Not every trend that comes, stays. And sometimes it’s better to optimize old strategies than try new ones all the time. But especially the digital business is changing fast and innovators can realize big advantages. But even if you do not want to go with all the trends, you should know them. We offer you a foretaste of the year 2019!
Ecommerce on Amazon
In the US, more than half of search queries related to purchasing are already falling on Amazon – and this is not only interesting for the B2C market. Amazon Business has been running in Germany for two years and offers a variety of products for B2B – from laptops to storage facilities to cleaning supplies. German B2B suppliers, who have rested far too long on print catalogs and outdated processes, could make it work up a sweat. In particular, wholesalers and retailers of various industries are threatened by this. But there are also dangers for manufacturers, because many B2B articles are already offered by Amazon itself or could do so in the future.
But where risks are usually lurking opportunities. This also applies to Amazon Business. Smaller dealers and manufacturers in particular can significantly increase their reach via Amazon Business. B2B companies with a corresponding portfolio should definitely keep an eye on Amazon – it is important to assess risks, but also to take advantage of opportunities and integrate Amazon into their own sales strategy. Especially for manufacturers, it offers the potential opportunity to move very close to the end user. Conflicts with specialized and wholesale are however not excluded.
ePVO: an avalanche bigger than the DSGVO
One much-discussed solution is paywalls and registration obligations. This would facilitate the collection of data or at least the collection of necessary consents. However, the question arises as to how high the willingness of users is in the end. There is a great danger that the ePVO will lead to the further strengthening of large online services such as Amazon, Google and Facebook. For example, a Google account is sufficient to be able to use numerous offers online. Small providers, however, have the disadvantage, because users would have to register individually on each website, which greatly affects the user experience.
The regulation is unlikely to enter into force until 2021. Nevertheless, it must and should be topic in 2019, because another “surprise effect” like the DSGVO would like to avoid many companies. In any case, the online marketer circle (OVK) in the Federal Association of the Digital Economy (BVDW) expects a turnover risk of more than 30 percent in the digital advertising business. For BVDW Vice President Thomas Duhr even the “technology location Germany is at stake”.
For this reason, online/digital marketing professionals should keep an eye on the development of the
Artificial intelligence in digital marketing.
All areas of society address artificial intelligence. It is a megatrend that fuels as many hopes as it does fears. Development will continue in 2019 and AI will process ever larger amounts of data.
But it could be a mistake to make AI a super technology with miracle abilities. The past teaches us to look very carefully whenever technologies and trends are hyped. The dotcom bubble and Bitcoin are just two examples from the recent past. They produced a self-impelling dynamic that acted like blinders and dulled any rationality.
What would happen if people were going through a change of consciousness, recognizing the value of their data and not voluntarily giving it away voluntarily? What if Artificial Intelligence does not deliver what it promises and suddenly reaches its limit? But even if the AI is not yet revolutionizing the world to the degree that many have assumed, interesting fields of application will become more important in 2019. These include
– data analysis / data mining
– recommendation systems
– monitoring systems
– improved targeting (look-a-likes)
– prediction procedures, including predictive maintenance
and much more.
The year 2019 is the right time to consider AI rationally and fact-based against the background of its own goals and strategy.
Apart from ethical aspects, would not it be wonderful if chatbots could replace expensive service staff and call centers? This is a wish that Artificial Intelligence is unlikely to meet in 2019. The human language is too complex for that.
But chatbots can be an excellent addition to live chats by answering simple questions and, for example, presenting links to specific topics. You can improve the user experience of websites and make navigation more interactive. A study by Juniper Research expects as much as $ 8 billion in banking and healthcare in 2022, saved through chatbot operations. So it’s worth keeping an eye on chatbots in 2019. The application possibilities are, cross-industry, diverse.
The trend of personalization of content and advertising will continue in 2019. Netflix and Amazon are two great examples of how data-driven personalization can work. The simple formula is: personalization = maximized user experience + minimal search time. The better algorithms in data processing, the better the personalization of newsletters, emails, e-commerce, websites and sales can succeed.
Personalization strategies can also be used very profitably in B2B marketing, for example in account-based marketing. Individual, interesting companies are understood as an independent target group and addressed with relevant content. The identification can, for example, be made via the company’s IP address, for example to personalize inbound elements accordingly.
Digitization covers all areas – online/ digital marketing in particular. Often the focus is on technology and not on the customer. However, especially in the B2B sector, companies are often confronted with demanding customers who make their purchase decisions not only dependent on the price. Despite all digitization and automation, online/digital marketers should not lose sight of the essentials in 2019: the customers, the people behind the numbers.
Algorithms should not be an end in themselves, but a means to an end and pave the way to more time for personal customer contact and relationship building and maintenance. The magic word is Service Excellence.
Service excellence is characterized by user and customer-friendly processes that are developed close to the customer. On the other hand, it depends on how employees implement these processes and whether they recognize the value of excellent service and live in everyday business life.
The year 2019 brings with it the challenge of linking digitization, AI and marketing automation with outstanding, customer-focused service.
Shaping the future
The year 2019 will again demand a lot of flexibility and agility from companies and employees. That’s why it takes courage to think outside the box and ask questions. In addition to the obvious trends, it is important to see the unpredictable and – every once in a while – to believe that the impossible is possible