2019 marketing and technology predictions

Enjoy Digital
By Enjoy Digital
5 minutes to read

With each new piece of technology that emerges, the way we can market to consumers changes.

So what will marketing look like in 2019? We’ve asked the experts and come up with some things to keep an eye out for this year.

Brutalism bites back, colour is drained and gestures make their way into design

2018 was the year of bold typography and minimalist trends. Brands will continue to embrace minimalism but a counter-culture design will emerge and gain popularity. Just like with architecture, brutalism will interrupt design in 2019 and the web will no longer be clean and neat. Design will begin to resemble the way code is actually written with content blocks laid out in fractured grids and an emphasis on unpolished aesthetics.

Along with bold typography, colour will be used infrequently but with great effect. Brands are already moving towards a classic black and white palette (see several of the recent high fashion houses rebrands for reference) but will include vibrant touches of colour. Instagram’s latest user interface redesign, Apple Music and Air BnB have already put the trend to work so expect to see smaller brands to follow suit.

Mobile manufacturers are moving away from physical buttons so gesture-based interactions are already becoming the norm. As we become more familiar with this way of operating our phones, the same gestures will inevitably make their way to web design. These will be coupled with micro-animations and micro-interactions to delight users and create a memorable user experience. Who knows, maybe gestures will replace hamburger menus and the auto carousels too?

Brands become smart, voice finds a place in search results and a new CMS arrives

2019 is going to the year when formally ‘techy’ trends reach the mainstream. The internet of things will surge in popularity and connectivity will be on the mind of consumers. There will be an increase in brands releasing their own versions of smart tech – for instance it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that big energy companies will release their own versions of smart heating like Hive and Nest. We also might see more collaborations between brands to create useful and essential products like we’ve already seen with Sonos and Alexa.

Our developers, designers and SEO experts all agree on one point – that voice search is going to be big. As devices like Alexa and Google Home become more prolific and intelligent, there’s going to be a bigger emphasis on voice control as an additional way to interact with apps. This has already opened up challenges for user experience (UX) specialists who now need to devise flows and decision trees to help users access the information they want.

As Alexa skills becomes more accessible to developers, it’s likely to be something that brands attempt to capitalise on. This will have a direct impact on SEO practices as those who create content try to optimise pages to be accessible for voice search. This will mean pages need to be suitably structured and marked up and there may be a noticeable shift towards conversational tones of voice.

2019 should hopefully be the year Umbraco 8 is finally released to the world (check out what we’re excited for!) and AI is going to become more prevalent within web interactions as more companies begin to adopt existing tech.

Mobile first sites, just E-A-T it and the importance of brands

Mobile first indexing finally arrived this year after much chatter but the repercussions of this haven’t been felt quite yet. As Google’s quality raters continue to assess mobile websites, we may start to see a fundamental change in the way mobile content is rated and ranked. This will help to push a mobile-first approach to designing and creating content for mobile friendly websites.

Fake news and factually inaccurate content haven’t been a problem just for social media platforms this year but search engines too. To combat that, Google has rolled out a couple of algorithm updates which have penalised medical sites and sites that provide advice that could have an impact on a person’s wellbeing. All of this is born of the Google quality rater guidelines which place emphasis on expertise, authority and trustworthiness. So in 2019, the quality of content will be paramount to how a website ranks. Those sites that fail to take their content seriously and provide genuinely useful information for readers will suffer in the SERPs.

Brand building is going to be a key feature not just to garner loyalty but to shoot up the rankings too. Offline activity will have an impact on online activity as brands who aren’t the cheapest in their fields will have to fight to be recognised.

Storytelling and the importance of audience

Users want more personalisation and they want to be entertained while they’re at it. So websites need to be able to tell a story. They need to be readable, usable and shareable. Ultimately, users are human and they want to feel like marketers are connecting with them in a human way.

Content led experiences will also mean that user testing is more important than ever. Brands that fail to take the time to listen to their audience (and build a strong identity as a result) will find themselves floundering.

Data security and big data gets bigger

There’s been quite a few major security breaches this year, the latest of which saw Marriott haemorrhage the details of 500 MILLION customers. So it’s safe to say that information security is going to become a focus point.

GDPR has added a new layer of data protection but has it gone far enough? Since its introduction in May, there’s been a number of major data leaks for the likes of Quora, British Airways, Facebook and MyFitnessPal. It only makes sense that companies are going to tighten the protections around how they store data.

Data is a lucrative area with the worldwide market worth £120 billion. Latest estimates put the market to be worth £170 billion by 2020 so it’s no surprise that more and more companies are going to pay it close attention.

Shrinking social budgets and balancing PR

Facebook has had helluva year. From controversy around fake news, elections and its open admission that it will favour content from friends and families over businesses and advertisers, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that marketers will allocate smaller budgets to the platform. As a result, it’s not going to be a priority channel and channels like Instagram will take over with more strategies becoming tailored to influencer marketing.

PR has only just started to realise the role it plays within SEO strategies and as a result adopted a ‘digital-heavy’ approach. But 2019 will see a balance reached as both traditional and digital PR tactics become necessary to help achieve objectives. PR stunts and press office activities will be necessary to boost brand awareness while useful digital content will drive digital coverage and secure brand mentions and backlinks.

So that’s what we think 2019 will bring. What do you think will be a trend? Let us know in the comments.

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