Over the course of this year, technology, automation, and big data played a significant role in how we conducted our activity as marketers. In light of these developments, what marketing trends can we anticipate in 2019?

With reports suggesting a shift in consumer patterns, including an increased concern for privacy and data storage, market forces now prognosticate tech-driven marketing strategies in the face of consumers who remain wary about divulging information.

With all this information in hand, I’ve put together some of the top marketing trends I foresee arising in 2019. Continue reading to discover some of my insights.

Augmented and virtual reality will become more important

Among the tools marketers will use over the next year to improve their activity, augmented and virtual reality will gradually feature in more campaigns.

While the cost of content production for these strategies is on the higher end, augmented reality will prove highly useful for companies whose products can be promoted through interactive walk-throughs. Further, virtual reality will also be leveraged for more effective storytelling, especially for solutions that are unlikely to inspire immediate conversion. These could even include the products and services offered by insurance or safety equipment companies.

In this way, both AR and VR are likely to form a part many marketers’ arsenals, despite the level of expenditure required.

Chatbots will grow in use

A chatbot is an automated tool used by companies to engage online visitors, on behalf of company employees.

While there are different types of chatbots – informational, AI-powered, and utility chatbots, to name just a few – I anticipate that these will become a key marketing trend in the next year.

It is predicted, in fact, that by 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be dealt with by chatbots.

Beyond automating customer interactions and making this process more expedient for marketers, chatbots allow us to use actual audience conversations to leverage unique insights. This allows marketers to structure or design websites/products/services in a manner that truly serves customer needs.

Beyond this, they also give us the opportunity to engage with customers exactly where they are, as opposed to where we anticipate they will be, connecting businesses to more individuals than before.

According to current estimations, marketers in Australia are looking to increase investment in chatbots by 22% in 2018.

Data security will become a high priority

With major privacy scandals such as the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data breach having taken place earlier this year, individuals are now more reluctant to share personal data – a threat to marketers worldwide.

With the General Data Protection Regulation taking effect in many parts of the world, a greater duty will be placed on businesses to collect and maintain data responsibly in 2019. For marketers, implementing more robust data and privacy policies, alone, however, will prove insufficient.

In this regard, placing customer privacy at the forefront of messaging will prove equally critical, in order to ride out this wave of distrust.

Voice search will become a major search format

Another marketing trend guaranteed to revolutionise how marketers work is the change in the way consumers search for information. In this regard, voice search is set to transform how marketers present and structure their content over the next year.

Given the growing use of smart assistants, whether leveraged through smartphones or smart home assistants, voice search may even disrupt standard SEO practices. This is because Siri, Alexa, and all other assistants are more likely to return the first best result, rather than a set of options.

In this way, marketers will need to create content that targets the conversational language used in voice requests.

Another factor to consider is that Google may not be the primary search engine used by all smart assistants. This is especially important because voice search will not just be used in homes, but in offices as well.

Key takeaways

As 2019 approaches, newer marketing trends are likely to become more prominent, requiring you to rethink certain strategies and approaches.

In this regard, remaining immobile or sedentary can prove damaging. Keeping up with the times demands investment and a reorientation about how we ca