Alyson S. Campbell, CEO & Founder of Heart & Soul PR
With each new year, we evaluate as marketers what tools are truly valuable and what isn’t really moving the needle. As we head into 2019, here are some of the key trends we can expect to influence the market:
Technology will continue to have a huge impact on marketing.
With continued innovation in AI, AR/VR, practitioners can create even more compelling assets for their clients and projects. These new tools also allow PR practitioners with additional content optimization in new and enhanced ways. We are storytellers, after all.
According to a report from Adobe, just 15% of enterprises are currently using AI, but 31% said it is on their agenda for the next 12 months. In a survey done by MeMSQL of over 1,600 marketing professionals, 61%, regardless of company size, pointed to machine learning and AI as their company’s most significant data initiative for next year.
And for those businesses who already cited that they were using the technology, the top-performing companies surveyed said they were more than twice as likely as their peers to be using the technology for marketing (28% vs. 12%).
Instagram will continue to grow as a platform thanks to its growing number of users and better advertising options than before.
Earlier this summer, Instagram hit more than 1 billion monthly active users, growing from 800 million in September 2017. As a result of enhanced advertising options for marketers including Stories, more marketers have continued to embrace the platform, with more than 25 million business accounts and 2 million active advertisers on the platform, according to Statista.
But Facebook can’t be ignored and as the owner of Instagram. The Baby Boomers segment (55+) is now the biggest group of users on Facebook. Facebook Messenger presents a continued growth opportunity. Across the board, 1.3 billion people use Messenger every month and 8 billion messages are exchanged between people and businesses every month, according to a report by Communications Marketing Review.
Coworking/flexible workspace will only continue to grow.
There are currently more than 14,411 co-working spaces around the globe and this number is expected to rise to 3.8 million by 2020 and 5.1 million by 2022. According to a report on Allwork.space, coworking spaces now take up 27 million square feet of office space across the United States and have grown more than 200% over the past five years. In major metropolitan cities like London, New York and Chicago, coworking spaces are expanding at an annual rate of 20%. Much of the growth of the coworking space has been fueled by the growth of self-employment (33% of working America is now self-employed) in addition to other flexible work set ups by companies offering flexible work hours and work spaces to attract more talent.
Marketing Week’s Career and Salary Survey 2019 shows that flexible working is very important or important to 90.1% marketers, according to a sample of 4,400 people working across the industry. WeWork, is set to become the world’s second most valuable startup after Uber, with now more than 287 locations worldwide. Beyond entrepreneurs who largely drive its customer base, startups and larger organizations are getting in on the flexible co-working space trend. Brands including HSBC, Samsung and Microsoft, as examples, have all taken space in WeWork.
These are just a few of the trends we can expect as we head into the New Year. There are certain to be more tools and other related key trends that will guide our marketing practices, especially with the continued rise of technology advancements, social media platform capabilities and the changing ways in which we work.
About the Author: Alyson S. Campbell is the CEO & Founder of Heart & Soul PR, and has worked in the public relations and media industry for nearly 15 years including for leading agencies including Porter Novelli, Padilla and FleishmanHillard. Her experience spans the business to business and business to consumer industries and she has developed and implemented award-winning campaigns for clients including Procter & Gamble, Mercedes-Benz, Hewlett-Packard and Snapfish by HP, British Airways, Timberland, Hass Avocado Board, Special Olympics World Games, Girl Scouts of the USA and many more. For more information, visit www.heartandsoulpr.com