When it comes to marketing, change is the only constant thing. Algorithms change, platforms change, tactics change, the psychology of the customers change and so does trends in marketing.

Marketing trends can last for weeks, months or years. Keeping up this constant change can be hard. There are platforms like Zest.is where you can keep up with all the latest changes. But wouldn't it be nice if you could predict the trends?

I asked some of the experts in marketing about what they think will trend in 2019 and they have some amazing insights for you. Let's read their thoughts.

Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré [B2B SaaS Consultant]

As a B2B SaaS Consultant and Growth Marketer, I approach marketing from a customer experience (CX) perspective / focus and therefore "trends" that I have to share about the direction of marketing are very specific to CX:

  • By 2020, Customer Experience will overtake pricing and product quality as the key differentiator among brands (Source: Walker)
  • Personalization will continue to become a main priority - and as Monetate in "if it's creepy, it isn't personalization" that "Personalization that can be described as intrusive, creepy or offensive is not personalization. As a rule of thumb, personalization should make things appear more relevant—but should never feel overt or in-your-face." Also according to McKinsey, “Personalization can reduce acquisition costs by as much as 50 percent, lift revenues by 5 to 15 percent, and increase the efficiency of marketing spend by 10 to 30 percent.”
  • Qualitative feedback can be organized into themes using machine learning and we'll see more of this with sentiment analysis in survey feedback using NLP with those brands who do want to differentiate themselves by 2020 from other brands with Customer Experience (and there's plenty of room to do this according to Forrester, "progress of CX improvement is stagnant - for the third year in a row")
  • According to Wootric, four technologies reshaping customer experience are AI, AR, robots and automation, and VR

Jeroen Corthout [Co-founder of Salesflare]

  • Human touch and authenticity are the defining aspect of marketing in 2019.
  • Data-driven marketing becomes fully mature, allowing marketers to turn marketing into a science.
  • After the hype, artificial intelligence starts getting mature applications in marketing and sales.

Azriel Ratz [Facebook ads expert]

  • More businesses will use stories to create an intimate relationship with their audiences.
  • Businesses will focus on short form video content to more effectively get their message to their audiences, in a format they enjoy.
  • Businesses will move past vanity metrics and focus on tactics that will link more directly to sales.

Vlad Calus [Co-founder at Planable]

  • By 2020 content will become the marketer's biggest bottleneck and marketers are already feeling overwhelmed by the complexity of tools they're using at this moment to plan, create, collaborate, exchange feedback and ideas, store their files. Everything has to live in the same place, that's exactly what we're trying to do at Planable, help marketers collaborate better on content. I believe that collaboration is there future of marketing, as better content comes only with better collaboration and more feedback iteration on it.
  • I believe Instagram Shopping will take over in 2019. We're already seeing Instagram introducing more and more shopping features in the app, and they'll keep doing that. It’s gotten very easy to shop directly on Instagram thanks to the multiple ways brands and influencers can embrace this new way of selling. The link in bio, swipe up, sponsored or direct links in photos. It’s all about easier mobile purchasing, one of the most influential 2019 Instagram trends.
  • The third trend is video content, we already see more content being created on Facebook and LinkedIn. Other social media pages are just starting to catch up. Video is unique, it's engaging and improves your conversion 10x. That's why you have to focus on creating better and more video content in 2019.

Margaret Kelsey [Senior Manager of Brand and Content Marketing at Appcues]

  • As the consumerization of SaaS continues, B2B SaaS marketers will start to be inspired by B2C campaigns—simplifying messages, increasing emotional language, and focusing on benefits over pure ROI.
  • Similarly, SaaS companies will start (or double down) leveraging and growing their brand to create a competitive moat.
  • Advances in technology that enable marketers to personalize messages at scale will blur the lines between account-based marketing (ABM) and traditional marketing practices.

Alaura Weaver [Content Marketing Strategist for SaaS startups]

The biggest trends in the upcoming year will center around scaling 1-to-1 customer relationships and building customer communities.

