What’s Hot, What’s Not, & Where to Devote Your Marketing Efforts in the New Year
Bye, 2018! Another year’s over, and if you’re like us, you’re busy reviewing last year’s progress while keeping a keen eye on what’s to come in the new year. Now is the right time to start planning your marketing strategy for 2019. We reached out to a few folks across Graphcom to find out what marketing trends they see coming in 2019. Here’s what they said.
10 Trends to Watch Out for in 2019
1. Video Becomes the Content of Choice
“It’s estimated that more than 80 percent of internet traffic will be video by 2021. YouTube follows Facebook to be the second-most popular social media platform. All signs point to video becoming the preferred way to share reviews, how-tos, ads, and more. That means video should be a key part of your content marketing plan in 2019.”
– Kelly Brooks, Creative Director
2. Gen Z: The Next Generation of Donors
“Nonprofit organizations often spend their time researching giving trends among Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials. While it’s important to focus on these audiences, don’t discount the value of the upcoming age group of Gen Z, who are now entering college and the workforce. The Gen Z group is easily overlooked; however, they currently make up 27% of the population and show increasing signs of the affinity to give to, or to be involved in, a nonprofit organization.
Did you know?
- 30% of Gen Z have already donated to an organization
- 50% are seeking a job in volunteering
- 10% want to start their own nonprofit
These numbers are expected to continue to rise over the next few years.
Unsure of the difference in a Millennial and Gen Z? Here are two that you want to be aware of:
- Most notably, Gen Z will be the first mobile-only generation. While Millennials have increased their average use of mobile devices, Gen Z prefer to conduct all activity through their phone, so be sure to pay special attention to your mobile outreach strategies. Speak to this audience in a simple, concise manner, in an easily digestible format such as infographics and videography.
- Gen Z, also known as “Philanthroteens,” seek out volunteer opportunities to enhance their resume. This is an ideal time to tell your story and the impact your organization has on the world, to build trust with this audience and move them to take action. Now is the perfect time to involve this group in fundraising activities such as social ambassadors or event volunteers, encouraging an early affinity to your organization and increasing the likelihood that they’ll turn into a donor.”
– Ashley Woodford, Business Development
3. And the Survey Says…
“When was the last time you surveyed your target audience to gauge and understand their level of satisfaction with your organization? Do you truly know if your audience is receiving your message as you intended? Did they have a delightful user experience the last time your organization had a touchpoint with them? What do they think you can do better?
These examples and many other questions like these are key to improving your customers’ user experience with your organization. Strategically developing and implementing a successful survey program can be a valuable tool in your marketing toolkit. The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to consider implementing a survey program at your organization.
A strategically well-designed survey will help you gain the response rates you’re looking for to help make improvements across your organization. It can also help you understand how to better meet your audience where they want to be met using their preferred medium of connection. The opportunities and possibilities to gain insightful information are endless. As you plan for 2019, don’t overlook this powerful tool!”
– Dave Sandoe, Executive Vice President and Director of Business Development
4. Speed Kills! Or, In This Case, Lack of Speed Kills
“As the web continues to evolve and settle in as the king of marketing, slow websites will be more harshly penalized by search engines (namely, Google). So, while huge images, large videos, in-depth CSS, and crazy amounts of content continue to flood the web, be careful of what they do to your site speed. It could crush your SEO score and no one will find the eight-minute video about your new teacup miniature pig! Check out your website’s speed score here.”
– Troy Dean, Vice President of Creative
5. Signs of the Times
“We’re seeing an increase for internal wall graphics, complete wall vinyl installs with dimensional graphics. We’ve been doing a lot of office spaces that include window etch vinyl on interior glass. We’ve also been estimating digital signage.”
– Bill Higgins, Director of Manufacturing
6. Embrace Automation
“Connecting disparate systems has become easier than ever, though there’s still a need for manual operations. With organizations realizing the value in automating simple, mindless tasks, we’ll see a bigger push for automation and fewer manually-run processes. Aside from being able to focus more on consumers, businesses will also be able to leverage the measurability that comes with increased automation and plan more strategically.
