Leadspeak episode 9: 10 Digital Marketing & Sales Trends To Capitalise On In 2019

Episode 09: 10 Digital Marketing & Sales Trends To Capitalise On In 2019

There have been some huge shifts in the way we communicate with our target market, from new tech to new behaviours. The B2B sales strategies we deploy now are inherently different to what we've done before as our behaviour in our personal lives changes. The new B2B buyer is a digital native, brought up with access to the internet and smartphones so it's no surprise there's been a shift.

In this episode of Leadspeak, we run down the top 10 digital marketing and sales trends of 2019. Using data, expert insight and trend analysis we've identified what's going to be making waves next year and what you need to be considering now to exploit a competitive advantage.

Leave your feedback on what you think will be huge in 2019.

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • The top 10 digital marketing and sales trends of 2019
  • How the new B2B buyer is changing our sales behaviour
  • A surprise 11th trend that you need to capitalise on!
  • What we think is the #1 trend of 2019 (and gets Alex particularly excited)

Links and resources mentioned in this episode:

Thanks For Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us this week. Be sure to join us in episode 10 where we will be discussing The 2 main focus points of SaaS businesses that will secure a profitable exit.

Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below.


Alex: Welcome to the Leadspeak podcast with me, Alex Thackray. Hi, and welcome to episode 9 of Leadspeak. I'm Alex Thackray, founder of Leadfreak.

 Alex: So, welcome to Episode 9 of Leadspeak. Can't believe we're Episode 9. It's been a while.

 Emma: What, since Episode 8?

 Alex: Yeah.

 Emma: Oops. How long has it been?

 Alex: Well, it must have been at least two months.

 Emma: Oh dear. Well, there's kind of a good reason for it, though. What have we been up to?

 Alex: We've been incredibly busy.

 Emma: We have been incredibly busy.

 Alex: Launched Leadfreak Academy.

 Emma: It's going well?

 Alex: Yeah. Working with Aston University. That's now up and running. And we launched FSL online.

 Emma: Yeah, we have. We've done that, too. We've got a whole new team member in Luke.

 Alex: Yeah. New service director, Luke Thomas.

 Emma: Yeah. He's doing an awesome job. Maybe he can do a podcast one of these days.

 Alex: Yeah. We'll bring him on to the next one. It's certainly been a hectic, busy time, but Leadfreak's heading in the right direction.

 Emma: Yeah, definitely. And it's no excuse for not keeping up with our podcast recordings because we're supposed to be, or me in particular, I'm supposed to be big on keeping the content a high priority. But we are back. And we will continue releasing the podcast in a timely manner from now on. Definitely.

 Alex: We've got lots of great feedback on the podcast, asking when it's coming back. And, you know, we've had over 400 downloads of the eight episodes we've done so far.

 Emma: That's good. And we've got a lot to talk about as well so there's a lot of episodes in the making.

 Alex: Absolutely. So, thanks for listening and make sure you come back next time, which will be in a regular time frame. So, what are we talking about today?

 Emma: Well, the C-word is coming up.

 Alex: Wow. Dropping the C-bomb already.

 Emma: Which is Christmas. I'm not gonna talk about Christmas because it's November, but that means it's gonna be January very soon. So, a new year is approaching. So, I thought it'd be a really good idea to talk today about the things that people need to be doing in 2019 in order to stay ahead of the curve in the realm of digital marketing.

 Alex: Okay. So, 10 digital marketing and sales trends of 2019.

 Emma: Ten. Okay.

 Alex: Ten, okay. Let's begin.

 Emma: Okay. So, what would you say the first trend for 2019 is that people need to start paying attention to?

 Alex: So, number one, for me, is artificial intelligence. Now, it's been a buzzword at 2018. People were talking about it in 2017. Nobody had a clue about it in 2016. 2019, for me, is the year that AI is really going to encroach on everyday business.

 Emma: Yeah. It's gonna come into the mainstream. I think even this year it's been a big buzzword, but it's still quite specialized. You know, not many people are still using it unless they're kind of already really in the know. So, I guess 2019 is the year where it's certainly predicted to enter that mainstream and start making some big waves.

 Alex: It's not only a tool for enterprises anymore. It's gonna move down to, you know, smaller businesses, IT companies looking to grow. It's now dropping to an affordable level. You sign up to any SaaS platform at the minute and there's always going to be an AI element to it. Where is the algorithm in that? It's analyzing the data on the platforms to give you a better result.

 Emma: Yeah. So, how exactly can AI be used? And how do people need to be using it in 2019?

 Alex: So, for me, the key thing around AI and the benefit it brings into marketing and sales is just to paint that 360-degree picture of your customer. So, being able to take the data from any interaction that they have with your business to understand where they are within the customer journey, and then to how to interact with them on a personalized level based on their interactions. And then using the power of AI to create profiles of those customers to then predetermine, when new prospects come into that pipeline, how they're going to behave based on the behavior of others.

 Emma: Clever stuff.

 Alex: Yeah. I think, yeah, if you can wrap your head around that.

 Emma: Not me, personally, because I do have trouble.