  • Machine learning/AI will continue to be a big part of conversational marketing--that is, chatbots can help to qualify website visitors and deliver relevant content to help guide leads through the marketing funnel.
  • Personalization in the delivery of content and messaging is going to be HUGE in the coming year. More and more companies are taking a cue from innovators like Netflix and Amazon on realizing the power of speaking directly to a customer and creating a relevant context for messaging.
  • Customer communities in the forms of Facebook/Slack groups are on the rise. They're a way to bypass the algorithms, connect with your most engaged community members, and get feedback and ideas for new products/marketing content. I see the role of Community Engagement Marketer becoming a thing as we better understand how to leverage communities for the promotion of products while delivering meaningful value. Read this article to know more about the trend for community engagement.

Pulkit Jain [Marketing Manager at Rocketium]

  • Growth in ad spends, especially video ads, across all platforms.
  • Increase in the number of mobile-friendly advertisements.
  • More number of brands adapting personalized marketing.

Omer Molad [Co-founder and CEO of Vervoe]

GDPR will make companies invest in SEO and content more to offset cold prospecting. Companies will invest in

  • conversational marketing, including chatbots
  • SEO
  • personalization

Sphoorti Bhandare [B2B PR and Content Marketing Pro]

  • Transparency - In this social media age, you can’t hide behind paid ads (or your brand). With data and privacy mishaps on the rise, consumers expect authenticity… making transparency a crucial marketing asset. This shift in consumer mindset hasn’t gone unnoticed by firms. They’re slowly letting consumers into their narrative by giving an open view of company culture, product, mission, and customer service.
  • Live video - It’s no secret live video is here to stay and grow. Its spontaneity and realness let viewers interact one-on-one with often-inaccessible brands and influencers with just one touch. But as this space continues to saturate, you’ll need to step up and bring entertaining, digestible content to the table to enjoy healthy rewards.
  • Customer advocacy - We live in a world where tweets travel faster than Wi-Fi signals. And if you want to be in good graces of your consumers, customer advocacy is the answer. Personalization takes a whole new meaning when your entire business model is consumer-focused. Adding to that, the growing adoption of AI and machine learning in marketing automation is only going to make serving your buyers easier.

Eric Burgess (SVP, Marketing, and Product, Soulmates.ai)

  • Brands Giving Up On TV Completely - Traditional broadcast is on the verge of throwing in the towel and the closer targeting you see on the web is coming more to On Demand TV as the market expands and even Spectrum offers a non-box solution that’ll let them connect more behavior to their content.
  • Artificial Intelligence will stop being a joke in creative work and computational creativity will take hold with brands - We’ve seen the last of the dopey Ad Age articles about AIs trying to write copy. Instead, we’ll see the growth of AI-driven tools that help creators do their research and make better content as part of a collaboration with AI that understands digital marketing metrics and KPIs.
  • FTC will start hitting more influencers and not just brands with disclosure violations. This will make both sides more cautious about influencer marketing, leading to more and deeper use of tools that drive the right people (brands and creators) together to work together.

Damian Jennings [CMO at Vanishing Magic]

  • Huge fine for GDPR breach.
  • Everyone realises they should have moved to Mobile First UX a long time ago and start to play catch up
  • More personalization of entire websites using live data from Google and Facebook.

David Feinman [CEO at Viral Ideas Marketing]

  • The biggest trends in the upcoming year in video marketing will be around increasing the volume of content.
  • Companies have become their own media production companies increasing the need for a volume in the production of content. We see companies starting to film some light content on their own for use on social media. they have cameras in their pockets and are starting to use them for light content. Companies have been using services like Flixation to help them edit their content
  • Video is being used at all levels of the companies to increase personalization. For example, sales is using services like Wista Soapbox to personalize and humanize outreach.

Chirayu Akotiya [SaaS Marketer]

  • AR/VR will announce their arrival for marketers
  • Marketers will have to make their content voice bots friendly
  • AI will identify false/fake influencers

Yam Regev [CEO at Zest.is]

Yam and his team at Zest wrote an article about 7 executive marketing strategies that you’ll use in 2019 (according to the Zest tribe)

I collected answers from a lot of different people from various roles in the industry. What do you think will be trending in 2019? Would love to know your thoughts in the comments below.