How do you feel about your 2018? As we’ve had conversations with our clients over the last few weeks, the universal consensus is that 2018 was a good year. However, we’ve also found that businesses in general aren’t just sitting back and expecting a repeat in 2019. Most clients recognize that things are changing, and feel they need to make some changes in their business and their approach to marketing.

The questions we’re hearing revolve around traditional media versus digital media, and how to most effectively allocate budgets. Clients continue to experience results from traditional media, but also recognize that it isn’t quite what it used to be. We’ve also witnessed some brands abandon their traditional marketing this year, instead, focusing 100% on digital in an effort to “close deals.” We see the marketing mix a little differently, and prefer to look not at traditional versus digital, but rather as supporting pieces of each phase of the marketing funnel. Some tactics are meant to build awareness, while others focus on nurturing the contact to eventually convert the sale.

So what are those tactics and things to think about as you enter this new year? This is what we are seeing for 2019 and what you need to consider.

Do more, be more social

So many people are posting great content on their blog and social media. They’re doing a great job of building an engaged audience, but they’re not taking the next step. We see many companies not commenting and responding to the comments from their engaged audience. Some companies fear this, and hide or delete things they don’t want their audience to see. If the person is offensive or sarcastic… why not respond in a way that is on brand? So if you are sassy then be sassy, if respectful then respond back in that way. But you have to spend more time responding, especially as ecommerce continues to cross over into social media platforms. So, plan on budgeting more time for this.

2019 is again the year of video.

The good news is that anybody can buy a camera and shoot some video. What most are lacking, however, is a solid strategy and the ability to articulate a meaningful story. There is an art to storytelling. To grasp and understand this art, study 20 successful videos and you will notice a common theme. Your goal should be to create your theme, be authentic and craft your story in a way that will connect with your audience. Your goal should NOT be to go viral. Going viral is rarely luck. It is after years of honing your skills of sharing stories. Another key goal is to be consistent. The days of a few high production videos and nothing else are over. People want to see the personality behind the brand, and they want to see it on a regular basis. You do this by promoting, cross promoting and creating lots of relevant video content. Capture those impromptu moments where someone says something really strong. So yes get out the high quality cameras, but don’t be afraid to shoot some video on your iPhone, maybe add a decent microphone for the phone.

Traditional media is not the same.

The results from traditional media (print, radio and TV) are not the same. Therefore, you should not use these platforms the same way you always have. You do still have the ability to leverage the media’s large presence. Use it to build awareness and drive people into your funnel. You may not pump up this traditional spend, but you can (and should) pump up the digital media portion of your spend. That’s because media outlets typically have a large digital audience on social media, their website, and their email targeting capabilities. This will help you to supplement the awareness portion of your spend to drive the audience further down the funnel.

Be open to new platforms sooner and faster, but also abandon or adapt quickly if it seems off brand or not driving the intended result.

You have to try new things, even if you are not going to use it. Try shooting some video on your iPhone and try editing in iMovie or the Windows equivalent. Once you have done it yourself you will have a new appreciation for how to visually share your stories. We are seeing videos succeed in under a minute and as long as 8 minutes. Just make sure you start with why your audience will care and not about you.

Be authentic and stop highlighting features and benefits on everything you do.

People want to know what you stand for more than they analyze the features and benefits. So, make sure you stand tall and speak loud otherwise people will miss the message. But stand for something. Be prepared to offend some folks while making yourself endearing to others. Your audience will understand and defend you if you are consistent. If you are not strong in this area, your product will become an Amazon commodity.

While these are just a few things to consider, the general theme is you must experiment more and more in marketing and you must be loud. Safe will equal extinct, whether you are targeting older or younger demographics. At the end of the day people need to see the rawness of your brand and personality. Enjoy 2019!

Article written by

partner/marketing strategist/climber of mountains