The line between digital marketing and traditional marketing blurs more everyday. Whether done in the digital or physical space, marketing is still marketing. Our capabilities are advancing to the point where we don't need to be—and shouldn't be—talking in terms of digital vs. traditional marketing.
As creators for the visual world, we keep our eyes on design and marketing trends. We've seen a rapid pace of changing technologies, new platforms and channels, and evolving consumer expectations. Technology and media have changed parts of the game, but the fundamentals remain the same—strong visual design, quality storytelling, and an understanding of your buyer. Here we provide some insight into marketing and design trends for 2019 and how you can use print graphics and digital elements together to strengthen your brand.
1. Influencer Marketing
It is more difficult than ever to offer ads to wary consumers. Consumers can spot a phony endorsement or a sponsored post a mile away. The challenge is to find ways for brands not just to appear authentic, but to be authentic. People respond to influencer content that appeals, entertains, or informs without a whiff of a salespitch.
Influencer marketing has been on the rise for the last couple of years. Brands work with social influencers who have built up their audiences on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and other social media platforms. These influencers then give a review or endorsement of the product in their own authentic voice and style that their followers expect. In addition, influencers now are expected to mark their ad content in an obvious way (#ads or #sponsored).
Influencer marketing opportunities exist across media: podcast hosts, bloggers, artists and musicians, YouTube stars, gamers, traditional celebrities, and more. The key is to find an influencer that aligns with your brand, message, and audience. If you want to spread the word about a product or service, start formulating your 2019 influencer game plan now.
2. Content Strategy
Understanding the customer journey is a major piece of the puzzle. But then, what do you offer once you've gotten your customer's attention? The answer is content. This isn't a new concept; a focus on content has been at the top of marketing "trends" for years. Companies have worked to churn out more content, and they've focused on quantity over quality. Now that the field is saturated with content, we're seeing a shift towards more memorable and personalized content experiences and a "less in more" mentality. Companies are hiring in-house content development and editorial teams, as well as content partners and influencers across content channels.
Finding content creators, getting the right stories, crafting creative angles—it's a big investment, but it pays off exponentially.
3. Bold Visual Design
From dream-like color schemes to zero-gravity compositions, metallic shine and immersive 3D imagery, bold visual design is going to be hot in 2019. Expect to see these trends in print designs, marketing material, direct mail, signage, ad campaigns, as well as website design and digital marketing.
4. Customers Expect Experiences
What experiences are you creating for your customers? Think beyond just video or commercials. Pop-up events and co-branded experiences create memorable impressions for your brand.
What can brick and mortar retailers do to compete with online shopping? Be different and offer experiences.
What do shoppers want? Retail experts say that today's shoppers value experience more than their predecessors. With that in mind, marketers are finding more experiences to draw in shoppers, both in the retail environment and online.
5. Print Makes an Impact
Well-executed marketing collateral has the power to leave a positive impression behind about your brand. If it's creatively designed they will read your material or at least take a second glance. As more digital content is getting ignored and inboxes saturated with email, a well-crafted print marketing pieces are situated to grab more attention. A print mail piece provides offers a tactile experience with your brand and can include coupon codes, QR codes, and personalized URLs so that you can track responses and ROI.
6. Automation and Personalization
Big data has been in the conversation for a while, and we’ve gotten to the point where it’s now an integral part of any successful marketing campaign. Technology makes it possible to gain a deep understanding of our audiences and their buying behaviors. The key is using that data as effectively as possible.
It's incredibly important to first understand an audience, and then use that knowledge to connect with them. Through integrated or multichannel marketing, more companies will be delivering highly personalized and adaptable messages to their audiences via print and digital platforms, chatbots and smart speakers.
Automating customer service through interactive chatbots on your website or messaging apps has become more popular in the past year and will only continue to become the new norm in 2019.
Whatever your marketing plan is for 2019, we're sure you'll be integrating some of these trends to bring your brand to life. Let us know how we can help you do it!