Nine advertising and marketing trends for 2019



You can’t research any trend any longer without finding the word “digital” in it. It’s a given that the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) has impacted every facet of society, work and business. The only question remaining is: How prepared are you and your business to compete?

These are the top trends for 2019 in marketing and advertising, shaped to a large extent by the digital trends reconfiguring the world of content and entertainment.

  1. Omni-channel Marketing Strategy

Providing a seamless, integrated customer experience across all channels, from brick-and-mortar stores to advertising and social media engagement, to purchasing online via a desktop or via mobile, to delivery…

Globally, according to AdWeek, 62% of all companies either already implement, or plan to implement, an omni-channel marketing strategy – and 70% agree that omni-channel strategies are critical to their success.

  1. Outstream Video

A heads up to publishers and advertising agencies – there’s a new video ad format that will allow publishers to drive additional revenue streams and, what’s more, won’t annoy your users as much as those campaigns that brands run before or during video playback (without any revenue accruing to the content producers).

According to, Outstream video is a new type of ad format that allows publishers to show video ads outside of actual video players – in text line breaks, for example, or in the corners of the webpage. Publishers can also now monetise video ads, and advertisers can ensure their videos actually get watched.

  1. Artificial Intelligence

What artificial intelligence will do for marketing is give us smarter marketing automation.

According to Voy Media, as marketing becomes more data-driven, marketers need intelligent systems to help them make sense of the data accrued in real-time and allow them to act immediately on the results. Examples include “customer profiling, using chatbots and advanced performance tracking for ad campaigns.”

  1. Content Marketing

Forbes reports that 30% of all internet users will be using ad blockers by 2019. This doesn’t mean the death of advertising online, it just means that formats like content marketing and influencer marketing will receive more revenue. Consumers want value, and advertising that works will be advertising that offers value to the consumer. Video content will, of course, increase, as is obvious from all the trend reports: Cisco reports that 80% of global internet traffic will be video content in 2019.

Instagram TV, meanwhile, is a new channel for marketers to explore vertical video, as Instagram reaches over 1 billion users. YouTube is still holding its own, with over 1.9 billion users every month watching over a billion hours of video each day.

  1. Video Content and Native Marketing

The rise of video content in our visual-dominated world has been documented in all our trend reports over the past couple of years, but what is evolving is video advertising. Capitalising on the principles of native marketing, this trend creates content that provides entertainment and fulfils the viewer’s need for content that adds value, while – at the same time – advertising a product or service through brand-building.

The advice Voy Media gives to marketers is to start working with influencers and independent video creators to come up with great content, while making sure your digital platforms are optimised for video on all devices. This will ensure that your video content can be integrated throughout your marketing and advertising strategies in 2019.

  1. Augmented Reality Advertising

We’ve mentioned AR as a trend before, and it will only increase in use as more brands begin using augmented reality technology in clever advertising campaigns that essentially “add digital properties to physical objects” (Source: Voy Media).

Marketers like these kinds of campaigns as they provide multi-channel interaction, fitting in well with an omni-marketing strategy. Consumers like these campaigns as they provide a similar experience to that of video games, where the user becomes part of the narrative.

  1. Voice Search

Most digital trend blogs are focusing on voice activation as a top trend for 2019. The stat everyone is quoting is that, by 2020, half of all searches on Google will be conducted by voice. According to Juniper Research, the number of American homes with a smart speaker will increase from 13% to 55% by 2022.

AI is also influencing the rise of voice searches as it increasingly becomes a valuable tool on smart devices to find information. This means that marketers and advertisers now need to ensure that their content is optimised for voice searches. “Marketers need to research what questions buyers are asking and provide content in formats that are easy for voice search technologies to deliver,” reports Lee Odden of TopRank Marketing.

  1. Social MediaAd Spend

Marketing Week reports that most ad spend will shift from Facebook to Instagram. Facebook’s news feed has irritated users as well as advertisers, and Instagram’s Stories function is looking like a more attractive proposition, particularly in terms of “creative innovation” and user engagement. Brands invested 212% more into Stories in 2018 than the previous year, and this trend is predicted to become even more pronounced through 2019.

  1. Brand Purpose

The Gillette ad released in January which targets toxic masculinity is the latest in a series of high-profile brands taking a stand against social ills. The term ‘brand purpose’ has been bandied about for several years now as a way for brands to prove their social responsibility credentials and the value they add to customers.

But, beyond this, taking a political or social stand against a controversial topic has become a way for brands to stand against injustice or give voice to a cause. Marketing Week says that, in a world where consumer trust in brands is dropping, the risk of not taking a stand is greater than taking one (even when the issue is divisive).

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Louise Marsland is an editor, journalist and columnist in the media and marketing communications industry in South Africa, who has been writing about the industry for over two decades as a former editor of publications: AdVantage, Marketing Mix and She currently writes extensively about industry trends and consumer insight.


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