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Dove Direct Print & Marketing Blog - “2019 Digital Marketing Trends Set to Disrupt”

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Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today’s post, “2019 Digital Marketing Trends Set to Disrupt” discusses how 2019 technological advances are affecting the marketing world, disrupting and altering human behavior, and creating divergent paths for branding and communication techniques. We are already awash in 2018’s digitized effects, and to some degree automated tools that have changed the marketing landscape, and to that end the degree by which human interactions are evolving. In a sense, humanity has always been a forward looking species for the most part, and connecting the dots to the future is now in full swing, with rapid acceleration beyond anything ever experienced in human history.

The Reel Rundown offers a synopsis on the movie, Divergent, which although is classified as a science fiction thriller, nonetheless echoes a similar view taking place in today’s social media driven arena. This is where groups and tribalism are the mantra forcing competitiveness and divergent viewpoints. “In the futuristic dystopia, people have started living in factions. As soon as someone grows old enough, they have to make a choice. They have to decide whether they want to stay in the same faction or choose any other. When a teenager makes a surprising choice, she must undergo extreme psychological and physical changes to out-compete others or she risks going faction-less. What she mustn’t tell others is that she is Divergent, not fitting for any particular faction. Anyone knowing this secret would face certain death.  But this is the secret that could save her people.”

You may be wondering what the Divergent movie analogy has to do with the subject of this blog, “2019 digital marketing trends set to disrupt.” Well, when you look at the marketing trend lines that have emerged over the last few years, it is quite similar to the divergent movie overview, in that unless brands and marketers adapt to the disruptive environmental changes taking place, they will suffer greatly, and even be placed in the death throes of being labeled irrelevant.

Trust, Authenticity and Integrity

For example, we’ve all been aware for quite sometime that the trustworthiness trait has risen to lead the credibility issue in advertising for the marketing world. What makes trustworthiness valuable is the authenticity factor which helps bolster truth in advertising. Consumers are rapidly becoming unable to trust advertising and marketing efforts, and to a point, even authenticity is now being questioned. We have now reached the crossroads where naked, unembellished integrity and honest facts are of vital importance for all brands, as consumers are demanding no less.

If you are of the mindset that authenticity is much less of a big deal when it comes to marketing, you may want to rethink that position. The Stacka Report uncovered that 86% of consumers stated that authenticity is an important factor when selecting a brand to support. Further, if your brand or organization is placing minimal weight behind the Millennials, well, again that 86% consumer number is even more elevated among that demographic group.

Influencer and UGC Marketing Builds Authenticity

The influencer marketing tactic has been around for a while and is generally associated with the rise of social media marketing. However, the importance of influencer marketing has risen in recent years, primarily due to the fact that influencer marketing is closely tied to authenticity, at least for the time being. Insofar as brands have and continue to struggle against consumer perceptions of branded content lacking authenticity and trustworthiness, user generated content (UGC) is bridging that gap. Influencers are typically believed to be that consumer segment that creates UGC. Consumers are of the mindset that UGC is real, more authentic and when marketed to by other consumers provides quite an impact for any brand.

Authentic marketing content being provided to the marketplace by non-compulsory, unpaid consumers speaks to those like minded consumers, who as a result are forming consumer tribes, similar to factions as described in the analogy of the movie Divergent. By comparison, we in the marketing world refer to different tribes or factions as niche market segments. A great example of a brand benefitting from UGC is how GoPro, a camera company, grew their engagement by allowing consumers to post their videos shot with a GoPro camera in real life situations. It’s no wonder their engagement numbers grew so rapidly, as GoPro set up a hashtag, #GoPro, which generated approximately 5,000 online videos being posted daily. As a comparison, some small and mid-size brands do well with over 5,000 unique visitors in a month!

No doubt it's quite engaging and thrilling to watch a person videotape a cliff diving event or skydiving episode in real time! Obviously, GoPro is focused on what does drive engagement and exciting moments from consumers, and thus produces the ‘wow’ factor in spades. At the end of the day, your brand may not have the visual advantages of a GoPro filming event, but nonetheless, with creative efforts, there are methods to generate both UGC as well as luring influencers to take up your brand’s authentic efforts. The most important takeaway here is that consumers are 3 times more likely to view that consumer created content as authentic versus any brand generated content.

The Chatbot Explosion

Chatbot technology is growing at warp speed, but there continues to be many brands that are failing to comprehend the particulars of chatbot technology. AI (Artificial Intelligence) is behind the functionality of chatbots and AI is pushing the tech explosion currently under foot. In reality, AI can make its claim to fame via the chatbot’s wide and growing usage, which has proven to be a game changer particularly when it comes to increasing consumer engagement and discovering qualified lead generation. Understanding what chatbots are capable of, and of course any limitations currently on the table will greatly provide brands with knowledge to invest in efficient marketing options that are unmatched. Here’s a short list of chatbot pluses:

  • Chatbots can contain personalities and even purport to have humor
  • They can offer personalized service to any customer or prospect in search of answers
  • Chatbots offer 24/7 support
  • They can be integrated into a website
  • They can be inserted into an app or social media channel
  • And most importantly, chatbots can collect valuable user data which can be an important aspect of personalizing marketing messages and strategies for further use

That said, chatbots are expected to experience tremendous growth as AI research is only getting started. Brands should take a serious look at infusing chatbot technology into their marketing strategies. Chatbots are set to not only continue disrupting 2019 digital marketing trends, but will evolve and become ubiquitous as we march into the future.

From Snack Bites to Micro Moments

Remember when the term, ‘snack bites’ entered the marketing vernacular and became a buzzword? Or, when the video world experienced the 6 sec video phenom, introduced by Vine? In lieu of all that shortness, and in no small part based on the fact that marketing content was exploding to overload levels, consumers were becoming overwhelmed and thus, the shortened or snack bite mentality ensued to propel shorter marketing messaging.

