Aided by artificial intelligence and data analytics, voice search, video marketing and personalised smart communication are likely to dominate next year’s marketing trends, feel India's top marketers.
While 2018 was the year of mostly everything digital, 2019 will be much more specified in digital itself. However, one trend is likely to continue next year from 2018 — interactive marketing. Languages would play a big part in marketing and marketers will look to penetrate deeper into the rural areas.
Experts said that content integration and content marketing will become much more important given that consumers are becoming averse to traditional advertising.
“Slowly but surely we will see the fall of the digital-only marketer and the rise of the complete marketer for whom digital would simply be a key part of the language he/she uses,” said Sandeep Verma, Managing Director, Bajaj Corp. He said voice will become the new mantra on mobile. Beyond simply having voice-enabled AI (chatbots), marketers will rejig their overall search strategy keeping voice and regional languages in mind.
“Voice-based searches are going to be big. Alexa and Google Assistant are just about seeping into the lives of people and I'm sure it will have many more implications on how it will be used to collect data and how that data will be leveraged,” said Rushabh Gandhi, Deputy CEO, IndiaFirst Life Insurance.
Starting from product videos, client testimonials, brand videos and live streaming of shows, video marketing, mostly digital, is likely to take the centre stage.
“Digital content has grown dramatically, especially with the advent of multiple OTT platforms. And will continue to dominate,” said Sandeep Balan, Digital Marketing Head, United Breweries Group.
Balan said identifying audiences for brands will be challenging next year as blanket advertising wouldn't work anymore with the trends moving more towards personalised communication.
“More people will watch digital content as data continues to be cheaper. OTT platforms will offer more fresh and relatable content. It has already become a number that we can’t ignore and most marketers will keep that in mind. Brands need to identify its audience. It is going to be challenging,” Balan said.
With TV shows and e-commerce websites helping in curating a personalised experience for the consumers in creating an individual wardrobe, the Lux spokesperson said platforms such as YouTube have influenced various marketing trends and innovative strategies to showcase brands as well as products.
“Due to Millennials and Generation Z, there is an exciting social dynamism and people are no longer shy to discuss and acknowledge their preference. It will influence the buying pattern as well,” he forecasted.
Burhanuddin Pithawala, VP Conversions, OYO, said technology is going to rule both marketing and products next year as artificial intelligence will be deployed to reach out to consumers.
Gandhi of Indiafirst Life Insurance further highlighted that 2019 will be about smartly personalised communication to individual customers on many more unique parameters. “Many companies are already blending data from various sources whether an individual’s social feed or their historical transactional data to get a rare view of a persona,” he said.
With the inclusion of new technologies, digital marketing spend is bound to increase in advertising. So are advertisers ready to spend more on digital advertising?
BK Rao, Marketing Head, Parle, said, “A significant portion of marketing budget would be spent on digital advertising. There is a probability of turning everything commercial. Applications like WhatsApp might become commercial. With the introduction of e-pay bills, which has made business more transparent and responsible, accountability and transparency will increase, making this a trend.”
Another new trend to hit the market in 2019 is the social awareness-focused advertising as brands would want to come across as more purposeful.
Loyalty programme across categories will also witness a boost in 2019 and can become a trend, said Surbhi Poddar, AGM Marketing, Greenply. “In our plywood sector, loyalty programmes not only help us record increased sales but help us in engaging with our influencers like architects, interior designers, carpenters and dealers, which in turn creates a bank of brand advocates,” she said.