4 hot consumer and marketing trends for 2019

What are the upcoming media and marketing trends for 2019 and how can you get ahead of the curve? Field Day looked at a number of studies and we’ve compiled four trends that we believe will have an impact in the coming year. From weak signals to megatrends, those four trends have already started to impact our culture, and should be considered in your 2019 marketing planning.

1. Escape
In 2018 we were inundated with non-stop polarizing news. From the moment we awoke to a push notification on your phone, to the late night talk shows, it was the year of pro-Trump/anti-Trump, pro-Brexit/anti-Brexit, Apple vs. Samsung, #ilikebeer… For many, we’ve passed the saturation point and the anxiety and stress have become too much.

The result: we all need an escape. Trendwatching describes the 2019 consumer as “an escape artist, able to plug into a universe of their choosing”. From fantasy sports leagues to Fortnite, escaping the real world is becoming more and more important for consumers.

If your customer is escaping via Fortnite, you need to plug your brand into the Fortnite universe. Perhaps your customer demographic escapes to the oasis of art galleries or museums… or to spa getaways. As marketers, look at your customer demographics, determine the type of escape scenarios they are most likely to plug into, and then engage with them through that world. Better yet, create your own escape for your customers.

2. Body first
“Consumers are treating their bodies like an ecosystem and seeking solutions that complement their personal health and evolving needs.” This is a major trend highlighted by Mintel.

More than ever, in 2019 we will pay more attention to our health and choose activities that support this health-first self-image. Brands that respect and support the health of their customers will have a clear advantage. Supporting a healthy lifestyle can take many forms. For example, Timeshifter is an app that provides personalized plans to help people adjust to new timezones when traveling. Intermarche launched a pack of yogurt that contains the same recipe with decreasing amounts of sugar, to help consumers in their “sugar detox”. Is your brand doing its part to reduce energy usage? If so, make it part of your brand message.

As a brand, think about all the ways you currently support your customers’ healthy lifestyle, determine what additional “healthy” changes you can make to your processes, products or services, and brainstorm new innovations to improve your “health-focused” customer journey.

3. “Social” is more than an online marketing platform
Social marketing has seen a big rise in popularity and effectiveness in the last five years, but consumers are now expecting more from brands in their social feeds. In 2019, brands with a clear social conscience will lead the way with consumers. According to Shelton Group, 86% of consumers want brands to take a stand on social issues. In 2018, few campaigns were more popular than Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ad.

Consumers expect action more than words and pretty pictures. They want to align themselves with brands that reflect their own ethics and principles. For example, Starbucks closed 8,000 stores for racial bias training, while Patagonia sued the US government in a bid to protect Bears Ears National Monument and coordinated the fight to protect this public land.

4. Virtual companions
According to Nielsen, nearly a quarter of US households own a smart speaker. Today you can own a virtual assistant that can entertain, educate, mentor and even be a friend. Your Google assistant can place a phone call to book a restaurant or a hairdresser appointment. IBM launched an IA bot that mentors young entrepreneurs. KLM launched a city trip assistant: see it here.

AI is improving exponentially in speed and accuracy. Brands can respond instantly to consumer queries, and consumers receive efficient, immediate customer service, In 2019, consumers will expect even more, and better, AI assistance from brands. And they will be quick to reject unresponsive brands.

Beyond speed, brands should consider how their AI experience reflects their overall brand experience. According to Trendwatching, 72% of smart speaker users think “brands should have unique voices and personalities for their apps/skills and not just use the assistant on my phone”. How will you bring your brand to life through your virtual assistant?

Field Day has a deep understanding of consumer trends and how to apply them, and we can help you stay ahead of customer expectations and your competitors.

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