Fast forward to today’s onslaught of marketing messages, of which it has been reported that the average consumer receives over 4000 messaging impressions per day. Attention spans can only go so far, which is why Google’s content marketing team, Think with Google, has reported that users are experiencing an average of 150 daily ‘micro-moments.’ These micro moments are generally depicted as a new type of consumer behavior, that for the most part are deemed to occur when people are motivated to engage via their smartphones to take action in four designated areas; to learn something, do something, get acquainted with something, or to buy something. Why are micro moments consequential?

In the B2C world, consumers are often motivated to do something in a matter of seconds, or when the instant of need presents itself. As technological advances continue, the B2B prospect journey will in all probability also be reduced to micro minutes, as pertinent information will become synthesized to smaller particles of data. These micro moments represent a real time manifestation of a human behavior blueprint that suggests these consumers believe they can actually satisfy a hunger in a moment. From last minute gift ideas, to which restaurant to visit, or where to buy that item, or which club to book a reservation at, it all fits into the micro moment capability. What is significant for marketers and brands looking to capitalize on micro moment activities is being able to be in front of these requests, whenever and wherever the customer’s journey may take them. In a sense, this means that brands and marketers must be able to produce and distribute micro moment content across all channels and devices. Brands that are able to meet this challenge today, will be the front-runners of the future.

Dominating the Social Media Landscape

Social media marketing is here to stay and recent surveys, reports, infographics, and white papers across a wide spectrum of analyses all point to the impact that social media has on brands and marketing strategies. Social media technology is also changing rapidly and brands need to pay close attention to the ramifications of those changes. To that end, the most popular social media trends include influencers, automation and video content. According to the Gary Vaynerchuk social media model, and commonly lauded as a social media marketing expert, mastering social media marketing is difficult and takes time.

While Mr. Vaynerchuk’s social media marketing strategy is to be omnipresent on all channels, it also contains a directive of re-purposing content for all of those channels. Why? For example, your Facebook leads will be quite different from those on LinkedIn, or even YouTube, Instagram and vice versa. Therefore, all social media content creation is not a one message or size fits all. What Vaynerchuk discovered is that a single video or piece of content marketing collateral could be repurposed to fit a particular social media platform, which actually saves some time and resources and allows the marketer to be omnipresent across all the channels. This trend will continue well into 2019s digital marketing trends that are set to disrupt and challenge brands and marketers alike.

Print's VDP Remains Relevant

With all the buzz on digital, let's not forget that print is also digital.  Print's VDP (variable data printing) is digital from the ground up.  Further, VDP is data base driven, whereby individual print pieces can be seamlessly altered to fit a precise set of database information to be printed for specified individual targets. In addition, this targeting method can contain a number of variables, such as demographics, psychographics, purchasing habits, income levels, ethnicities and any other pertinent data a brand or marketer deems necessary to effectively target customers and prospects. These VDP collateral outputs are routinely used for direct mail distribution.

Print's VDP also adds the personalization aspect to targeted marketing.   Recent reports indicate that direct mail is a huge contributor in directing customers and prospects to online destinations. Is there any wonder as to why Google, a leading technology company is the leading direct mail postcard marketer in the US?  Look for VDP and direct mail distribution to continue as an important digital marketing trend well into 2019.

Search is Evolving

We know that voice search is already happening across a few devices, with the likes of Amazon, Google, Apple and others offering voice assistant hardware. However, what is evolving is visual search. Google recently introduced “Lens” last year, which is described as a type of reverse search, in that as opposed to typing a text query to locate images, one could simply point their smartphone on an object to be rewarded with text based data about the image or similar ones. This new technology is not fully developed, however, it is on the horizon and when fully operational, will be a lifelong dream for marketers.

And if you are not hyped by the idea of reverse visual search technology as a marketing tool, then maybe the Kissmetrics report that states 93% of consumers consider visuals to be the key deciding factor when making a purchasing decision will get you excited. The marketing ramifications are endless with this type of search technology and will undoubtedly transform shopping, and of course, the challenging retail industry. Visual search technology is a 2019 digital marketing trend disrupter, so marketers should keep abreast of developments in this area.

The Net-Net

These 2019 digital marketing trends set to disrupt are but a few of the most important ones to watch, and as marketing and human behavior evolves, brands will need to adapt or become obsolete. Technological advancements create diversions, and to that end new tribes and factions will emerge, thus splintering niche markets into even smaller targets. Thanks for reading 2019 Digital Marketing Trends Set to Disrupt!

Let’s have a conversation about direct mail strategies, printing, print software, transactional documents, variable digital printing, brand equity and unified marketing collateral during our next Open House. We invite you to join us on Thursday, October 25th, 2018, for an hour or two, anytime between 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Let us show you how to improve your document processes to optimize your workflow, reduce your costs, and maximize your organization’s printing, letter shop and mailing capabilities. Dove Direct does have an official USPS certified bureau located within our offices that will save you time and money. And, if you bring us your files, we will create a demo file for you. For more information call Carla Eubanks at 404-629-0122 or email Carla at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Dove Direct, your Atlanta based print and mail solutions provider offers organizations end-to-end data, printing and mailing solutions: Data Management, Variable Digital Printing, LetterShop and Fulfillment, Fully Automated MLOCR Presort Bureau, Marketing and Production Management Support and Secure Data Life Cycle Management.

If you don't want to wait for the Open House, you can reach Dove Direct today by calling 404-629-0122 or use the contact form for Dove Direct.

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Leland Hicks is the CTO of MatterMax Media, a digital marketing agency that provides business strategy, web design, social media management and training.  He can be reached at lahicks@mattermaxmedia.com