 Emma: Well, what's in the example then, more of a direct example of the kind of thing that you're talking about?

 Alex: So, as an example to that, we could be looking at lead scoring. So, lead scoring is assigning points to prospects and users as they navigate your applications, your websites, your marketing messages, and then like, say, creating those profiles around that individual. You can then link the lead scoring to email marketing campaigns, or site messages, applying discounts and coupons to people depending on where they are within that journey and how they've interacted with your brand before. So, it really allows you to have that personalization at scale opportunity.

 Emma: Yeah, definitely.

 Alex: So, if you've been on our site 10 times, and I've seen that 50% of those times you've been on our pricing page, that to me, based on the data, indicates that you are considering the purchase. So what do I need to do to push you over the line? Or what does our system need to do to push you over the line? It would then be a case of contacting you through a channel with a personalized coupon, discount, code, contact, just to help answer any queries, directing you to information points based on what you've searched before, really then to trigger that purchase point and get you on boarded as a customer.

 Emma: Cool. Sounds good. Sounds very clever.

 Alex: It's quite complex, as you would expect in machine learning. But the tools that are coming out at the minute, they all leverage that algorithm base to be able to pull that into your business. I don't wanna make it sound so farfetched, because a lot of people are working very hard on creating these platforms for you to utilize AI methodology to deliver value to customers. Still, what it boils down to, we still want to deliver value, but it's just delivering the right value at the right time.

 Emma: Yeah. So, how do businesses who haven't previously implemented any AI, where do they kind of start in using this? Because it's all well and good saying that these things can be done, but what do they do to make it happen? Can they do it themselves?

 Alex: Yeah. Certainly, there are platforms available where you can do it yourself. You can start on an individual platform or a channel methodology, email marketing being one example. You can wrap AI around your email marketing systems to leverage user behavior to trigger certain messages at certain times. The key point to start off with is analyzing, you know, all those customer touch points within the buyer journey, what does look like, document what that looks like, and each of the decisions that can be made, each one of those customer touch points, to deliver the most value. What data can you extract from each of those customer touch points and how can that play into what you need to be talking to them about? AI gathers the information that you need, but you need to tell it what you want to see. And then, you know, every business is unique so you want to then take that information and apply it to the processes and how your business works to create the outcome that you want that machine learning to take hold of.

 Emma: Very interesting.

 Alex: So number one, artificial intelligence.

 Emma: Okay. All right. Number two.

 Alex: Number two, I'm going to go with voice.

 Emma: Voice. Okay. So we're talking Siri.

 Alex: Talking Siri.

 Emma: Alexa.

 Alex: Alexa, Google. Alexa is just turned on, by the way. So that's our Alexa.

 Emma: I shouldn't have said that.

 Alex: So, yeah, voice, for me, is gonna be big in 2019. Again, it made great strides in 2018, but it's still highbrow. It's still just out of reach of the everyday business. But I think 2019 is when it's gonna really start to make an impact.

 Emma: Yeah. But people are really using it now, aren't they? Like, a third of all searches are made using voice now. But it actually surprises me a bit, because it's something that, me personally, I have not yet caught onto at all. I like to think of myself as a reasonably early adopter of things, but I don't know, I think it's because voice search to me, it's always been so clunky.

 Emma: Yeah. Yeah. It's never worked before this. You know, I still, in my mind, think that it's quicker to type something in. But, certainly, that's not how everybody is thinking anymore. It's getting a lot more popular. So, how does voice search differ to normal search then? How do businesses adapt to kind of take advantage of voice commands being part of their strategy?

 Alex: So, it's all in the content. So, if you look at SEO Strategy, in SEO strategy you would take keywords that you know people are searching for on search engines and you would apply that to your content to make your content highly visible to search engines.

 Emma: Yeah, sure.

 Alex: It's understanding the differences between you typing out what you think Google is going to give you the best answer with to you talking in a more natural language to an application, and that application recognizing the differences between, you know, typing it in on Google and saying it out loud. So, what constructs of language do you need to bear in mind when you're creating your content to trigger against that voice search?

 Emma: Okay. That's interesting.

 Alex: And if you do an analysis, if you plot it out, you will see differences. I think there's still, with search engines and searching on the likes of Google and Bing, there's still adoption of I will type how I think Google wants me to type to get the answer that I want. There's still that to a certain degree. I mean, you can type what is the meaning of a word and it will know it because it's quite heavily used as an example. But if you then want to go to something really specific, then you naturally change your language when searching online. So, it's having that adoption. It's having that content change to trigger against the voice search as well as triggering against typed search. So, voice search is going to be huge. I mean, the number of smart devices in homes now, which all recognize voice.

 Emma: Yeah. Massive.

 Alex: I say Alexa just pops up then. I'm gonna then...

 Emma: Don't say her name.

 Alex: I'm gonna ask her, it, whatever it is, to find something. Play music, do something.

 Emma: Yeah, yeah. Crikey. Do all sorts of things.

