Industry Insights

Podcast: Digital Marketing Trends and an Interview with Valtech

It's not very hard to find a laundry list of which digital marketing trends will be clutch for brands in 2019 and often, you'll see carryover for what was predicted to be significant in 2018. While they're all relevant to what digital marketing teams need to focus on, we wanted to dive a little deeper into a few trends to go beyond the description and offer more in-depth insight into how voice, video and social media could look in 2019.

For example, voice technology is important but what about how voice will disrupt search? Is video marketing getting passed by for voice and will it ever get the attention it deserves? And finally, what will happen to Facebook in the social media marketing landscape considering the recent developments surrounding their mishandling of the Cambridge Analytica scandal?

We will cover all of this in the November installment of our podcast and feature special guest Allison Abraham Simpkins, SVP of North America for Valtech to hear her thoughts on which trends will have the most impact in 2019 and what is missing from the average digital marketing campaign. To shed light on a recent case study we shared with Valtech and Sitecore, Allison will also describe some of the biggest challenges facing digital marketing teams in the beauty market and how large digital teams can work effectively together. 

It’s great to have Allison join us because I’ve now met her in person a few times at various events and always love to run into her. She is so knowledgeable about the space and so excited about what people can do to transform their business in this digital age. Which is perfect, Valtech is a global agency with a vibrant feel and visceral investment in helping global businesses exist in what they call the economy of experience. We’ve seen a few great projects of theirs, at Sitecore Symposium we saw what they were able to achieve for a non-profit organization the Sick Kids Foundation in Toronto. It was widely published so if you have a minute, check it out, we were blown away.


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Voice Search Will Change the SEO Game

Voice technology is set to pop up in an incredible array of markets. Organizations in finance, health, retail, human resources, education etc are already leveraging voice to increase user/customer engagement and ease workloads. If anyone is looking to modernize their engagement strategy, conversational technology is where he or she are turning.

When it comes to marketing though, it opens up a whole new channel digital marketers can leverage in terms of engaging consumers and even purchasing air time. The daunting characteristic of voice for marketers though is what it’s going to do to search. But just like with anything, marketers have a choice to either be intimidated by this or inspired by it.  

I could list a statistic right here on how the percentage of searches will be conducted by voice in the next year or two or how many voice devices will be purchased but truth be told, how many of us already have voice search devices hanging out in our pockets right now? Or adding a smart home device to our Christmas list if we don’t already have one? The point here is in 2019, marketers shouldn’t be waiting and wondering what voice search is going to do to squash their SEO game. They should be thinking more about how they’re going to strategize their play on the new playing field voice search will offer because it will be here before you know it.  

One point of difference voice could offer marketers is the greater insight into how consumers are thinking/asking about product, service or brand. The average person can type 40 words per minute but can speak nearly 150 words per minute and are more likely to refine their searches with repetition by voice than typing. With more being said in multiple inquiries, marketers might end up with a whole lot more data to work with on how to better serve up the content customers are looking for.   

With voice though overall, as more and more people join into the smart home revolution and voice devices become more prolific, there is more significant opportunity for brands to simply exist in their consumer's daily life rather than hoping their consumer comes across an ad or a banner.

Video Marketing Should Not Be Overlooked

The use of video in marketing is still a little underrated and it absolutely shouldn’t be. Can you imagine if as a marketer you know 92% of those who read your content would share it? They won’t. But if the message of your content were a video they would. Or just think if the content on your landing page could increase your conversion rate by 80%. That’s possible but not proven but do you know what will? You guessed it, video!

When I asked Allison which trend she felt would be most transformative she had this to say: "If I look at a trend for 2019, I think video. I think video specifically because customers want to be able to find, consume, and share, really informative and animated content in the fastest possible way, we have short attention spans these days. If you can do that, and people show that video is a faster path to purchase so if you've got a really good video strategy and you're giving engaging content to your consumers and you're driving that path to purchase or whatever your end goal is, I think that's a big win for you. It doesn't mean that things like voice, because we know voice will be the hot topic and is the hot topic, I think they say that statistically, by 2022, 50% of homes are going to have some kind of smart speaker. So, I am not saying you can’t look at those and start strategizing on those but, if you haven’t got a video strategy of how your consumers are consuming animated good content, I think you’re missing the boat.”

Facebook’s Troubles Might Impact Their Ad Revenue

This topic is a hot one with digital marketing but I find lately when I think about this, I think more about the turmoil at Facebook and what that could be doing to change the social strategy for brands. Last Friday, the New York Times put out a lengthy article on the inner workings of Facebook following some of the scandals that have been uncovered. I read that and as a follow-up, Kara Swisher from Recode and Scott Galloway from Gartner L2 dedicated a whole episode of their podcast Pivot to discussing it if anyone wants to go more in-depth on it.

Its early stages but I think in the next 12-18 months some brands might be rethinking which platforms they want to align themselves with, based on the knowledge of where their most engagement comes from of course. Even though Facebook owns Instagram, I feel like more of their innovation in appealing to the consumer goes into that platform so we might see the ad spend there go up vs Facebook. The good news is too, Pinterest is growing as an advertising platform so that could be an exciting new avenue for some brands to leverage in place of a lighter Facebook strategy.

When thinking about this or any re-positioning that may happen for digital marketing teams in 2019, I will share what Allison had to say about what she finds to be the most effective tool for digital marketers today: “It really comes back to measurement. The pressure is on brands right now to meet their customers’ needs and engagement across all the different touch points and I think people want superior engagement now, wherever they are globally. The brands that are going to be able to test and react the most with their different campaigns they put out there, start small, test it, look at the ROI, look at the measurement you’re getting and then take the bigger initiative because really, if you can show your ROI in a small win, that’s going to be able to pivot the digital campaigns that you’re going to be doing. So, brands that we work with, if they’re doing that well, they’re doing it on a small scale, testing it out across the omnichannel and then rolling out into larger initiatives. And, that’s all about adapting and reacting to your customers and building an economy of experience.”

Ending Notes

That’s all for November. Our next podcast will be feature a member of the team over at Progress and focus on software vendors and the relationship they share with their customers. Its more often we think about a brand’s relationship with their consumer but we sometimes forget that those who create the platforms digital business is run on, have a relationship to manage of their own with their customers aka the brands that utilize them.

Laura Myers

Laura Myers

A digital business, marketing and social media enthusiast, Laura thrives on asking unique, insightful questions to ignite conversation. At an event or remotely, she enjoys any opportunity to connect with like-minded people in the industry.

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