A new year brings both optimism and anxiousness into the marketing equation. What will happen this year? What will change? What will marketers have to adapt to?
2018 brought tremendous amounts of change which will certainly carry into 2019. Lucky for marketers, these events, trends, and advancements allow us to predict what 2019 has in store.
Marketing follows the consumer further throughout the buying funnel
Advances in technology have complicated the traditional sales cycle. Marketing now follows the consumer deeper into the sales cycle and buying process. As Google and other search engines adapt to grant consumers more power over their researching and buying efforts, marketing will continue to follow at every step of the way, and possibly beyond.
Trust becomes a higher priority
It seems like every month or two the news outlets release even more damning information about Facebook and their data scandal. What started out with Facebook giving sensitive user data to a political consulting firm without user consent (if your friend gave their data to Cambridge Analytica, Facebook gave them your data too) developed into the company granting access to users’ private messaging to large businesses like Netflix and Spotify.
This likely isn’t the last we hear of the Facebook scandal, and will not be the last data scandal either. With each misstep, consumers will grow more wary of who can see their personal data.
But there is a silver lining. These data missteps offer a unique opportunity for brands to build a relationship with consumers rooted in trust. Providing consumers with educational content, excellent customer service, and responsiveness, and any other individualized methods can build trust and turn them into loyal advocates for your brand.
We’ve already witnessed large companies attempt to rebrand through trust-building campaigns.
Wells Fargo launched a rebranding campaign in 2018 after recovering from their fraud scandal in the early 2010s. Unfortunately, the bank was accused of data manipulation shortly after this campaign launched. Unfortunately, the bank was accused of data manipulation shortly after this campaign launched. 
Facebook also used this marketing strategy after the company’s first round of scandals—specifically, the Cambridge Analytica scandal. But more Facebook scandals have flooded newsfeeds since their rebranding campaign. 
If these giants tried to rebuild trust after major setbacks, expect to see multiple trust-building campaigns in the upcoming years.
Customers favor advocacy
This also applies to consumer trust. With the data misuse and politics of this era, consumers continue to look for brands that align with there personal values, and advocacy is a great way for brands to show what they value beyond their product.
This isn’t to say that you need to write an op-ed in the local newspaper criticizing a political adversary, but something simpler. Customers want to know their money is going toward not only a great product, but to integrity.
Small businesses can and should definitely leverage this opportunity. Unlike large corporations, small businesses cannot simply write a check to mask any questionable practices. Regardless of the marketing strategies, small businesses must first aim for small, local efforts, and expand from there. Giving back to the community is an easy way to create a large local footprint. It gives small businesses the opportunity to build local support and become a name within that community. Plus, giving back is great for team building and company morale!
Live video becomes essential
At TM, we try to look ahead for future trends and plan accordingly. We recently started weekly Facebook Live events and encourage our clients to do the same. The reasoning is simple: live video on social media drives engagement.
Live video can be used for multiple purposes. A health club can use it to inform, a grocery store to tell customers about current sales, or a production company can give their followers a behind-the-scenes look into their company. TM’s Facebook Live events give tips and allow followers to get to know our staff!
Expect this trend to continue into 2019 as consumers continue to value live videos. 80 percent of brand audiences prefer live videos over blog posts, according to a study by New York Magazine. 
Content continues to climb
Everyone is producing content. From blogs to videos to podcasts, informing an audience is a growing trend. Providing content such as live videos and blogs are relatively low-cost and caste a wide net that brings traffic to your website. If you haven’t caught onto this trend yet, you definitely should.
Storytelling moves ahead
This goes hand-in-hand with the rise in content. As the increased flow of content congests web traffic, marketers must look for unique ways to stand out from the crowd. One of the simplest, but most effective strategies is storytelling.
The essence of storytelling to structure pieces that reel people in and keep them hooked until the finish. If you do it right, people will seek out your content and even look to do business with you. Well-written content marketing will not only improve your website’s SEO but also gives your business authority in your industry.
- PYMTS. Wells Fargo Accused of Manipulating Business Banking Data https://www.pymnts.com/bank-regulation/2018/wells-fargo-accused-manipulating-business-banking-data-scandal/
- Sanders, James. Facebook data privacy scandal: A cheat sheet https://www.techrepublic.com/article/facebook-data-privacy-scandal-a-cheat-sheet/
- New York MAgazine. What Audiences Expect From Live Video http://lp.livestream.com/rs/582-GOU-684/images/NYmag.pdf