The year 2018 has come to an end. The new year will bring about many marketing opportunities. I have identified several marketing trends to monitor in 2019. These marketing trends include a) the rise of Google My Business, b) an increased focus on retention, c) consumers’ trust in reputable content, d) more voice search usage and e) growing popularity in USPS Informed Delivery.
Here is a snapshot of each potential marketing trend to watch in 2019.
- The Rise of Google My Business. Google My Business is a platform to help businesses reach and engage with customers across Google Search and Maps. Businesses should complete Google My Business profiles and utilize the service. Using Google My Business can potentially help businesses with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). You can learn more about Google My Business by visiting https://www.google.com/business/.
- Increased focus on retention. It is becoming increasingly difficult acquire new customers. Retaining current customers and generating positive Word-of-Mouth buzz will help businesses gain and sustain competitive advantages.
- Consumers’ trust in reputable content. Consumers can overlook your magazine ads, skip through your commercials and avoid seeing your billboard ads. Consumers will trust the advice they get from family, friends and co-workers. Provide outstanding service and encourage customers to speak [positively] about interactions with your brand.
- More Voice Search Usage. Voice-based commerce sales in the United States surpassed $1.5 billion in 2017. Voice search sales are projected to reach $40 billion by 2022. Surfacing among traditional organic online search requests is becoming harder. Consider optimizing your website for voice search in 2019.
- Growing popularity in USPS Informed Delivery®. I must first admit that I work for USPS (United States Postal Service). I have not seen Informed Delivery® mentioned as a potential 2019 marketing trend in mainstream marketing publications. USPS Informed Delivery® allows organizations to connect their hardcopy mail and digital marketing strategies by providing users (aka direct mail recipients) with a preview of their mail before it arrives. I am seeing more marketers use USPS Informed Delivery® across financial, non-profit and retail sectors. You can learn more about USPS Informed Delivery by visiting https://www.uspsdelivers.com/creating-interactive-experiences-with-informeddelivery/.
- This is an example showing how ESPN is using USPS Informed Delivery® .
I hope 2019 brings you good tidings! The marketing trends above are not meant to be comprehensive. The marketing topics above warrant attention going into 2019 based on growing interest and necessity. I hope you find this blog posting useful. Contact me if you have any questions, or comments.
Forbes.com – “5 Marketing Trends to Pay Attention To In 2019”
Entrepreneur.com – “10 Marketing Trends to Watch in 2019”
Duct Tape Marketing Podcast – “The Top Four Marketing Trends for 2019”
USPS.com – “Creating Interactive Experiences with Informed Delivery®”
Millenials will outnumber any other generation by 2019. Millenials are the members of the population born between 1980 and 1996. Millenials are known for extensively using mobile devices and multi-tasking. A recent report by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) finds that millenials like the United States Postal Service (USPS). Millenials prefer direct mail more than you think! Other USPS OIG findings are as follows:
- Millenials grew up using digital devices; however, still prefer print. USPS research shows that half of millenials agree they “like to discover what the mail brings every day and consider time spent looking at/reading mail time well spent.”
- A Gallup poll found that 95% of adults 18 to 29 enjoy receiving personal mail.
- Ninety-percent (90%) of people ages 25 to 34 find direct mail reliable.
- Sixty-two percent (62%) of millenials said they have visited a store in the past month based on information received in the mail.
- Sixty-nine percent (69%) of millenials like receiving, and using, coupons by mail from local restaurants and retailers.
What does this mean?
Millenials are extremely familiar with digital devices and marketing; however, prefer print. Furthermore, millenials interact with mail in different ways than prior generations. Advertisers and marketers that can build seamless links between direct mail and digital advertising through a “multi-channel” campaign can perhaps most benefit from direct mail advertising.
Do any of the findings above surprise you? Feel free to leave a comment.
Source: The Postal Record, October 2018
Organizations focusing solely on digital marketing should highly consider using direct mail as part of an overall cross functional marketing outreach. Many customers prefer to receive tangible marketing items. Consider using direct mail by:
- Creating and fostering a loyalty program
- Reach out to loyal shoppers through direct mail offering deals to encourage shoppers to return
- Following up with current e-mail responses
- Many organizations use e-mail to solicit customer contact information. Send direct mail to current and prospective customers to reinforce e-mail communication. Remember, some customers prefer tangible marketing mail.
- Reaching out to lapsed customers
- Send a friendly reminder to customers who have not frequented your establishment in a while.
- Sending out Happy Birthday offers
- It never hurts to say Happy Birthday.
- Sending personalized post-purchase discounts
- Encourage customers who already shop with you to return. Furthermore, offer discounts for frequent shoppers to return with a friend.
- Mailing out “welcome kits”
- Hallmark sends welcome kits for members joining its Crown Rewards program.
- Inviting customers to exclusive events
- Make customers feel special by creating an invitation only event for your best customers.
- Targeting seasonal shoppers
- Send direct mail to shoppers who have visited your location around specific seasonal timeframes.
- Reinforcing digital marketing efforts through USPS (United States Postal Service) Informed Delivery®
- USPS Informed Delivery® will let your brand send a physical mail piece with an ability for that mail piece to appear in a direct mail recipients’ e-mail inbox (along with a link going back to your brands’ website).
- The Post Office scans mail piece images; however, you must set-up an Informed Delivery® campaign to link back to your brand’s website. Here is a pretty good USPS YouTube video illustrating how Informed Delivery® works (from a marketing standpoint). Click here to see video. Informed Delivery® is a FREE service offered by the USPS simply for paying postage.
Direct mail is extremely targetable. Furthermore, it can be used to personalize marketing outreach in ways other marketing channels simply cannot. The USPS is promoting Informed Delivery® as a service to further integrate digital and direct mail capabilities. Successful marketers are using direct mail in ways that complement existing marketing efforts. For example, JC Penney is currently using USPS Informed Delivery® to promote sales (see picture below).
Direct mail can be used to complement digital marketing. Your business should consider becoming informed about direct mail!