One of the reasons why the field of online marketing represents just as much of an art form as it does a science involves the fact that there is no such concept as “business as usual”. Thanks in part to an increasingly demanding customer base as well as a massive digital expansion, there is no doubt that entrepreneurs need to evolve their strategies if they hope to remain ahead of the competitive curve. So, what does 2019 have in store? Most experts will observe that the most dominant trend will involve a synergy of technical innovations with advanced point of sale systems and cutting-edge advertising techniques. Of course, this is painting the landscape with decidedly broad strokes. What are some specific factors that might come into play?
Thinking Beyond Traditional Borders
It could be argued that one of the most predominant paradigm shifts will involve the continued need for businesses to expand beyond their traditional demographics. In fact, even start-up firms and challenger organisations are looking towards different regions of the United Kingdom as opposed to focusing their efforts upon a familiar community. Some have even gone as far as to cater to an international audience.
The second “border” is not associated with geography, but it instead encompasses the addition of new technological tools which are intended to augment traditional methods. One interesting approach can be seen in the growing presence of augmented reality (AR). Intended to provide customers with first-person 3D views of products and services, augmented reality should offer a greater degree of physicality and insight into traditional marketing campaigns. It is therefore no surprise that this will be employed in conjunction with other smart systems such as artificial intelligence in order to provide clients with more in-depth experiences when visiting a website.
An Emphasis on Behind-the-Scene Mechanics and Methods
Marketing will also focus more upon advanced algorithms and similar techniques in order to deliver quantifiable results. The use of big data, advanced AI algorithms and real-time customer support solutions in the form of live chat are three examples. However, the mechanics behind these and other amenities will take place behind the scenes. This could present a slight problem for marketing specialists who have little knowledge of coding or software migration. While some will choose to outsource such services to third-party providers, cloud-based portals such as Shopify are quickly becoming the middlemen of the industry.
Offering advanced POS systems, dozens of different payment gateways, real-time client support and drag-and-drop functionality, these bundles should make their presence increasingly known throughout 2019. In other words, modern e-commerce providers can serve as stop-gap measures between the business and what could otherwise prove to be quite a costly partnership with a standard software provider.
There is no doubt that the entire concept of marketing will remain quite fluid in the coming months. These and other predictions are set to have a massive impact upon the entire online retail community and it will be interesting to see what the future has in store.
Embracing the Organic Edge
Another very important advancement involves the specific campaigns that will be adopted by online marketing experts. The main takeaway point in this respect is associated with the ability to resonate with the customer in question as opposed to the larger audience. For example, automated emails will now address the individual by his or her first name. They has the ability to take into account important metrics such as spending habits and past purchases. Some systems will even collate data from third-party sources such as social media posts and online search tendencies. This ultimately results in extremely effective public relations strategies and in turn, a higher return on investment. It should also be mentioned that this methodology helps to increase brand loyalty and client retention over time.
Smart and Sophisticated Lead Generation
Of course, some of those who are new to the online marketing circle are likely curious to learn how such discrete data fields can be obtained with any degree of accuracy. In other words, is it possible to innately know the spending habits and preferences of a particular client? While this might be realistic for small businesses, what about those which cater to massive audiences? This is when the concept of big data comes into play.
Big data enables businesses and marketing experts alike to better appreciate the results of a specific campaign and perhaps more importantly, to know their demographic base. As the term suggests, collecting big data can be slightly challenging due to the numerous metrics which must be aggregated and interpreted. This is once again when e-commerce solutions can come into play. Analysts are now able to utilise centralised dashboards in order to better understand typical buying habits and which products are the most popular form a longitudinal point of view. This allows professionals to develop marketing techniques that are efficient and highly effective.
Catering to the Mobile Community
The importance of mobile-responsive design is certainly nothing new and its role will continue to grow throughout the remainder of 2019. However, some experts are beginning to argue that smartphones will one day completely overtake more traditional devices such as personal computers and laptops. If this does indeed come to pass, it will likely be in the relatively distant future. Still, marketing professionals and website designers are taking mobile-responsive templates quite seriously. A device-agnostic website illustrates that its owners care about the needs of their customers. Furthermore, it provides an on-the-go means to purchase products and services. Let’s also not fail to mention that mobile-friendly marketing strategies are likely to appeal to the larger viewing audience; particularly to the millennial generation.
It is quite clear that 2019 could very well redefine the marketing industry in terms of “smart” techniques and more targeted results. While we are not necessarily talking about reinventing the proverbial wheel, there is no doubt that outdated concepts need to be replaced by more effective methods if any business wishes to remain far ahead of the digital curve.