At the pace technology develops and changes our world, forecasts quickly turn into reality and society is struggling to keep up. While I love the energy and dynamic nature of change, today’s rapid pace gives us little time to realign.
Keeping an eye on trends allows me time to interpret what is to come, so to give ourselves a heads up, let’s see what is predicted for 2019!
Brands – While trends in recent years had brands mainly focused on developing a brand experience and an online persona, the trend for authenticity is bringing the brand value back in 2019. Brand purpose, equity and promise is back in fashion and at the same time, the expectation is for brands to have a higher purpose. (Read more)
- Brands are expected to get involved in changing the world. More than marketing and activism, it is about using their power to promote constructive change. (Read more) At the same time, mega brands are also expected to work together through innovation to find solutions for shared problems and challenges. (Read more)
- Following on the point of working together, “In Grey New York’s recent study “The Famously Effective Business of Togetherness” it was stated that 88% of people felt the need for unity and 60% thought brands could help achieve this.” (Read more)
- 5G will make mobile communication even more effective and opens up new possibilities for mobile content marketing.
- Experience is more important than ever, but it cannot just be experience for experience sake. It has to be well-considered and packaged and presented. Marketing budgets have to allow for exceptional experience offerings. “Good brand in-hand experiences lead to an 85% intention to purchase and a 4:1 ROI.” (Read more)
Internet – With global internet traffic growing to 158 exabytes and mobile internet reaching the poorest communities, the internet is predicted to officially become bigger than TV in terms of minutes spent consuming content. It is good news that a new, global internet service is predicated to be up and running by end 2019 with SpaceX gigabit internet satellites to launch early in the year. (Read more) Better bandwidth in South Africa will be the highlight of my year and will definitely bring much more business opportunity.
Social Media – Reflecting what is happening in real life, social media provides excellent ways to predict and steer behaviour. Social media trends for 2019 include:
- Social listening – in essence it is monitoring the web to find brand mentions for reputation management, but it can be used so much wiser, especially to offer tailored solutions.
- Video, especially the unedited nature of live video stays popular because of the perceived trustworthiness it brings. For the same reason, and because they are more affordable than mainstream influencers, micro-influencers will continue to be the trend in 2019.
- Personalisation, premiumisation, consumer expectation – all growing both in the online and real world.
Energy – Just ask any South African who is trying to keep a small business up and running in the times of electricity load shedding, energy is very important. Having energy while protecting resources and the environment is no mean feat, but at least since 2015, the world economy grew while carbon emissions didn’t. Largely the result of investment in renewable energy, we can expect 2019 to be another step in the right direction. (Read more)
Environment – We all need to be environmentally aware, especially with the world population forecasted to reach 7,678,174,000 in 2019. Volvo’s dedicated focus on electric vehicles and Harley Davidson release of the Project LiveWire electric motorcycle, bring some new momentum. At the same time, both the world’s largest solar park and wind farm should be completed by the end of the year. Does this leave only water as a vulnerable resource? Perhaps not. The James Webb Space Telescope might just discover water on other planets!
Wellness – Health and wellness have been trending over the last years and many apps are available to manage lifestyle choices. This trend increases as social content as well as more affordable science will result in hyper-personalized wellness. (Read more)
The workplace – Automisation and artificial intelligence will of course also impact on the workplace and while we might not yet see robots take our seats in 2019, developments in technology and the rise of the mobile office allows much more flexibility and will bring change to office cultures and management styles. (Read more)
Fairness and equality – Rather old-fashioned among the latest trends, these two important values now demand human insight from technology and AI. Algorithms are expected to have human insight and to make just decisions.
Self-driving cars – They have been on the prediction charts for a while now, but according to those in the know, they will really start making a difference in our lives this year. The EU is permitting self-driving cars on their roads and while developments might be slower in South Africa, I can’t wait to see what effect this solution to drinking and driving will have for wine tourism and restaurants in the winelands.