With the increase in automated systems, data privacy and security will need to be reevaluated. In 2019, we’ll see a bigger focus on data ethics and establishing codes and standards that better regulate the collection and use of data for both organizations and consumers.”
– Christina Karolewicz, Business Intelligence Analyst
7. Evidence-Based Personalization
“This year, we’ll help our clients learn to rely more on what data tells them (us) and less on ‘this is how we’ve always done it before.’ We’ve seen success when clients let us learn from the data that we mine from a campaign.
To that end, we’ll be able to focus on more personalization in materials and delivering relevant targeted messages. We’ll also see a focus on machine learning as it relates to direct mail and how we can be much more effective and provide a better ROI for clients using predictive modeling. In other words, we’ll use machine learning to accelerate the speed at which really precise results can be achieved.”
– Matt Livelsberger, President
8. Getting More Messages Out There with Signage
“Recently, we’ve seen lots of revamping of office spaces, applied wall graphics, and interior signage consisting of printed vinyl, acrylic, and routed dimensional pieces. This signage has often reinforced company marketing directives, branding, or core values. Think signage items that can be used on tours to explain the company’s work to visiting clients, boost morale by adding more interesting elements to otherwise empty areas, or unify employee goals/mindsets through inspirational messaging.
I’ve noticed a large amount of Main IDs being created using real stone masonry or faux stone—both production methods to incorporate a natural look for large housing properties/communities. These seem to fit well as the stone provides a sense of strength and community with the large natural shapes of different sizes and shapes coming together to hold up and frame the sign containing the name of the community.
We’ve worked with a number of properties to redo old or damaged exterior signage on properties. This includes revamping signage systems to fit new branding goals of the property, to keep important messaging visible for community safety, to enforce HOA policy, or to improve the aesthetics for those living in the area.
A few other trends to think about include layering materials for interior signage; ADA or other room labeled signs using multiple depths and materials that correlate with surrounding interior design elements; and small businesses doing larger, full printed wraps versus just cut vinyl lettering. Internally lit LED sign cabinets and channel letters seem to be on the rise among our clients to display their messaging clearly at night. This past year, we’ve also seen more banner stands being used for traveling events and or meetings.”
– Justin Cook, Signage Designer
9. More Powerful Printing
“One thing that jumps out to me is mail list management. Traditionally, you would run a mail list through the National Change of Address database and maybe one other set of criteria to scrub a list, but it seems clients are asking for more in-depth work to their list as they realize the postage savings when working with a good database.
One of the big trends I’m seeing at large from a global print perspective is the utilization of inkjet technology. Not only is it being used for high-speed printing in the direct mail market but also being integrated into more of an offset printing type role. With its ability to print with little makeready, it’s becoming a replacement for short-run printing. It does still have some limitations as far as speed, but as the technology continues to develop these presses will get faster. Here’s a quick video including the press printing variable data.”
– Mike Beatty, Director of Operations
10. Stay Vigilant
“Whether a big enterprise or a small mom-and-pop shop, all businesses are vulnerable and proactively sought after as an attack target, whether it’s by a terrorist group, criminal network, or an independent hacker.
From PHI to SSN or intellectual property, every brand is trusted with information that translates to monetary value. This data can then be sold or used for strategic espionage and data collection. Organizations and cybersecurity professionals should constantly be examining their networks and looking for ways to improve their security controls.
A big misconception is that once a standard is reached (e.g. SOC, SOX, PCI), there’s no need to continue to improve because the standard has been met. These standards are in place as a baseline and should be continually improved upon. The bad guys are always improving their attack strategy so cybersecurity professionals should be constantly improving their security controls.
If something seems like an odd request or out of the normal, question it. Spear phishing attacks that impersonate a CEO and ask for money to be sent somewhere can be easily avoided by looking at email headers to make sure the address is from the person in question. Another simple way to prevent these scams from happening can be as simple as picking up your phone and calling your CEO to verify they sent the email and want you to proceed with the request.”
– Will Barnum, Director of IT