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New Year New Direct Marketing Trends!

1. Customers will consume more content, and fewer ads in 2019.

We talk a lot about consumers tiring of email promotions, banner ads and paid social media. The truth is, consumers are running away from digital ads with record speed.

By the end of the year, 30% of all Internet users will use ad blockers, according to eMarketer. This is something marketers must take into account in 2019. How are you going to reach an increasingly savvy consumer base that is becoming more and more prone to tuning you out?

There are several strategies to consider implementing:

  • Ramp up value-add content marketing
  • Seek referral partnerships
  • Increase influencer marketing
  • Invest in direct mail marketing, which consumers actually enjoy. Pro tip: Use direct mail as a consumer-friendly channel for the above 3 strategies, too. For example, send postcards as part of a referral program.

2. Video will make up more traffic share.

The value of video marketing has been overstated in the past, but the trend is strong and doesn’t appear to be slowing down. In fact, Cisco anticipates video will encompass more than 85% of all Internet traffic in the U.S. by 2020. 

The good news is, video is no longer out of reach to brands with small and medium-sized budgets. Any brand can create a highly shareable videos with basic equipment simply by being engaging and authentic. And, you can drive even more traffic to your videos with strong multi-channel marketing campaigns. You might even take an online+offline approach by using a “watch our video” CTA on your direct mail marketing.

3. Customers will expect seamless cross channel experiences.

If you have not already integrated email, direct mail, social media and mobile marketing strategies into cohesive campaigns, 2019 is the time. Cross-channel marketing is the way of the future. In fact, nearly 90% of retailers say cross-channel or omnichannel marketing is key to their success, yet many struggle to implement truly integrated marketing. 

Pro tip: If you’re using a CRM or marketing automation platform, it is easy to add direct mail to your digital marketing workflows. Integrate Inkit with your automation platform to add direct mail triggers to campaigns. See our growing list of direct mail integrations here.

4. Artificial intelligence marketing will gain steam.

AI marketing will surely gain ground in the coming year. Many marketing teams are using more artificial intelligence technology as they aim to track consumer behavior and anticipate needs. AI can help you understand which kinds of messages your customers want at different stages of the funnel, and even forecast channel fatigue. If you use AI to manage channel frequency, when you receive signals of email overload or general digital ad overwhelm, you can reach out to consumers via direct mail marketing.

5. Personalization will become the new standard.

One of the most effective ways to connect with customers is to reach them with highly relevant, tailored messages. And you can now do this on every channel—even direct mail marketing with Inkit’s variable data dynamic content insertion. In 2019, you really have no excuse not to personalize your content across channels allowing for a cohesive, smooth customer journeys that maximize conversion and yield loyalty.

Is Your Marketing Plan Ready for 2019?

As you consider how to implement these and other trends into your 2019 marketing strategy, we have just one more suggestion. Add a personal touch wherever you can this year. With the proliferation of marketing automation technology, there is a temptation to step back and use AI more and more. While machine learning has made great advances, bots cannot provide the human connection that is lacking in most ads. Whenever possible, interact with your audience. Find moments in the customer experience where you and your team can have real conversations with customers, and then reinforce this human connection with more tactile, personal marketing messages—like triggered postcards, helpful text message reminders, voicemail confirmations and value-add content marketing throughout the customer lifecycle.

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