 Alex: It's becoming more prevalent in the everyday home. And certainly, we have the abundance of Internet of things, about to make a huge appearance. It's certainly gonna be more and more. So, then the other element of voice is voiced applications. So I've just touched there on, you know, the increase of smart devices within homes and offices, which are all voice activated. There's an opportunity there to create your own applications which are driven by voice.

 Emma: Okay. Like what?

 Alex: Take that Amazon device over in the corner. Each of those, say, flash briefing on news is an application by the BBC or whoever provides that application. So, there's an opportunity there for brands to increase, you know, their exposure to prospects by being on devices like that. So you could do a Leadfreak flash briefing which could have, you know, tech news, automated sales and marketing news.

 Emma: Sounds good. Why don't we do that?

 Alex: Well, it's underway. Why do you think I sit in front of a microphone? You can't do it with a northern accent though. Doesn't work.

 Alex: No, definitely not.

 Alex: So, yeah, it's just something to bear in mind, you know, the capability of people to create those applications. Now, it's again dropping down and giving other businesses the opportunity to gain from the people that way, too.

 Emma: Great. Sounds good.

 Alex: Okay. So, number three, do you want to take a crack at this one?

 Emma: Yes, because these are still really interesting to me. So, number three, we're going to talk about chatbots, which obviously have seen quite a lot of fame in 2018. They've definitely risen in the ranks a lot just in the last few months even from people who hadn't heard about them at all to people who are obsessed with them, including myself. But, specifically, businesses are falling over themselves to get chatbots now. So, by 2020, apparently, like 80% of businesses will have one or at least want one, which is huge. So, why is that? Why do you think the chatbots have taken off so much and why do you think that they're going to continue to do so in 2019?

 Alex: I just think the benefits that they deliver to the prospects and the consumers are great. 24/7 access. If I have a problem and someone has a customer support based chatbot, I can go and talk to them whenever I want and get answers to my questions. I don't need to speak to anyone directly when it's just a run of the mill query.

 Emma: No tinkly hold music.

 Alex: Yeah. And if you look at digital natives, people that were brought up with the Internet in place, that is one of the core benefits of chatbots. That's what they love about them. It's Statistico's. It's proven.

 Emma: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. They're one of the few things that can just bring as many benefits to the customer, I think, as they can, too, the actual businesses themselves which is quite rare to find that balance, I think, when you're talking about marketing. So, yes, so that's why I think they're really interesting and are only gonna continue to be huge in 2019 definitely.

 Alex: Yeah. For both sides. For the consumers wanting access to a chatbot to solve problems, to have access, to communicate with the business in the simplest way possible. Also for the businesses as well because, and I've spoken about them before, but take the Leadfreak bot. It's out on the website and it's generating leads because it's prequalifying people who want to speak to us, and then it's booking a call with the salesperson.

 Emma: Yeah. And it's doing it super effectively for them as well.

 Alex: Yeah. So, yeah, 2018, again, was a huge year for chatbots. 2017, there was a tsunami warning in place. And in 2019, it's just gonna keep going. So, it can't come off the list. Okay. Number four.

 Emma: Four? Okay. Visual content and visual searching. And so, tell me about this and what is going on with this in 2019.

 Alex: So, it's utilizing more visual elements in finding out information on certain topics.

 Emma: Okay. In what way?

 Alex: So, you can take an image. You can upload an image to Google and Google will scan that image to tell you what's in it and tell you what complimentary products are for the items that are in that image. And it can also do searches around that image and deliver content that's image focused, whatever is in that image, which becomes a lot easier. If you're on the street and you take a photo and you send it out to Google and Google analyzes it, and it points you in all these different directions because that's what you're asking it to do, then that's a huge new channel for people to find out the information that they want to find.

 Emma: Yeah, definitely.

 Alex: And I think in 2019 it's really gonna take hold. So a lot of people haven't heard of that at the minute.

 Emma: No, definitely. It's not really something I've ever considered. But how do businesses take advantage of that then? What should you be doing as a business to...

 Alex: Again, it goes back to the voice construct. So, how can you reposition the content that you've got on your site to be image focused and image friendly rather than just being text focused and text friendly? How can you provide images for people to search against? How can you use your creativity to trigger the search? These are hypotheticals, but that's the kind of stuff that you want to be looking at. If you want to have a look at it, look at Google Lens. That is really a way into looking at the possibilities around visual searching, visual content. But, like I said, it's a mixture of all these different things in terms of visual, audio, voice and text for your content. So, don't just be fully focused on texts. Don't be fully focused on voice. Don't be fully focused on image. Don't be fully focused on video. You know, it's a whole omnichannel effort in...

 Emma: Omnichannel effort. Yeah.

 Alex: In maximizing your exposure.

 Emma: No. It's probably true there, yeah. You certainly shouldn't just focus on one. Yeah, we talk about them in isolation, but they should all be used together. Speaking of which, you just mentioned it, but what would you say the next one is on our list?

 Alex: Number five, I'm looking at video marketing again.

 Emma: You say that like you had just thought of that.

 Alex: It's not on this prepared document.

