No business could survive without customers, but today’s consumer is not only extremely savvy, but has vast amounts of information at their fingertips. Customers now expect brands to offer personalised marketing experiences, have immediate response times and want to be able to connect with a company when it suits them, however they choose.
2019 is set to be a big year for marketing, but how will the landscape change and what will the big trends be that affect marketing this year?
1. Big tech
Back in the late 80s and early 90s marketing automation was an expensive new technology, which could only be afforded by the biggest brands, but advances in technology and phenomena such as artificial intelligence and machine learning have turned that on its head. Automation has evolved from simple CRM systems to machines with the ability to crunch numbers and interpret data, vastly improving marketing functions by providing critical information which can inform strategy.
It’s not simply data that is creating new opportunities for marketers, however. For example, the availability and affordability of tech such as smart speakers has seen a rise in voice search and related ad opportunities, letting brands target promotions to customers directly within their own homes.
The sheer amount of technology available to marketers can be seen as both a blessing and a curse; the ability to mass market has become an option for businesses of all sizes through personal technology like mobile phones which means messages can be delivered directly to the consumer. However, as the number of messages increase it becomes overwhelming and consumers risk reaching saturation. This is why brands are turning towards a more human-focused strategy, embracing more meaningful relationships and moving away from direct sales messaging. Brands are looking to engage in conversations rather than broadcasts.
Influencers are already a hot topic, but up until recently they’ve been seen primarily as a route for larger brands. The rise of micro-influencers (those with follower counts of between 2000 – 50,000 and often with a specific passion or topic of focus) is set to change all that, levelling the playing field for smaller brands but also enabling niche targeting for bigger brands.
With a wealth of information at consumer’s fingertips, it’s much easier for people to do their homework before choosing a company to engage with or make a purchase from. Consumers are more switched on than ever and looking more deeply at the brands they associate with. The ability to garner information and opinions about your company in a matter of minutes means that, now more than ever, companies need to be transparent in their marketing, promoting their credentials but also answering queries and comments open and fairly.
Real world application
Of course, it’s all well and good knowing about these trends but applying them and linking them to wider business impacts is another thing. All businesses need to keep up with these kinds of emerging developments, to ensure that they’re current and competitive and that their customers receive the best experience possible. This is why Wrexham Glyndwr University has introduced an online Master of Business Administration (MBA), specialising in Marketing. The programme gives students the skills and knowledge to analyse and propose strategic responses to emerging market trends and equips them to consider the impact on marketing as well as the wider effects on the organisation as a whole. The programme also looks at how to deliver customer value and how to leverage change and creativity for organisational survival and growth. The ability to understand how such trends strategically fit with business functions and strategies and help grow the top line is a skill which is an asset to potential employers.
The MBA Marketing is a 100% online course, perfect for those unable to commit to traditional, on-campus learning. All course material is delivered online so you can study when it suits you and on a variety of devices, which means there’s no need to take a career break – in fact you can carry on in your current role! The flexible course design offers a range of start dates throughout the year, so you can begin studying when it suits you and can start within weeks. Plus, there’s the option to pay as you learn and you may also be eligible for a UK government-backed postgraduate loan which covers the full cost of the programme.
Applications are now open. To learn more or to apply, visit: https://apply.online.glyndwr.ac.uk