As this year draws to a close, we’re reminded not only of memorable moments, but also of the warp-speed world in which we live.  Adaptability and an adventurous spirit are certainly critical skills in terms of understanding and effectively utilizing the constantly changing ways in which we interact and communicate with each other.
So from a marketing standpoint, what’s coming down the pike in terms of how to reach, influence and sell to our customers and clients?  Here are some trends to watch (and hopefully implement) during 2019:
Voice Search
It is estimated that by 2020, 30% of web browsing will be done without touching a screen, and an estimated 50% of searches will be conducted through voice commands.  For nearly everyone, speaking is easier and quicker than typing.  While the majority of people are still unaware of all the things that voice search can do, its prominence in smart devices will rise dramatically in 2019.  However, research reveals that 62% of marketers are unlikely to implement a voice strategy in the coming year, largely because they lack the know-how to do so.  Tailoring your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy for voice search is going to become crucial – soon.
Video Marketing
This trend is not new, but its importance is increasing.  Here’s why:

  • 70% of consumers say that they have shared a brand’s video.
  • 72% of businesses report that video has improved their sales conversion rate.
  • 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident relevant to online purchasing decisions.

It’s important to not just think YouTube.  In order to drive higher engagement with your video marketing, consider making a video post or start a live broadcast on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.
Live video is gaining popularity in areas such as interviewing, product demos and behind-the-scenes glimpses of a company’s brand and values.  Some marketers are migrating toward personalized video messages rather than phone calls, emails, and text messaging in order to reach their key audiences.
Artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to be a hot topic in marketing during 2019.  For now, the most widely implemented form of AI are chatbots, which give visitors a sense of human connection in addition to being quicker than humans in providing data-related answers to questions.
Chatbots can be integrated with a website, an app, and even with social media platforms.  They are able to gather user information that can then be used to more precisely tailor your marketing strategies.
Today’s consumers are bombarded by content, ads, offers, emails and push notifications.  We are reaching our limits in terms of processing information, with a majority of consumers spending more than three hours per day on smartphones.
The “micro-moment” happens when people reflexively turn to their smartphones to learn something, do something or buy something.  Google tells us that users experience these moments approximately 150 times a day!  People are becoming increasingly impulsive when it comes to buying decisions, and smart marketers will figure out in the coming year how to recognize, capture and influence people when they are in these micro-moments.
So stay tuned for the rate of change to become even more dramatic this year, as people demand new ways for marketers to reach and influence them and to impact their buying behavior.  Hang on!
Cathy Ackermann, founder and president of Ackermann Marketing and PR, may be reached at

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