 Emma: And you had definitely not prepared that you were going to say that. Yes, though, video marketing then. So, obviously not brand new. We've done a lot of work in helping businesses, and our own business actually, implement a much kind of wider video marketing strategy. We've, you know, invested in a lot of camera equipment and training.

 Alex: Teleprompters.

 Emma: Teleprompters has been a lifesaver. And we've just been making a lot more videos. I make a lot of videos for FSL Online, which is another pie I've got a finger in. So, we've already been using a lot of it. So, I guess it's another one where it's just gonna get bigger in 2019. There's just gonna be a lot more of it. So, if people aren't already using it, then they're just gonna get left further and further behind and it's gonna be so much harder to catch up.

 Alex: Yeah. You're now getting to the point where industries and businesses who would never have considered filming video are now actively pursuing a video strategy. I've just come back from a client today. We've been filming videos because every time I go down there, we'll get a couple of videos filmed because it doesn't have to be the most polished and produced piece of content. Not anymore. The authenticity of, you know, not being that is just as effective as a highly polished video.

 Emma: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. I think people are still quite afraid of video marketing because, you know, they think that they can't do it or they don't have the skills or the equipment or anything like that. But, actually, anyone can do it now, you know. People have got decent cameras, even just on smartphones and laptops. So it's, you know, it's perfectly within reach of ordinary people, ordinary businesses. In order to do it, you've just got to set the camera going and record content that people wanna hear, basically.

 Alex: Yeah. Absolutely. And if you look at all the social channels, they're now fully optimized for video. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, you know, all of them. And then you look at the likes of Twitch. So, Twitch is around people. In its main effort, Twitch is around an audience watching someone play video game. But, if you look at the numbers of people that are watching people play video games, it is humongous.

 Emma: It is. It's ridiculous. It's all kids do nowadays. They literally...

 Alex: Not just kids. There was a Fortnight game on Twitch, 11 million people watched it.

 Emma: Did that include you?

 Alex: I didn't watch it.

 Emma: Sure. Sure.

 Alex: But as a new channel which is solely focused on video, you know, you're reaching a whole new audience of people. So, if you're looking to attract digital natives and younger people who are moving into businesses because, if you've read one of our blog posts where we talk about who is the new B2B buyer, it's the digital native, then that's where they can be found hanging out in their spare time, on Twitch. So, if they are your target audience, then you're missing the trick if you're not on Twitch already. And that's all video. It's a whole new video show. So, take a look at that. Still, there is huge drive on live broadcasting of video. So, whether that's LinkedIn, which you can do it now, Twitter, Facebook, they all do live. Same with YouTube, they all do live videos. So, yeah, don't be scared to give it a go because it's massive already but it's gonna get even bigger. I mean, I think Cisco forecasted that by 2021, 82% of all Internet traffic will be video. Now, we're nearly there already.

 Emma: That's huge.

 Alex: But you can see how it's gonna get even bigger. So, it should definitely be one of your strategies for 2019.

 Emma: Yeah, definitely.

 Alex: Okay. So, on to number six in the digital marketing and sales trends of 2019.

 Emma: Yes. What is it? So dramatic.

 Alex: That's a tired drum roll.

 Emma: That was halfhearted at best.

 Alex: Go on, then. So what is number six? Enlighten me.

 Emma: It is AR and VR. So, augmented and virtual reality.

 Alex: Okay. Wasn't that much of the talks about two years ago when Facebook bought Oculus?

 Emma: Yes, it was.

 Alex: But we've not done anything with it yet?

 Emma: No. So, we're about to tell people why they need to be thinking about it now, in your own time.

 Alex: So, it's been reported by Statista, by the end of this year there'll be 9.6 billion that will be spent on VR and AR. But nothing compared to 2022, which they say is gonna be about $200 billion spent on AR and VR.

 Emma: It's crazy. That is ridiculous.

 Alex: I think, the biggest example of augmented reality is Pokémon Go.

 Emma: Pokémon Go. Yeah, that was really big for five minutes.

 Alex: It really was, wasn't it?

 Emma: Do people still play that? Are there still people there?

 Alex: That's the biggest example of augmented really. And you can see now with the new devices, it's pretty much smartphone driven, certainly the AR side. The new iPhone, the new Huawei. And they're all now layering in augmented reality. You see on the iPhone where you can do the emojis and you can put your face on the emoji, and it becomes real. So, you know, the hardware is now catching up because before, any other type of reality meant buying another headset that covered your eyes and that's how you interacted with it. But now it's coming to the everyday device. And you see with Internet trends, shopping trends, chatbot trends, and video trends, it's all driven by being able to access it through a smartphone. That is the one common feature of all those trends that we've talked about. It's the smartphone. So, if you can bring AR to a smartphone without having to navigate through some kind of third party application, then it's gonna go, I think…

 Emma: It's gonna go big.

 Alex: It's gonna go big.

 Emma: It's gonna go big.

 Alex: Same with virtual reality. You're still gonna use a headset. You can get cheaper headsets and put your phone into that as a form of virtual reality. So, the virtual reality content is growing, and I think it is going to be huge.

