It’s that time of year again! No, I’m not talking about curling up in front of the TV to watch your favorite classic holiday films (though it is that time of year, too). December is the month where we begin to think about the new year – in this case, 2019 – and everything that lies ahead. As is our tradition here at WSI, we like to make a few predictions while we look toward the future.
Dating back to 2014, we’ve made a UK Phone Number marketing predictions post for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the entire reason we started doing these marketing predictions posts: Rand Fishkin’s annual predictions on the Moz blog, which he began doing all the way back in 2011.
Since we like to keep things real here on the WSI digital marketing blog, we’ll grade the claims we made last year, just to make sure we’ve still got the Nostradamus touch.
Here’s the grading scale we created for the OG predictions post in 2014:
- Oracle (+2) – when we’re so right it’s like we channeled that nice lady from The Matrix
- Oracle In-Training (+1) – we didn’t quite see the whole picture, but hey, we still saw the future
- Clear As Mud (0) – we weren’t right, but we weren’t wrong, either
- Just A Bit Outside (-1) – we tried to paint the corner of the plate, but the ump didn’t give us the call
- Swing And A Miss (-2) – like a batter who expects fastball and gets a curve, we weren’t close
For 2018, we made these five predictions:
#1: The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Powered Future of Marketing Will Take Shape
We won’t pretend this was an overly hard prediction to make but hey, when you’re right, you’re right. There is no doubt about it – AI is changing the way marketers do their jobs and thus, the way businesses market their products and services. Deep learning is giving marketers access to unprecedented amounts of extremely detailed data, which in turn is plugged into automated systems and platforms. There’s still a strong need for human marketers (so we’re not panicking just yet) but AI is no longer just part of marketing’s future – it’s the present.
#2: Smart Digital Assistants and Chatbots Become Mainstream
We’re just going to leave this here: Why Your Customers Want to Chat and How it Can Change Your Business. And this too: Why Advanced Technologies like Chatbots Continue to Rely on Traditional Marketing. If we’re writing about a topic this often a year after predicting it’d be a big deal, you better be giving us two full oracle points.
#3: Marketers Start Creating Augmented Reality (AR) Content
It’s not mainstream, so we aren’t going to take full marks, but AR content definitely became a thing in 2018. Apple has ARKit, Facebook has AR Studio, and big brands Ikea, Pepsi and Sephora have done massive AR content campaigns. AR content is only going to grow from here.
#4: Influencer Marketing Maintains Its Foothold
Influencer marketing not only maintained its foothold – it continued to grow. See for yourself:
#5: More Brands Invest in Perfecting Their Customer Experience
We do this once a year. We feel strongly about something, make a prediction on it, and then it’s nearly impossible to properly grade. In our mind, businesses should absolutely be investing more money into improving, and then perfecting, their customer experience journey. But whether it’s actually happening is much harder to say. We’ll call it even.