, forget things like Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Blockchain, etc … What we suggest are trends and marketing tips that you can put into practice concretely, even if you have an SME with limited investment capacity.
Ready? Let’s begin …
Customer Journey, CRM and Data Driven Marketing
The 68% of marketers’ claim that the marketing performance have improved since they are focused on the customer experience (source: AdWeek). After many years focusing exclusively on single marketing tools and single-channel measurement, we now understand that we need to work and measure the performance of a cross-media marketing funnel.
It is well known, in fact, that the main problem of marketers and companies that invest in digital concerns the attribution of conversions with respect to the various sources / means that make up the marketing mix. Mapping user behavior, interactions with the various touchpoints and precisely defining the entire purchasing process, through web analytics tools is almost impossible, because the customer journey is not linear, but rather cross device and cross platform.
The same person can discover and get in touch with a brand / company / product through search engines, through advertising campaigns, or perhaps through social media and influencer marketing, perhaps establishing a relationship that is fed on channels such as email, chat, sms, retargeting ads. All these sources and tools push the user to visit squeeze pages, landing pages, websites, eCommerce, which are browsed by users at different times, using various devices such as desktop computers and mobile devices. For the retail sector we also add the fact that users can physically go to the company / brand stores, which further complicates the traceability of the entire customer behavior.
In this fragmented and articulated scenario it is normal that Google Analytics and similar tools cannot map the entire purchasing cycle and are far from a precise and reliable measurement of the interactions of users and customers. Web marketing tools are gearing up to reduce the limitations on attribution and tracking models, not by chance Google Analytics has recently implemented new features such as Lifetime Value and User-Id. But the final resolution seems far …
Therefore, companies have only one way to solve this problem of tracking and acquiring information on the behavior of people / customers, to adopt an advanced CRM that allows real-time marketing based on accurate and complete data! However, CRM must also be managed correctly and integrated with all the marketing and automation tools that are used. CRM is the indispensable tool for understanding, measuring, and improving the marketing and sales performance of each company.
Secret Key in this area in 2018 has made great strides, managing to integrate in several CRM and sales processes of some of our customers, automation and smart loyalty procedures, through one-to-one customization of offers, up sell, cross sell and loyalty program.
We have entered the era of artificial intelligence and machine learning. This technology will have a great impact not only on the world of work (Fourth Industrial Revolution) but, applied to marketing and especially to the various tools, will be a prevailing trend in 2019. According to SalesForce, it is already used by 57% of marketers (using tools equipped with AI) and is expected to grow by 53% over the next two years.
From data collection, to the transformation of data into information, to the final action: in each of these phases, artificial intelligence will change, improve and revolutionize the way in which we approach online marketing. To take advantage of artificial intelligence, you do not have to do anything special, if you do not choose tools that are natively equipped, see AdWords and Facebook Ads just to name a couple.
Each of the following points, in some way, is connected to new IA technologies.
Chat Bot and Marketing Automation
The chat bot revolution has already begun, but it is still in the initial stages of settling. If 2018 was the year of email marketing automation, 2019 will be the year in which bots will become one of the most important gears of a sales funnel, above all to maintain a connection with users and stimulate sales over time. Several eCommerce are already successfully using bots to do lead nurturing, fueling the relationship with customers through personalized suggestions regarding new products, offers, exclusive discounts.
But the bots are not just for selling, but also for customer care.
According to Gartner, in 2019 at least 30% of our conversations will be assisted by machines and artificial intelligence (the fact that we do not notice it does not at all mean that it is not already happening). Chat bots and marketing automation improve customer experience, create personalized one-to-one relationships and speed up the response time of a brand, increasing its efficiency and reliability.
The ultimate goal will be what is called “conversational commerce”, where automations and AIs intersect with the human element to provide users with the best possible experience.
Vocal Research – Vocal Assistant
Now we can use the voice everywhere to do searches: smartphones, laptops, tablets, computers, cars, smart speakers (Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, etc.). And, according to Entrepreneur, by 2020 half of all research done in the world will be done by voice. What we need to keep in mind is that this new way of searching for information (or products) online will have a significant impact on SEO, modifying its techniques and strategies.
Optimization for vocal searches, in fact, should focus on long-tail keywords and much more conversational research (“suggest the best cheese and pepper in the center of Rome” rather than “restaurant center Rome”), using a language the most possible common.
Video and Live Video
Finally, the videos. It has been around for a long time and it is a widespread opinion that the present and future of online content and advertising will be the video format. The novelty for 2019, however, lies in the direct. 2018 was the year when live videos exploded: from Facebook, to YouTube, to Instagram, the number of live video is constantly growing.
There is no doubt that people love watching live video: 80% of users say they prefer a live video to a blog post (source: Livestream ) and according to official Facebook data live videos record on average + 300% views and comments compared to other video content.
In short, it is worthwhile investing time and money to produce videos and make direct streaming, if we want to get better performances on the online advertising and social side.
Brand Positioning and Content Marketing
Secret Key is a web agency active since 2011, which has managed over 320 Digital Marketing projects in various sectors. During this time, our team was lucky enough to see and experience the evolution of web marketing to date. Believe us, things have changed, and a lot!
If yesterday to intercept new leads and generate customers just give our customers a good deal of visibility on search engines and social networks, today the rules of the game are completely different.
Competition and market saturation (including the most unthinkable niches), the consequent increase in advertising costs, the sudden growth of large marketplaces and vertical platforms in all sectors (Amazon, Booking, etc …), have made online competition much more difficult and, in some cases, even impossible.
Today, being able to spend a decent budget in advertising, having a website or eCommerce cute and well done, to which you add some social profile updated regularly, not enough anymore!
To make your company stand out from the competition, to attract the interest and attention of users, but above all to generate trust and persuade people to choose your product / service (which in many cases is identical if not worse than the competition ), need more … But what?
There are 2 basic ingredients that today and in the future will increasingly make the difference between a successful and a mediocre company …
1) Brand Positioning = authoritativeness and uniqueness of your brand, to stand out from the competition and be perceived as a leader in your category / sector.
2) Content Marketing = content and marketing materials are needed to attract your target, generate interest, trust and to nurture the relationship over time with your customers.
Without these two ingredients it is useless to do marketing and creative communication strategies; it is useless to elaborate sales funnel complexes; it is useless to invest even 1 euro in advertising; it is useless to make expensive websites; it’s all useless.
In 2019, trying to launch a business thanks to digital marketing without having a strong brand and valid content, is tantamount to entrepreneurial suicide!
Some of you might say that the latter are not trends for 2019 and, if we want, it is true, because they are two MUST for 2019!
That’s all! All that remains is to wish you, in our way, a good 2019!