 Emma: In what way for businesses then? How are businesses using AR and VR?

 Alex: If you look at some of the bigger brands on virtual reality, augmented reality, I mean, it's all around information gathering, information providing, content provision for people using phones. I mean, if you're walking down a street and you've got augmented reality and you see your shop, you can layer something above your shop which will inform people why they should go in there. So, imagine, if you are walking down the street and you see on your phone that there's a coffee shop and they've got an augmented reality picture of a steaming hot cup of coffee or a voucher or a discount code or something like that, then that'd be quite effective.

 With virtual reality, it's all around experiential marketing. So, yes, retail is having a really hard time in the high street shops, in the high street at the minute. But it's because they need to transfer to an experienced-based model rather than just purely retail because purely retail, they offer nothing different than going online. So you see the shift. If you can make that an experience for them, then, you know, there's a reason to have a high street stop. Virtual reality gives you the capability to have an experience within retail while you sat at your home.

 Emma: Sounds good.

 Alex: So it's all around delivering experiences to customers. So, yeah, AR and VR, definitely things on the trend path. It's been whispered about for a while. There's noise made when Oculus were bought by Facebook. I wouldn't rule out Mark Zuckerberg's investment in Oculus just yet. They're still working out on it.

 Emma: You got personal information? You've been talking...

 Alex: Yeah. I've been talking to my...

Alex: Yeah. So, keep an eye on it because it's gonna become more affordable for a lot more businesses in the very short term.

 Emma: Great.

 Alex: Okay. Number seven.

 Emma: Number seven. So this is less of a kind of a specific thing and more of kind of a mindset that needs to be approached, I think, in 2019, and that is a need for authenticity.

 Alex: Okay. What makes you say that?

 Emma: So, one of the things I think a lot of people can agree on, a negative thing, is that there is a big, big kind of growing distrust when it comes to direct advertising from brands. People are less and less receptive to being advertised at, basically. People are using ad blockers more and more and people are basically saying, in surveys, that they kind of need to feel a sense of authenticity and that they're not just being sold at all the time, especially younger generations, millennials. So, obviously, you know, kind of direct advertising, paid advertising, that's still gonna have a place in 2019 but I think a lot of the shift has to be towards more kind of reputable content, providing value, being a bit more creative with content.

 Alex: So, how would a business create authentic content? How do they go about creating authenticity?

 Emma: Well, I think it's a change in mindset of those businesses between, "What can I create that's gonna make my customer want to buy my product?'' and move more towards, "What content can I create that my customer or potential customer is going to find genuinely useful?". You know, you're not just saying to people, "Hey, look, buy my product." You're saying, "Hey, I can help you with whatever problem it is that you have." And then you kind of establish a relationship. So, yeah, with all content marketing, it's not something that's going to happen straightaway. You're not gonna get a buyer straightaway out of it. But, long term, this is the way that people establish trust in brands now and in the future it's kind of highly regarded that that is really the only way that people will buy. So it's something that is really, really kind of crucial for businesses to implement now.

 Alex: So would you say that user-generated content is a good way to show authenticity?

Emma: Yeah, absolutely. There's nothing better than when it's not actually you that's kind of blowing your trumpet. If you can get your, you know, users to generate content for you, then that's, you know, massively gonna increase trust in the people viewing that. It also helps you out as well because it means you get a load of free marketing.

Alex: I'm just thinking because we watch a lot of Red Bull TV and we've got no commercial link to Red Bull.

Emma: "If only," he says, sipping his Red Bull. 

Alex: Then you see on there, everyone's using GoPro. If you've gone to GoPro's Instagram account or any social channel, people are hashtagging GoPro on everything that they're doing with their camera which makes people want to buy it. If you were to think of an action camera now, you'd think of GoPro.

Emma: Sorry. Were you waiting for me to say it?

Alex: Oh. Maybe that's obvious. Maybe I'm the one that's just doing that.

Emma: They saw you coming. Yeah. That's a great example because, you know, are you gonna buy a GoPro because GoPro put an advert out that says, "Hey, buy GoPro," or are you going to buy one because you've seen that loads of people are using it and loving it and making cool videos?

Emma: Exactly. Throwing themselves over cliffs, etc. So, yeah.

Alex: So, tell me how influencer marketing might play into authenticity. Is that a good thing or is it a bad thing?

Emma: It's a good thing. Like most things, it's a good thing if it's used effectively I think, used authentically, in some ways. So there's a little bit of a backlash against influencer marketing, I think, when there's a lack of authenticity in there.

Alex: Right. So around it being genuine. You can tell when a celebrity's endorsing a product and they don't use it.

Emma: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, definitely. And sometimes when they're not honest about it as well. I think like if something… I don't actually know… [inaudible 00:35:27] looking at changing some laws around it in the sense that they need to disclose if it's something's…

 Alex: Yeah, they have to do it now.

Emma: Especially if it's paid.

 Alex: Yeah. They have to do that. You'll see that on Instagram now.

