Not even the best of Marketers have a crystal ball to gaze into, and no amount of data can precisely predict our future; But… recently we gathered a few top marketing authorities that offered their predictions on marketing trends for 2019. Moderated by VP Client Strategy of DAC Group, Nasser Sahlool, the panel explored how the ever-changing local, national and international marketing landscape may look in just a few months.
Joining us was a unique group of experts giving lively feedback on their predictions. Our panel included: Dan Evans, Managing Partner, Evans Hunt; Heather Ilsley, VP Client Services, Vovia; John Boyd, Media Director, Venture Communications; and Kevin Wilhelm, President, Pod Marketing.
What will be taking marketing by storm in 2019? Read on to get the top five takeaways from the event.
1. AI is everywhere
Everyone on the panel agreed that Artificial Intelligence is being used everywhere in big data. However, one of the caveats is that you need large amounts of data to gain real insight. Just because AI is the buzzword, doesn’t mean it will be relevant to every business and your marketing goals. Go back to the basics; start with the problem you want to solve, then create the data systems that are relevant to that problem.
2. Voice search is (almost) here
The growth in voice search is undeniable. When asked how many people in the audience had some form of smart speaker, about half of the hands went up. So, as marketers, how much do we need to pay attention to voice search? For now, voice search is all organic, but in the near future optimizing SEO and SEM will need to be adapted to how people ask their questions out loud.
And fun fact: the search engine that powers Amazon’s Alexa is Microsoft’s Bing. That’s right; Bing does and will continue to matter.
3. Get out of your everyday
In order to think outside the box; ask questions, listen to podcasts, read voraciously, attend events, and even grab coffee with experts in order to deepen your knowledge. Different perspectives will inform you as a marketer and help you expand beyond “this is what we’ve always done” thinking. The panel also encouraged experimentation. If your organization has the resources, try setting up a percentage of budget to go to pilot projects or a research and development team. If you make trying, testing, failing, and learning important to your organization, growth and innovation will come.
4. Talent matters
Finding, training, and keeping the right talent will be important in 2019 and beyond. Having more team members with specific needed skills will be essential for keeping an engaged and motivated group together. Invest in your business by investing in your people.
5. Classic marketing strategy will never go out of style
No matter what kind of new technologies we are dealing with, we still need to be asking ourselves how we deliver benefit to people. Continue to put yourself in your customers shoes, and ask if what you are sharing is relevant and current. Deepen your relationships and personalize the problem. Technology won’t solve anything without excellent creative.
The panel didn’t have any hard and fast rules for 2019, just a lot of exciting discussion to think about as we plan our ongoing strategies.
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About the Author: Emily Smith
Emily Smith is a CMA member, a strong marketer, and communicator with a Communications BA from McMaster University. Thriving in the home development industry, she has worked for both for a homebuilder and currently for Qualico Communities. Emily volunteers for BILD Calgary Region, IABC-Calgary Chapter, and is a content contributor for the Calgary Marketing Association. In addition, she also has three national marketing award wins under her belt from the Canadian Homebuilders Association. All work and no play makes Emily a dull girl, so she is a voracious reader, does yoga with her two adopted cats, and bakes as often as she can.