“Staying ahead of the curb should be the essence of a business if it’s looking to thrive in an unstable economy,” says Jandre de Beer, managing director of the digital marketing company, Version Eight Media.
“When the economy is growing, everyone is smiling, when the economy turns its back on a business, innovation becomes the oxygen that keeps a business afloat.”
He adds: “Innovation isn’t always about coming up with new revolutionary ideas, sometimes it’s just about beating competitors to the punch. One way to do that would be to keep your eye on the horizon.”
Keep up – here’s digital marketing trends you can expect in 2019, according to de Beer:
1. Voice search
People are always looking for shortcuts, we love convenience. With that said, marketers and brands need to understand that it’s much easier to speak than it is to text. This is the main reason why voice search is growing at such a rapid pace, and it’s only going to continue growing.
Voice search is on mobile devices. Every time you use SIRI and ask for the weather, or a sport score, for example. All smartphones today come standard with voice search functionalities.
2. Chatbots and AI
It was a good year for us as an agency as we specialise in chatbot marketing. We’ve created a ton of AI messenger and website chatbots this year and it was by far our most popular service.
Chatbots help lighten the workload when it comes to guiding customers or providing potential leads in the right direction.
3. Owning the asset
Every single client we work with we advise to start building their own database. The money is in the data. The more brands can adopt a mindset of building and leveraging their own database the better. It’s also a very profitable strategy in the long run.
Companies like Takelot.com and Zando will tell you that it’s most probably one of their top 3 KPI’s.
Gone are the days of paying a middle man to tell a message, brands now have the ability to talk to customers directly and gain access to their behaviours and actions which helps drive more sales.
4. Tracking your digital marketing ROI
Every year we are able to track digital spend better, it’s now at a point where we can actually prove to our clients that there is a return on investment (ROI).
On average our clients made an ROI of 75%. Some clients made 500% while others made 20%. Some broke even and were just happy that they got their money back in turn for some great branding.
Google and Facebook allows you to track your revenue from ads and Facebook has launched offline events early in 2017. This means people in stores can upload their purchases onto Facebook and Facebook will tell them how many of the purchases were influenced by the advertisers ads.
5. AR & VR
Virtual- and augmented reality is something that’s been lingering in the digital marketing space but not much has been done around leveraging it when it comes to a marketing strategy and the strategies that have been implemented didn’t necessarily move the needle for clients.
I personally think AR and VR is misunderstood. 2019 might be the year where implementing it becomes more practical and powerful. Or at least I hope.
At the moment VR and AR is too expensive and even though it’s cool it’s not something that’s necessarily driving sales. It’s misunderstood as everyone always thinks what’s new works. However, in my opinion something like AR takes time to mature and we haven’t really found an affordable way to use it for marketing.