As 2018 comes to a close, it’s natural for businesses to start looking ahead at what trends will dictate marketing efforts following year. There will be article after article about what to look out for in the business realm, how to prepare for the financial year, what advertising you should invest in, ad nauseam. The trick is to know which ones to pay attention to, and which ones to glance over.

We chatted to Terry Murphy, Publisher of Marketing Mix; MJ Khan, SASOL Online Media Manager; and Leigh Andrews, Bizcommunity Editor-in-Chief: Marketing and Media, about some of the things businesses can expect in 2019 and what strategic marketing adjustments can be made to ensure success.

Artificial intelligence

“AI will increasingly dominate our business lives during 2019. AI is the most significant technology development since the smartphone. It will take over analytical information processing and it will steadily create self-generating algorithms to interpret data and it will start managing many related tasks. Be prepared by keeping yourself very informed and start testing how it can work for your business now,” says Terry Murphy.

He goes on, “Digital technology embraces much, it enables the company to integrate all the information related to the client for easy access by marketing and sales, it can search innumerable files, define relevant information which AI can greatly facilitate. It can turn salespeople into marketing consultants by providing them with so much background information relevant to the client thus turning them into a most welcome authority. The influence of sales as an isolated activity is going to rapidly diminish as digital communications rise and rise facilitating easy access by the clients. So enfranchise your salespeople.”

Build loyalty

Leigh Andrews says, “There’s no denying the power of potent digital storytelling skills, but marketers aren’t necessarily born equipped with those skills, nor do they know how to hone them. To communicate with the consumer for 2019 you need to keep things short, snappy and unexpected. If you’re simply finding new ways to state your mission and vision, you’re not going to connect and build loyalty.”

MJ Khan goes on to comment with a similar sentiment, “Celebrate and profile your people, not just leadership. Everyone has a story and everyone who is in the organisation has ‘made it.’ Don’t be afraid that they will be headhunted – we all value recognition. If anything, it strengthens loyalty as we all want to be valued and recognised.”


“One thing that will have a greater impact is voice-enabled search and companies should consider this as part of their SEO efforts,” says MJ Kahn. By 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches. It’s important to test how voice search can be integrated into your overall marketing strategy and brand activations.

If you’re looking for a few more trends and strategic insights that will inform 2019, take a look at:

5 Marketing Trends to Pay Attention to in 2019 (Forbes)

5 eCommerce Marketing Trends to Watch in 2019 (PracticalEcommerce)

Next steps to take

So what now? Here are a few simple things you can do to make sure that your bases are covered

  1. Test, test, and test again. Testing lets you see how certain technologies and trends will affect your business, and help you determine if it’s going to be effective.
  2. See what your competitors are doing, and do it differently or do it better.
  3. Don’t stop evolving your marketing strategy in the rapidly-changing digital landscape.

We’d love to hear from you. Send us an email with your own insights or send us a message on Facebook.