 Emma: Yeah, definitely. I thought that was it. So it's a little bit of a tricky topic, but certainly if you have access to any influencers, you know, not necessarily A-list celebrities, but if you're in a specific industry, you know, industry leaders or someone with a large social media following in your industry, then if approached correctly, that could be a good way to increase exposure to your brand or to your product as long as you kind of do it right, I think.

Alex: Yeah. And it's not as plain sailing as you might think. I mean, influencer marketing, certainly on Instagram there's a huge, huge report that came out from Instagram which said something like 40% of all influencer accounts were fake.

Emma: Wow. Really?

Alex: Yeah. So you really got to be careful and choose who is in it. Again, it's going back to being authentic and being genuine, you know, finding those influencers who are authentic and can relay an authentic message around your product.

Emma: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. It's got to be authentic. It does. And there's nothing that comes across more fake as faked authenticity, you know. Like it's so obvious I think when something is being done just for the sake of selling a product and that is going to have the complete opposite effect of what you intend. So it could be really, really effective. Just tread carefully, I would say, on that front.

Alex: Excellent. So, number eight.

Emma: Number eight. We have written "time is of the essence."

Alex: This isn't a, you know, a risky commercial strategy and that's been my contract background coming up. Time is of the essence. 2019 is gonna be huge for micro-moments.

Emma: Micro-moments. That is a huge buzzword that is all over the place at the moment.

Alex: I think this is one of my most exciting from this list of 10.

Emma: Yeah?

Alex: Yeah.

Emma: You excited about micro-moments?

Alex: I'm excited about micro-moments.

Emma: Okay. Tell us why. Why is that?

Alex: So it's more tapping into and synchronizing with people's new habits of just being. So, you know, Google tapped into the habit of people searching. Amazon is creating a habit around, you know… Amazon can sell everything and we buy online. Everything's bought online now. Amazon is a huge driver of change in our behavior to do that. And the smartphones create the micro-moment. So when you're watching TV and an advert pops up, or if you just dozed out of what you were watching for a minute, what do you do? You pick up your phone, you do something on there. You put it back down and you go back to what you're doing. It's a micro-moment.

Emma: That's a micro-moment.

Alex: That's a micro-moment. And apparently, you have 150 micro-moments a day, which is nothing.

Emma: That's a lot. I can believe it though. I can kind of think of many times where that happens to me.

Alex: Yeah. Now that we've said it, it's one of the things that you look at and go, "Yeah, that's right." And every time you have a micro-moment, now you'll go, "Yeah, I'm doing it and doing it again and doing it again."

Emma: Yeah, yeah, definitely. One of mine last night was waterproof trousers...

Alex: Waterproof trousers?

Emma: For a trip that we've got coming up. I just didn't know what it was, but I thought probably I should get some waterproof trousers.

Alex: Did you buy them?

Emma: No, but I looked them up and...

Alex: Which ones you're gonna buy?

Emma: Mountain Warehouse, the first one's that came up.

Alex: No commercial link there.

Emma: Fourteen ninety-five.

Alex: Just from that, you can see how powerful micro-moment is. That's a great example.

Emma: Because you just kind of decide you need something, or just something just makes you want some information and you just have to. That's the difference. I think, you have to have things immediately now. Like there's something that I quite often think about is if I think like, "Oh, I wonder what this fact is," or whatever, like, I have to Google it immediately now. It's hard to think of a time where if you didn't know something, you would even say, "Oh, huh…" What was that? Anyway, it's hard to remember a time where if you wanted to know a fact or some information or you wanted to buy something that you couldn't immediately have access to that information. You had to wait until you could go to a shop or you had to wait until you could get to an encyclopedia or whatever the hell people did before the Internet existed.

Alex: Yeah. And now it can all be done in the whip of a micro-moment. So, in order to capitalize on micro-moments for your business, right, you've got to think about how can you deliver that information that someone is searching for as quickly as possible?

Emma: Yeah, definitely. So that's what people want because they want the information as quickly as possible. So even if they click on your site, if they don't get the answer to their question or the solution to their problem instantly, they're gonna go away.

Alex: Yeah. So, yes, having the correct content in the correct format, delivering it as quickly as possible. And also, being on all the channels that people will search for things on in those micro-moments.

Emma: Yeah. Definitely.

Alex: So it's identifying what those channels are, and then making sure that your contents are on those channels. But you can see how effective micro-moments can be in getting your product in front of someone and getting them to buy it.

Emma: Yeah. Definitely.

Alex: So, micro-moments, for me, is probably the prize winner of 2019. So, number nine of the 2019 digital marketing and trends is...

Emma: No drum roll?

Alex: No drum roll this time.

Emma: You're going for the dramatic pause.

Alex: Yeah. Which I should communicate these intros for you.

Emma: Okay. Well, just say what it is then. What is it?

Alex: So, it's social media. It's just so flat compared to micro-moments, but it's still important.

Emma: Yeah. Okay. Why is it on the list? So, social media is something that you say now and everyone's like, "Yeah, yeah. Okay. Social media. Got it." Why is it still on the list for 2019?

