Every year, we’re treated to a deluge of new products and mobile apps that promise to change how we interact with the world around us. While some of these innovations may end up being nothing more than a flash in the pan, others can have a more substantial impact, changing the way we live and the way we do business.
Whether you’re a marketer dreaming of a campaign that will generate millions in revenue or you’re already running a smaller, more efficient operation, it’s important to keep up with the times, and what’s trending. So let’s dive into three of the biggest trends that will reshape business as we know it in 2019.
1. Virtual Shopping
If you’re reading this, I assume you’re already somewhat plugged into the world of online marketing and shopping. But just in case, let’s run down the state of online retail and marketing as we know it today.
Online shopping is a multibillion-dollar industry, growing at a rate of 23% every year. The industry’s biggest players, Amazon and Netflix, generated a collective $258 billion in retail sales in 2018.
And that’s just retail. When you factor in subscription services like Netflix and Spotify as well as food delivery platforms like Amazon Prime and Starbucks’ new Shopbop café, the scope of digital commerce becomes clear.
In the coming year, a host of innovative startups and growing industry powerhouses alike will seek to reinvent the experience of shopping and marketing online. Platforms like Shopbop’s Shopbop.com, which owns the exclusive license to sell all of the Victoria Beckham brand’s clothing and accessories, seek to blur the lines between shopping and lifestyle, marketing and enjoying unique experiences.
2. Inbound Marketing
Inevitably, as shopping and commerce shift to the digital sphere, so does marketing. And what is online marketing if not marketing that takes place online?
Digital marketing and email marketing alone generated a collective $194 billion in retail sales in 2018, according to the research firm eMarketing. And that’s only the beginning. As more and more people turn to the internet for their daily shopping, marketers must adapt, redefining traditional advertising and marketing tactics.
Traditional advertising, which ranges from TV commercials to billboards, seeks to attract consumers’ attention by disrupting their daily routine or appealing to their emotions.
Inbound marketing, which you might have heard of if you’re familiar with the work of marketing gurus like Seth Godin or Neil Patel, seeks to attract consumers by appealing to their interests, rather than their emotions or by disrupting their daily routines.
3. AI and Machine Learning
In 2019, artificial intelligence and machine learning will permeate every aspect of business, including marketing. But just as algorithmic trading and automated email marketing disrupted securities trading and traditional mail marketing decades ago, so too will artificial intelligence and machine learning transform the way we do business and how we interact with the world around us.
In the past, artificial intelligence was the exclusive realm of science fiction and Hollywood blockbusters. But today, AI is a crucial part of our lives, from the recommendations we get from online commerce sites to the weather forecasts we get on our cell phones. As machines get smarter, they collect data, enabling companies and marketers to improve their offers and products and enabling consumers to make smarter choices about their lives and the products they use.
While AI will permeate every aspect of business in the coming year, marketing will undergo the greatest transformation, as automated email marketing platforms like Marketo and HubSpot seek to make the most of this new technology. These platforms seek to automate repetitive tasks, freeing up time for marketers to focus on higher-value activities.
Whether you’re a marketer at a fortune 500 company or a one-person shop with an Etsy account, the trends discussed here will impact your role in the coming year.