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The world of branding and marketing, especially in the context of the internet, seems to evolve more and more each second, meaning that it’s harder than ever to differentiate yourself and maintain a consistent and contemporary brand image. That will be true for 2019 even more than it was for 2018 and 2017 before it, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The more you can plan ahead, the more you can equip your business for the ever-changing marketing landscape, the better positioned you will be to achieve your long term goals.

Here are four marketing and branding trends to watch for 2019:

1. Ads are Becoming Less & Less Effective

It’s no secret that ads have long lost their position at the top of the marketing totem pole, but with each passing year, they seem to fall further to the bottom. A Nielsen study conducted in 2015 demonstrated that the top four most-trusted marketing sources were: people you know, branded sites, editorial sites, and other customer reviews. Ads, online or otherwise stayed near the very bottom of that list, and it’s unlikely that that will change anytime soon.

That’s not to say that traditional advertising needs to go the way of disco and the dodo, but it needs to be more focused and relevant to consumers than it has ever been before. Creating engaging, educational ads that border more on content marketing than actual advertising, and developing other digital advertising platforms like influencers, enable modern companies to advertise more strategically than a simple banner ad.

2. Individuality is at a Premium

In today’s digital world standing out is more difficult than ever. It’s no longer enough to have a good design – you need to showcase why you’re better in more ways than one, and that means providing engaging and dynamic content.

Video, podcasts, and other multimedia forms are becoming more powerful than ever when it comes to making a good impression and attracting prospective customers. But that also means highlighting more of what makes your company different. Create a more effective digital marketing arsenal with assets designed to showcase your individuality, as opposed to strict sales promotions.

3. Understanding Your Customers is More Important than Ever.

With ever-increasing evolutions in technology and digital marketing, new trends in consumer behavior and communication need to be closely monitored and tracked in order to better understand what sells. If your target audiences won’t touch LinkedIn, but that’s where you post all of your content, you are both wasting time and missing valuable opportunities to reach prospective customers.
Hone in on the platforms and technologies that your customers are most likely to trust and interact with to ensure you’re getting the marketing ROI you need.

4. Highlighting The Human Element

Let’s face it, martech and marketing automation are here to stay; they make sales and marketing processes easier, more scalable, and more cost-effective, but they are not without their pitfalls. These technologies often come at the expense of the ‘real world’ relationships companies would have typically built with prospective customers, even if they are designed to enhance them.

Combined with the fact that the whole nature of digital marketing is impersonal, companies need to go out of their way to add a human element to their marketing efforts: a personal touch or direct communication that tells prospective customers, “this is more than another website.” Conveying your company’s humanity and personality is paramount to bridging that gap between prospect and customer.

Brand Iron is a strategic branding and marketing agency with an integrated approach to digital marketing. For more tips, trends, and recommendations for how to revolutionize your branding and marketing strategy for the coming year, contact Brand Iron today.

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