 Alex: So, it's because 2018 and 2017 and all the years before, you could choose to be on social media or not. And it was a choice. And you weren't thought of badly if you weren't on social. But now it's getting to that point where you need to be on social. It's like not having a website in 2018.

Emma: Yeah. If a business isn't on social media, you think, well, "What's wrong with that business? That business is a phony. They don't exist online." And the website is not really enough anymore, is it? You know, if they don't exist on social media then...

 Alex: Who are they?

 Emma: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

 Alex: Where can you go to, you know, get in touch with them? Where can you go to see what's happening? Where can you go to see what other people think of them?

Emma: Yeah, definitely. And it's all part of that authenticity as well and that sense of personalization, you know. Social media is the place where brands can really kind of engage with their customers on an individual level. So, if they don't have that platform, then they're missing out on that kind of huge part of whatever way they can reach their customers.

 Alex: Yeah. And go back to what we just said about micro-moments. When you're having your micro-moment, are you on someone's website or are you on that social channel?

Emma: It can be either, but...

Alex: But you'd be missing out in you wasn't on the social channel than if you were on that social channel.

Emma: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I appreciate that's what you're trying to get me say. But you are right. It was a loaded question, but social media is very important. Absolutely.

Alex: Yeah. And also, the rise in, you know, the chat platforms on social media platforms. So Facebook Messenger, for instance.

Emma: Yeah. So, this is something. And the messenger aspect of platforms is something that is, again, not new for 2019 but something that is quite a new angle on social media at least that wasn't really considered. You know, Facebook Messenger was always a very personal platform for friends and family members to message each other. So, that's something that I think is, you know, even though social media is something that's been around forever and will continue to be around forever, the messaging aspect is something that is different.

Alex: And also, for me, groups. People are far more likely to be engaged in specific communities within social channels. And a lot of them are moving towards being driven by brands. Leadfreak have got the Future Makers group where we're speaking to sales and marketing executives around the future of sales and marketing. People prefer to be in those closely-built communities rather than just on your page. So that's another massively important aspect. Okay. And then finally on to number 10.

Emma: Number 10.

Alex: Although I have got a number 11.

Emma: Oh. For god's sake.  micro-moments.

Alex: It's a surprise. It's a surprise. Yeah. You'll like it.

Emma: Are you gonna do a disappointing drum roll? Anyway.

Alex: So number 10.

Emma: Number 10, digital transformation. Tell me about that. What is that?

Alex: So, this is now businesses adopting digital throughout their entire business. It's not around just adopting one element of digital. I'm gonna do some social media. I'm gonna do some Google Ads. I'm gonna do a website. It's around an all-encompassing strategy for digital for your business. So, how can digital impact positively on each area of your business? And whether that's through AI, whether it's through giving people an insight and using that as publishable content, whether that's through specific targeting and tracking and analytics, whether it's through building personalized messages for people who have gone to your website, you know, choosing colors of products, choosing sizes, whatever that is. So, how can you encompass digital into every business so it all blends in together? And what we're gonna see in 2019 is that a lot more businesses have comprehensive strategies around digital transformation.

Emma: Okay. Sounds scary to start. Where do you start with that?

Alex: Well, you know, if you're a larger business, it's giving responsibility to each of those, you know, departmental or division leaders, so let's say a director level, saying, "How can I benefit or how can my department benefit from digital?" whether that's actually AI or any other kind of digital. How can that then deliver and communicate to ops digital channel for his department? How can they talk to each other? And then how can the whole digital spectrum at that lower level then feed up into the upper realms of Board management? Because there's so much data out there, which you can gather through digital, and then pull out into one place at Board level to make effective decisions. But without having that digital transformation strategy in place, then it's all gonna be fragmented and you're gonna get broken little silo bits of data floating around the business which doesn't really have much value.

Emma: Yeah. Okay.

Alex: So, yeah. 2019, we'll see a lot of digital transformation strategies in place for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Emma: I feel like I'm so excited to hear what your surprise number 11 thing is that I wasn't paying as much attention throughout that very important point.

Alex: It is very important.

Emma: Hopefully, the listeners will not have felt the same.

Alex: Well, I hope so.

Emma: Yes. Digital transformation, very important.

Alex: So, let me ask a question to try and revitalize people who are listening.

Emma: We're never gonna get to number 11.

Alex: It's like Christmas Eve.

Emma: The C-word.

Alex: So, how does digital interact with each element of your business? How could it interact with each element of your business? And what value can you take out of that digitization within businesses? So if we look at next level of business, they're taking a digital transformation approach to accountancy. And from that, they're massively increasing efficiencies which increases profits because it's a service business. It frees up time to do work at higher levels, so it increases average monthly recurring retainer value. Lifetime value goes up. You know, it's all because they've got a planned digital transformation strategy.

Emma: Yeah. Yeah. Think about FSL Online. That's my side gig gone from physically tutoring children after school to creating a digital online course that now does that for many kids at the same time and it means that I can make a good profit but also charge an awful lot less to customers for the same sort of service. And that is all part of my digital transformation.

