With 2019 now in full swing, we hear more marketing predictions from industry professionals on what they foresee as areas to focus on and challenges for marketing in 2019. We cover ‘Purple People’, data privacy, voice-activated search, influencers and more! We would love to hear your thoughts, so get involved on social media using the hashtag #marketing2019.


We also hear from Kai Kurihara, Senior Digital Marketing Manager at NCC Group on companies embracing digital and the dreaded after effects of the updated GDPR guidelines and interestingly Kai also talks about Voice Search as previously discussed in this article by Scott Taylor.

Data Privacy: it is not just a 2018 trend.

I think that we are going to see Data Privacy take the centre stage once again. After the May 2018 GDPR scare show, it became all quiet on the Data Privacy front.

Some fines hit after May 2018, but because they related to data breaches before the GDPR implementation, they were nowhere near the doomy figures we were told. Facebook were “only” fined £500,000 by the ICO in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal but that would have been in the vicinity of £1.2 billion in the new regulation… which is quite a considerable difference even for the company which brought £31.5 billion in revenue in 2017.

We are going to see some fines coming up and perhaps some heads falling… Data Privacy will once again crop up and will be an important area for Marketers to work in conjunction with the DPO.

Doing stuff with your Voice
We have been seeing this topic on “the next year predictions” every year for the past few years (Siri was introduced 7 years ago… that made you feel old, didn’t it?).

Voice search is getting more and more contextual and effective at delivering what the user needs. Google and Amazon have introduced voice search to millions with their Home and Echo line ups and Gartner predicts that by 2020, 30% of all web browsing sessions will start with a voice-activated search.

Like SEO, we are going to start seeing some key actors (Google of course, but other tech companies) battle for the market leader position in this segment. Of course SEO will change with it. SEO as we know will be completed with a whole new dimension, which will be an exciting development for whoever works in the digital marketing field.

Back in 2013, 85% of IOS users never used Siri. Nowadays, 55% of teenagers and 41% of adults use voice search more than once a day. 2019 might be the year voice search grows exponentially.

Digital Transformation? No, just resetting your Digital Marketing Strategy
According to a recent digital transformation survey conducted by Smart Insights, around three quarter of business are putting a digital transformation programme in place.

Is digital transformation a new thing? No. In my opinion, they are corrective projects for failed digital marketing strategies. Digital marketing has grown exponentially but as anything which grows too fast too soon, a lot of the digital initiatives were not implemented properly.

I have been a strong advocate of “objective setting before anything” and it seems that the trend of choosing your digital tactics before understanding how they can support in achieving business objectives are biting companies back. Silo’ed campaigns, databases and tools grew in numbers and as the economic climate gets more and more stringent, businesses now need to consolidate, integrate and cut.

I suspect a number of CRM, infrastructure and/or upgrade projects will see the light in 2019 for the majority of the businesses based on strategic reasoning.


Finally, James Crawford Managing Director at PR Agency One gives us an agency insight into PR best practice and the evolution of influencers:

James Crawford said: 2019 is the year where the PR industry finally takes measurement seriously. It will also be the year that black hat influencer marketing tactics get blown wide open.

In 2018, PR agencies got to grips with the AMEC framework. We’d been following very similar principles well before they affect, so we were delighted when the AMEC framework was published and in response, we launched a suite of measurement products to take our best practice approach even further. More and more clients now turn to us to use our brand, reputation and digital conversion measurement tools.  We are still surprised how poorly most of the industry is at measurement.

I also think that Influencer marketing will get blown wide open and a combination of the social media platforms, clients and the public will lead to black hat principles (fake influencers, influencers with no audience and undisclosed paid for endorsements) will fall from grace.  ROI is everything.

Thanks to all our contributors for Part 2, we hope you all have a successful and prosperous 2019!

Click here to read what our Part 1 contributors have predicted for 2019.

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