Year In Review: Looking Back, Looking Forward

One of my favorite things to do this time of year, as a bonafide Marketing Geek…err, I meant to say Marketing Professional, is to check out the marketing year in review reports, the top ten lists and the crystal ball predictions for marketing trends in the coming year. The 2018 year in review is chock full of interesting and insightful stats that can dovetail into next year’s marketing plans (or be removed accordingly). Also, 2019 stands to be an unpredictable and dynamic time for businesses trying to capitalize on the prosperous economy and upward trends that most of us are enjoying. Let’s never rest on our laurels and keep reaching for the sky!

Here’s what the year in review looks like:

Inspirational stories won the content game. Big brands and small companies alike have won the content contest with inspirational stories that give consumers a reason to believe that their product or service can make a difference in their lives. Check out this campaign that financial advisor, Charles Schwab launched in 2018.

Google kept us on our toes. Google never stops evolving its algorithm, and seemingly mystical ranking factors and 2018 was no exception. Ranking in search is no longer a game to be one, it’s a grind to master. Do the work and, you’ll see incremental gains – most likely. Noteworthy SEO trends from 2018 included page speed, mobile performance and a continued quest for relevant content.

Email marketing held on to its throne. The numbers don’t lie. In 2018, Radicati Group reported that we sent and received 281 billion emails per day in 2018. The report goes on to note forecast an expected 333 billion emails sent per day in five years. If you’re weren’t working on email marketing in 2018, it’s time to consider it for 2019. (There are benefits to using an email management system. If you don’t have one, feel free to ask me about or sign up here.)

And, here’s what to expect on the 2019 horizon:

  • Politics Will Heat Up. Especially as we approach the later parts of 2019, politics will move to the forefront of the American landscape. From television to radio to social media to snail mail, consumers will be inundated with political ads, opinions and commentary. The savvy company will understand this external noise but stay out of the fray. In fact, a recent survey reported that over half of respondents felt businesses should generally stay out of political arenas. The lines get blurry in the cases where the company has a vested interest in a political agenda. For example, outdoor gear behemoth, Patagonia recently weighed in climate change, and Google threw its “hat” in the ring regarding the recent Net Neutrality reversal proposed by the Federal government.
  • AI will become more pervasive. Artificial intelligence, aka AI, may be the buzzworthy term that’s been thrown around for years now, but it’s going to be used in more widespread applications and industries and even by smaller players with smaller budgets. What does this mean for your business? It could mean that it’s time to explore the ways you need to have AI to compete.
  • Video is no longer a vanity metric. Of course, video is not a new buzzword, and any marketer or business owner worth his or her salt is onboard with the value of using video by now. In 2019, however, things are going to get real. Video is going to become more powerful, better quality and the teacher’s pet for social media platforms. Video will be a requirement of 2019’s savvy marketing departments, especially in the B2B spaces.

No matter what industry we are in and how deep our personal love of Marketing may, or may not be, it seems that everyone is obsessed with top 10 lists and what’s trending now. My “trending now” list might look a bit different than yours and may not include the top songs of 2018 or fashion tips to rock the runway in 2019 but they may be able to keep your business producing on point.

One more thing…my dear friend and colleague gave me Seth Godin’s new book, This is Marketing. I loved it!  It’s all about fully engaging with your customers. Ask me about it!

If you’re ready to audit how your 2018 went and prep for 2019, I’m here with all the backstory, data and proven Marketing techniques you need.

Let’s Get Started!