Alex: Yeah. It's a perfect example.

Emma: You brought me back. You brought me back to it.

Alex: So, yes, make sure you are looking towards a more complete digital transformation strategy rather than looking at digital in different silos.

Emma: Silos is your word of the day. You always have a word of the day where you get a word and you just want to keep saying.

Alex: Silos.

Emma: Silos. Anyway, number 11.

Alex: I just wanna touch on, you know, having a cause. I see that as a 2019 trend. This is based on data from, going back to the research that we did around digital natives and digital natives being the new B2B buyers. Digital natives are known, and it's proven through data gathering, that they are far more likely to place orders, to be customers of businesses that are doing, you know, socially good activities. So, whether that's environmental, whether it's looking at refugees.

Emma: What awesome things need to be improved about the world.

Alex: Yes. So, whether it's environmental, looking at going green, removing plastic waste, cradle-to-grave product innovation, whether it's looking at, you know, geopolitical crisis and looking at working with refugees or crime and safety and things like that. So, it's proven that buyers will buy from companies that are doing good in the world.

Emma: Yeah, yeah, definitely. And it's difficult because there's something sort of sorted about saying stuff like that because it's almost like saying, you know, "Don't give a crap about stuff but pretend you do or come across..."

Alex: It goes back to the authenticity thing.

Emma: Yeah, yeah, definitely. Oh yeah. I think that that's the thing. Like, I think the vast majority of people, business owners included, do have causes. Like it's something that should already, and I think does already exist in most people's lives. Like, it's not like, you know, you should not care about anything but, you know, one day decide that actually more people will buy stuff from you if you suddenly do for that reason. It's more, you know, think about things that you care about. Like, do you care about environmentalism? Do you care about, you know, humanitarian aid for various causes? That sort of thing. And think that you kind of should be doing what you can for these things as well, if it's something that you care about. So, you know, it's not something that you, by any means, should just do as a front.

I mean, you certainly have to…you know, you can't just stand for a cause as a business. You can't just say, "Oh, we like the fact that aid is provided to refugees." You know, you have to actually do stuff with whoever is raising money or donating yourselves or providing services free of charge or whatever. But, I guess, the point is that there is a benefit to you in that as well for doing so.

Alex: Is it a benefit as in it's a financial boost if people do it, or is it a hygiene [SP] factor which is if you're not doing it, it's a detriment? If you do it, it's not necessarily a motivation [inaudible 00:53:50] but if you're not doing it, then why are you not doing positive things in a world where everyone else looks to do something positive?

Emma: Yeah, yeah, definitely. It's showing humanity even within a large business in, you know, kind of corporate world. People, now more than ever, I think, kind of need to see that people care about things, people care about the same things that they care about. And it's especially important if, you know, obviously what you're trying to do on a day to day basis is get people to buy your products or services, it's really important for those people to also be able to see that, you know, yeah, you're trying to do that but you're people, too. You're trying to make a difference where it counts.

Alex: Yeah. So, you know, there are other benefits as well. If you look at the intrinsic benefits of having a good cause, the motivation factors on the team being a huge one. It's proven that if you allow your team to get involved in voluntary work and community work and working for good causes, then they are happier and more productive.

Emma: Yeah, definitely.

Alex: But, you know, it doesn't have to be massive, you know. Just use the skills that you've got in your business and give to a cause that needs it. So, if you look at what we've done, we've recently been doing some filming for a sustainability fair because we're interested in environmentalism. So we helped them. We went and filmed it and gave them all a profile boost by giving them the video free of charge, you know. It was because we've got the skills to do it and it's something that we believe in. If you're heavily involved in people so you're using some of your skills and what you can in terms of time and design and digital skills where they might not have the same skills that you've got and delivering as much as you can.

Emma: Yeah, definitely. And, yeah, I think what's quite important about all of that as well is it doesn't come from a place of…you know, we didn't decide to do that because with the way [inaudible 00:56:05] a good impact on the business at all. Like, it's not the number one factor. And I would not advise the, you know, people listening to this who are complete sociopaths who don't care about anything.

Emma: But you know what I mean. Like, you know, I'd never wanna say, "You should pretend you care about something because then people will buy your products." That makes me feel massively, like, creepy crawling in my skin.

Alex: But it's definitely a trend to 2019.

Emma: Yeah. Oh yeah. It is. Absolutely. But it's more take the things that you already care about and use your business platform to help those causes. You know, your personal causes don't need to be separate from your business if you can use your business, you know, to help those causes. But the added bonus is if you do so, it's also beneficial and you will be on trend for 2019.

Alex: On trend for 2019. #Trends. Right. I think we've taken enough of...

Emma: That's it. Have you got a number 12?

Alex: No. [Crosstalk 00:57:19] number 11.

Emma: It was good. It was good, but I don't wanna be here all night. So let's leave it at that

Alex: All right, guys. Thank you very much for tuning in to this episode of Leadspeak.

Emma: Thank you.

Alex: And we will see you next time in our regular slot.

Emma: Regular slot.

Alex: Take care.

Emma: Bye-bye.

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