2019 will see marketers embracing change

2019 could see three main thrusts being explored by marketers, namely customer journey mapping, content strategy and editorial planning as well as smarter agency-client relationships.
28 December 2018

Pedestrians walk past a store front advertising sale discounts on Regent street in central London. (Photo by NIKLAS HALLE’N / AFP)

As we near the end of the year, it’s always nice to pause and reflect on what’s been happening in the world of marketing and the trends that are currently occurring within it.

2019 could see three main thrusts being explored by marketers, namely customer journey mapping, content strategy and editorial planning, as well as smarter agency-client relationships.

According to Econsultancy, customer journey mapping will continue to be a focus. This is especially true, as, with the myriad of devices, platforms, and touch-points on hand for consumers, the level of complexity in the path to purchase will steadily increase.

Rigorous attention to data through mining and modeling, while honestly assessing customers purchase behaviors, are all important factors in building a framework to understand the consumer and how they can get closer to the brand.

Customer experience (CX) is set to become the new marketing battlefront. By 2019, according to a recent Gartner report, 81 percent of companies are set to be competing mostly on the basis of CX.

Accurately tracking the customers is an art in itself, and smart organizations need to take a holistic approach to the task at hand. Sales, customer service, PR, and marketing departments share data sets to form a bigger snapshot of the customer journey.

This leads on to the second thrust, which is all about content strategy and editorial planning. In this day and age, most establishments distribute original content through organic and paid avenues.

Unfortunately, consumers are ignoring display advertising at an alarming frequency, and big brands are starting to reconsider their expenditures.

Smart content strategy is becoming quite a challenge in the modern marketplace as the consumers’ insatiable appetite for content offers brands a deluge of options to reach their desired demographic.

Uniquely, organizations that treat their content campaigns as ‘de facto editorial operations’ are the ones who mostly produce high-quality multimedia content.

They hire specialists in chosen fields, give them free rein to search for stories or topics, interview key executives, invest in the resources, and involve partners and integral associations — all of which comes together very well.

Marketers who are committed to such excellence place accountability and definable KPIs for every content asset they create and post. This process takes a lot of effort, dedication, and a significant amount of work to make.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 91 percent of business-to-business (B2B) marketers use content marketing to engage potential customers as part of the purchasing process.

B2B audiences frequently consume content from search engines and social media, and most of them want to stay informed and research companies in order to make decisions that relate to the purchase of products or services.

Finally, the third thrust that may be explored in 2019, revolves around the relationship between the advertising agencies and clients. In most cases, clients treat their vendors as adversaries, and this is not a good thing.

It is recommended that constant assessments and accountability can prevent agency relationships from imploding. Transparent dialogues in a cordial manner with agency partners should be encouraged.

As in all things, being unreasonable can impact the relationship in an unhealthy manner, as agencies look towards clients for help in referrals, submissions for awards and references, for example.

It’s a two-way street, and strong agency relationships can lead to more work, greater efficiency, and better experiences for clients and vendors alike.

Meanwhile, according to a new report, advertising spend all over the world will increase by US$19 billion in 2019.

In the US, about 40 percent of ad budgets are allocated for digital while 39.9 percent is destined for television. China is expected to lead global advertising revenue growth, as its advertising market is currently valued at US$90 billion, which is only second to US, India, Japan, and the UK.