This is the year that more becomes less; marketers beware. I’ve put on my marketing and marketing technology prediction hat to share three trends with you.
I would like to wish all my readers a happy 2019. At the beginning of this new year, I would like to test my powers and lay out some predictions. I believe (maybe hope?) this is the year that three long-overdue trends will impact marketers and marketing technology. In any case, I am going on the record; let’s see if I have egg on my face in December.
1. There Is Too Much Content Out There
In 2019, I hope we finally challenge the adage that “content is king.” Maybe a few years back it was king, but now there are too many claimants to the throne and too many smaller and smaller kingdoms. For example, just exploring all the great content on Netflix can take up several months of full-time viewing. Then there is HBO, Hulu, YouTube, etc. Maybe saying that content is a commodity would be taking things too far, but content is no longer king.
Having a better understanding of context and timing will be much more important. Delivering the right content at the right time, to the right person is the next king.
2. Marketers Will Finally Agree That Martech Is a Tool, Not a Strategy
Too many marketers have been confusing the latest marketing technology with customer strategy. Many times this misconception is fed by the solution providers themselves.
I believe that the right martech build can provide great dividends and represents an agile, data-driven platform to better engage with your customers. However, it will not make your customer engage with you. Customers have to like you and feel attachment to your brand for them to engage.
Before investing in additional martech, there are fundamental questions that must be addressed. Such as:
- Why do customers want to engage with us?
- What is the level of engagement that is reasonable to expect?
Too many times, I see marketers simply push for higher and higher engagement numbers, with no thought as to what is reasonable or sensible. If I gave each relevant brand in my life 15 minutes per week, I would not have time for anything else, In some cases, limited engagement is probably a good thing. For example, my local utility is very relevant in my life, but If I must engage with them, it is probably a bad sign.
3. A Major Shift in Consumerism — From More to Less
With so much content and so many products and services available, literally at the push of a button, many consumers will look to actively filter out products and services that have little or no meaning to them. For example, I recently took a hiatus from my Netflix subscription because I was no longer able to engage with the content. Netflix has really great content, but I am simply overwhelmed and the shows are all blending together. The (anti?) consumer trend of minimalism will be growing. While few consumers are likely to become minimalist, there will be a growing trend to ask the minimalist’s question before every purchase: “Will buying this really make me happier?”
Here’s Your Fortune, Marketers
I believe that 2019 will be the year we have a reckoning between a glut of supply and the inherent limits of our ability to consume. This conflict will not only play out in the B2C markets, but also within B2B markets; especially when it comes to marketing. Most senior marketers I have spoken to readily admit that they are horribly confused and overwhelmed by the marketing tech world. So many choices, so many overlapping solutions and each one claiming to be the “answer.”
In 2019, we need to start asking if we are worthy of the headspace we are asking of our customers and also how we manage our own headspace so that we can become better marketers.