Marketing predictions: 2019 is the year of…

Tech predictions are always fun. Last year, Imperial College London produced the fascinating ‘table of disruptive technologies’. Which left me with several burning questions, like: where can I get a personal digital shield to go with my zero-point energy?

It goes without saying that the technology landscape is constantly full of exciting new developments. In that respect, we can expect 2019 to be more of the same, with significant and continued advancements to the likes of digital assistants, 3D printing, 5G, blockchain, AI,VR, and batteries (yep, you read that right: batteries) all on the horizon.

But the tech world isn’t the only one that loves a gaze into the crystal ball. The marketing world loves it, too. And with it being the start of the year, I’ve read what feels like an endless stream of prediction blogs and expert forecasts about what is and isn’t the new black for marketing this year. (Perhaps one of the best round-ups I read was Ashley Friedlein’s marketing and digital trends for 2019 in Econsultancy.) With all of these in mind, I’d make an informed punt on 2019 being the year of:

Digital. Voice search. In-housing. Influencers. Video. CX. Mobile. Chatbots. Omnichannel. AI. Personalisation. Digital transformation (still). And data (of course).

One way of interpreting that list is that it’s going to be another busy year for marketers. To summarise, we could also say that whether it’s through voice search, influencers, or otherwise, 2019’s also going to be the year of achieving great ROI from mobile marketing, ABM mass adoption and MarTech maturity. Though perhaps that doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

The other thing I did to brush up on 2019’s marketing trends, all in the name of keeping my finger on the industry pulse (and, of course, croissants), was attend The Drum’s annual predictions breakfast. My biggest takeaway from that was that 2019 might also be the year of creativity. Creativity that cuts through the noise and helps to differentiate your products, services and brand. Marketers using creativity to solve problems, reach audiences, use platforms, and tell stories.

If we look back at 2018, we can see that many brands were already doing this. The year was littered with creativity, frankly a lead which marketers should all be looking to emulate in 2019. Just think of Hiscox, making us see cyber attacks in a whole new light as it staged a ‘real world’ version on a bike shop in Shoreditch. Or Greggs’ now infamous vegan sausage roll and lest we forget the reversed logo stunt. Or Burger King’s bold detour campaign that took advantage of geotagging to send customers to McDonald’s… to unlock a Burger King deal. All of which share the common traits of being daring, accomplished, and bloody brilliant. And of course, our brilliant digital campaign, A History of Terrible B2B Marketing – who doesn’t love a DeLorean?

It just goes to show, whatever the latest tech trends or advancements, it’s often simply thinking creatively that can make all the difference to a marketing campaign. But to be bold and daring in your marketing, particularly in the kind of ways outlined above, takes courage. And, of course, the idea needs to be there in the first place. Which is why I highly recommend this WeTransfer Ideas Report from 2018, which explores why it is that creative ideas don’t always come easy, and what you can do to foster your own creative mindset and working culture. Which could make all the difference to you and your marketing in 2019.