New marketing resolutions for 2019

From regulation to exporting, what trends are set to make an impact in 2019? And what can marketers expect to say goodbye to when the year ends?

The CIM asked marketers across the industry for their thoughts on the latest developments from the last 12 months, to drive marketing advantage into the New Year.

marketing resolutionsIn 2019, marketers should pay attention to…

1. Creativity means cutting through

Cutting through the noise has long been a challenge for marketers, and with estimations that the average person sees thousands of adverts every day, making an impact is no small task.

For Mark Curtis, CCO and co-founder of Fjord, this means a renewed focus on design. Speaking to Catalyst magazine in October, Curtis warned that creative talent is often overlooked. “We’ve seen a massive acceleration in demand for design.” When a person’s first experience of a brand is likely to be their website or app, he argues, design is key. “One of the challenges for marketing is to find the right people to create good design – and, as a business person, I need to know where future talent is going to come from.”

However, creativity goes beyond design. In 2018, brands have truly recognised that all customer-facing communications are an opportunity for engagement, and UX writers are transforming these traditionally mundane messages into real customer experiences. On the opposite end of the spectrum, visual search has enabled marketers across the retail sector to reconnect with time-poor consumers.

At the heart of this, though, is creative innovation – but not all marketers are recognising its value. As Alex Ridings FCIM, founder and managing partner of Think Studio, warns: “I think in the future we’ll see a polarisation between data-driven mass marketing and the top-end sphere, where higher-level creative is still king.”

2. The omnichannel imperative

In 2019, omnichannel marketing will be of increasing importance as marketers look to build fully integrated customer experiences, and nurture better relationships with their audience. The rise of social e-commerce has no doubt facilitated this – with Instagram becoming a visual store front for influencers to promote to their audience, and the newly introduced product stickers reaching over 400 million people who watch Instagram stories every day.

However, in the face of this, neglected channels are having something of a renaissance. As Laura Fox, client services director at APS Group, says: “The best campaigns are those that use multiple marketing mediums, or at least consider the impact of each, instead of putting all the eggs (and budget) in one basket.” In changing times, “more marketers are implementing campaigns that see print and digital work hand in hand.”

However, identifying your channels is only half the battle. Futurist Tom Cheesewright predicts that in 2019, “A growing category of marketers will be focused on techniques for engaging and gaming the new digital intermediaries.” Indeed, he cites these intermediaries as often the barrier to true engagement: “Increasingly, the gatekeepers to consumer attention is algorithms, and this is no longer limited just to search engines.”

If this is the case, it is concerning that the rise of voice search mean algorithms are set to play an even more important role in years to come.

3. Increased regulation

If changing consumer behaviour wasn’t enough for marketers to contest with, an increased regulatory landscape has sent many into a tailspin. The introduction of GDPR in May made getting data right a legal imperative – but six months later, CIM research found that four in ten (42%) consumers have received communications from businesses they did not given permission to contact them in the six months since the new data rules came into force. This is compared with 48% at the time GDPR took effect.

However, the fight against irresponsible data use shows no sign of slowing. As of this week, the Information Commissioner’s Office can now hold company bosses directly responsible for unsolicited nuisance calls.

In addition, 2018 has seen the introduction of the Sugar Tax and a ban on harmful gender stereotypes in advertising due to come into force in June 2019. This, coupled with the potential for more stringent legislation around influencer marketing next year, will no doubt force some marketers to rethink their approach.

Indeed, Brian Doidge and Tunde Awe from CIM’s South West regional board feel that with Brexit looming, marketers will need to stay abreast of changing regulations to ensure they demonstrate return on investment, particularly in international markets.

Speaking on the issue earlier this year, Guy Parker, chief executive of the ASA, told CIM: “Effective regulation is good for companies because it helps provide a level playing field for everyone. Those who don’t stick to the rules face consequences. By ensuring higher standards, effective regulation gives people more confidence in the claims companies are making.”

As 2018 closes, say goodbye to…

1. One-size-fits-all ethics

“While they might create a short-term promotional life, people are savvy and easily identify cause programmes that are ‘bolted on’, or opportunistic marketing efforts. At best, such programmes will fall flat or fail to grow revenue and fans sustainably. At worst, they’ll significantly erode a loyal customer base that may suspect you’re taking advantage of a current issue.” – Anne Bahr Thompson, brand strategist and author.

2. Misconceptions around exporting

“Going global is an important step for all businesses. The most productive firms in the UK are those who can sell goods and services overseas, however, more than two thirds of businesses do not even consider it.” – Lord Bilimoria, founder and chairman of Cobra Beer

3. The division between customer experience and marketing

“If we start to blur the lines between marketing, brand, product and customer experience, and focus purely on the meaning we create – as well as the lasting impression we leave – suddenly we’re swimming with the tide.” – Colin Greenwood, experience director at Wolff Olins

Make 2019 the year to light up your marketing career. Discover the CIM’s membership, training and qualification options to suit your individual needs here. Or take a look at all our current marketing jobs!

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