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With 2019 just around the corner, Mark Stringer, founder of PrettyGreen, pauses to consider what the top ten trends affecting marketing are likely to be as we hurtle towards a new year.

 

Fitness - Live from your lounge

Working up a sweat - online fitness classes will make an impact in 2019
Working up a sweat - online fitness classes will make an impact in 2019
 
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The convenience of home workouts has always been popular (think Jane Fonda); today there are literally millions of options available - from endurance to balance, speed to strength and a world of perfecting specific skills. As premium cycling brand Peloton rides into the UK, we’re likely to see the growth of more live online classes. Making sessions live, combined with the ability to measure performance/ compete with one another/ personalise your plan will craft out many more niches for brands to serve. 

 

Space - the new marketing frontier? 

Space - the final frontier for marketing opportunities
Space - the final frontier for marketing opportunities
 
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With Richard Branson announcing that Virgin Galactic (SpaceShipTwo) could be up in space before Christmas, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon set to follow closely behind, space opens up an entirely new world for brands to play in. Celebrities will be part of the cohort defying gravity, further peaking media interest - brands quick off the mark will reap the greatest rewards. 

 

Mindfulness will take a rest 

Sleep is key for productivity
Sleep is key for productivity
 
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The idea that sleep (like lunch) is for wimps, is about to smashed. Sleep is going to become the new battlefield for mindfulness and health. While good sleep has always been promoted, only now are we beginning to understand the key cognitive and physical benefits. From next year and beyond we’ll see more sleep pods in the office, with brands and companies beginning to dial up their sleep credentials.

 

Love thy neighbour 

Love thy neighbour - the Pepsi ad showed how not to do it
Love thy neighbour - the Pepsi ad showed how not to do it
 
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It’s not just Brexit that will divide us in 2019. Unlike any other time in recent history, the threat of global conflict looms heavy; from the Middle East, Russia, Korea and China. The arguments, the uncertainty and the political jockeying are not going to abate anytime soon, which provides an interesting opportunity for brands. Not necessarily political stance but an emotional one. We have already seen efforts from brands to try to unite people across political or social divides. 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.  However, when entering this space care, craft and credibly are fundamental.

 

Mobile will become supercharged 

5G will make inroads in 2019
5G will make inroads in 2019
 
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This one won’t kick in until the end of 2019 when the first networks will start to roll out their fifth generation mobile technology; 5G is going to be the rocket fuel we’ve all been waiting for from a mobile data point of view. Websites will load in the blink of an eye, HD films will download in seconds (vs. the 10 or so minutes we currently wait) and buffering will be a distant memory. 5G will also vastly increase the speed that machines communicate with one other. Brands will be more ambitious and creative with their plans, confidently bringing mobile content to the fore. 

 

It’s just not cricket 

Anyone for cricket?
Anyone for cricket?
 
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Although it’s unlikely that cricket will have the same impact as the rugby or football World Cup does on our sense of pride and optimism; the Cricket World Cup is coming to the UK in May and June 2019, and we’ll be able to hear the sound of leather against willow across England and Wales. The multi-national aspect of the teams from 16 countries, combined with the global reach and diverse ethnicity, potentially gives brands the opportunity to really dial up an incredibly local and relevant marketing campaign. 

 

Blockchain 

Blockchain and tokenisation could revolutionise sports marketing
Socios.com – football fan tokens
 
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Blockchain this, blockchain that. Every day the media is awash with stories. But the majority of us don’t?understand the positive impact that it is potentially going to have on so many different aspects of our lives. 2019 will begin to see the adoption across some interesting playgrounds, such as sport and ticketing, Fan Tokenisation in Football and even food provenance.? Whether we understand it or not, blockchain is going to change the way we buy. 

 

Find your voice 

Advancements in voice technology will continue in 2019
Advancements in voice technology will continue in 2019
 
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We all joke about how bad both Alexa and Siri are at doing anything you ask, but there are now over 45,000 skills on Alexa, indicative of how voice is continuing to grow. As adoption becomes more mainstream, brands will move from gimmicks to finding ways to add real value to consumers lives.? By 2020 it’s predicted that every major brand will have a voice strategy baked into its marketing plans, so time for us all to get thinking. ? 

 

Who’s influencing the influencers? 

Black fishing scandal on Instagram - watch out charlatans
Black fishing scandal on Instagram - watch out charlatans
 
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Influencers aren’t going anywhere; but (much like the blackfishing scandal that blew up on Instagram) the world is waking up to the charlatans, the false followers, false views and utter BS that abounds this space. Brands that will continue to do well with influencers will be the brands that look at it as a channel – who see influencers as broadcasters and publishers in their own right, and who work with them, collaboratively and respectfully, to ensure credible and authentic output.? 

 

Touch it, feel it, smell it, crave it, experience it? 

LEGO Princess brand experience from PrettyGreen
LEGO Princess brand experience from PrettyGreen
 
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Brick and mortar stores continue to struggle, making this important consumer touchpoint, and related connection with product, harder. This does not mean brands can’t meaningfully connect with people in the physical world though. Even if not in stores, consumers are still out there - we just have to work harder to get in front of them! Good brand in-hand experiences lead to an 85% intention to purchase and a 4:1 ROI. 2019 and beyond will be a time when brand experiences matter more than ever and budgets will need to shift to reflect this.

 

Mark Stringer, founder of PrettyGreen