Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

2019: Users Are at the Core of Marketing Strategies

Jonathan Blum

The new year has brought many progressive marketing trends that will have radical and positive impacts on both companies and consumer experiences.

Marketing experts suggest using virtual reality as a strategy to create emotional and sensory connections between consumers and brands. One of the key elements for this are virtual reality headsets, whose creative use—coupled with top-notch content—has become a new tactic among many brands. Volvo, for example, used them to let users “test drive” the latest version of its VR XC90, allowing them to experience different highway and city road conditions on a backdrop of fantastic landscapes—all while using its latest features, of course.

Then there is artificial intelligence (AI), a technological tool has been gaining ground. Having machines manage activities that were once handled by humans, such as paying for parking or requesting government services, is now completely natural.

Although this latter use is still somewhat controversial, domestic and international brands—and even governments—are using AI to improve customer experience and make their operations more time (and cost) efficient.

For example, Saatchi & Saatchi designed a campaign for Toyota using an internal AI panel to compare audiences based on 1,000 previously detected points. Thanks to AI and the collected consumer data, the marketing team received insights they most likely wouldn’t have noticed had the information been handled manually.

Another trend that will continue involves influencers, people who, thanks to their clout and reach, can improve positioning for brands that don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to reach their audiences more directly. They are famous YouTubers, Instagramers and very active social media users who have proven themselves to be perfect allies for small, medium and large companies. Thanks to their influence, they can strike up the kinds of conversations companies want among key audiences, as well as convince their followers to try certain brands and products or visit specific places.

There is also a movement toward making advertising less invasive. In 2019, brands will have to take specific measures to care for their users, something that will require tremendous creativity from content platforms and the companies that advertise on them alike.

Lastly, to make user experiences more personal and intimate, this year voice controls will become a decisive factor for search engines, user IDs and other time-consuming activities. Although there has been a lot of headway in this area over the past couple of years, I think this year it will truly take off. After all, the results thus far haven’t fully satisfied today’s demanding consumers.

What is your take? Will marketing evolve even more in 2019? I hope so, but only time will tell.