Each new year brings changes to how we do business and communicate with the world. 2019 is no exception, so here are some key trends to look out for that will have an impact on your social media, marketing activity and business in general.
Every brand has a story to tell and its own style for telling it. Over recent years this has influenced multiple marketing formats, from printed materials and PR coverage to social media conversations and interactive events. This year the role of storytelling is being taken even further, with all business platforms expected to adopt it to a much greater extent.
Whilst storytelling may already be widely used across your company, there will be areas where it can still be incorporated. For instance, using it at networking events is a good place to start, plus new ways to turn your data into a narrative (such as Google Analytics, social media metrics and customer demographics) is definitely something to keep an eye on.
Nanodegrees and mini-courses
A nanodegree is an online qualification that typically takes 6-12 months to complete. It’s becoming increasingly common for industry specialists to hold a number of nanodegrees or other highly specific mini qualifications rather than a traditional degree, as this route allows the individual to truly personalise their education and training around their desired career.
Whether you’re the CEO and lead a brand forward or have just started a job at your dream company, consider looking into nanodegrees and other short-term courses to enhance anything from social media skills and marketing techniques to your overall understanding of 21st-century business practices.
Fast and flexible innovation
Over the last twelve months, Drunk Animal Creative Studio has put in place a number of tools that make innovation a faster and more flexible process. Examples are wide-ranging, from using Basecamp for comprehensive project management and the sharing of ideas to the launch of The Rooster Club, which brings together business leaders, artists and creative thinkers from across Hull and East Yorkshire.
Thanks to countless websites, apps and other digital resources, it’s very easy to increase the speed of innovation without damaging quality and efficiency. Aside from Basecamp, we also recommend looking into social media scheduling tools, customer-relationship management software, marketing automation platforms, and anything else that will support daily innovation.
Super-specific roles vs. squiggly careers
As business itself changes due to new technology, so too must the job roles at its core. Some of the most in-demand roles for 2019 are Cloud Architect, DevOps Engineer and Python Developer, which is a far cry from a few years ago when all you needed was a Web Designer to look after your website.
Meanwhile, “squiggly careers” adopt a mindset based on curiosity, daily learning, the application of strengths to any problems that arise, and taking ownership over career progression. This type of professional will probably work freelance at some point in their lives (perhaps even multiple times between employed roles) and will always have a side project on the go.
Both super-specific roles and squiggly careers make up a large portion of today’s workforce. If you’re recruiting, you need to recognise the benefits and limitations that each will bring and decide on the right balance for your business.
AI-driven customer experience
From chatbots to ad optimization, platforms like Google and Facebook have been continuing to adopt artificial intelligence to enhance customer interaction. But it remains a huge opportunity and is underutilized by many brands.
Where we’re seeing this develop particularly fast is in the form of online customer service. In 2018, the growth in AI-driven communication has been undeniable, with tools like Intercom and Drift starting to appear on websites everywhere. Many experts predict that by 2020, more than 80% of all customer service interactions will be powered by AI bots.
Millennials are the quickest adaptors of chatbot-based customer experiences. According to Huffington Post, 60% of the millennial population already uses chatbots and 71% of Millennials have implied that they would like to try using one.
In 2019, more and more brands will strengthen their online customer service practices and even move to new platforms that may potentially offer more effective technology for customer service to thrive online, such as WhatsApp and Messenger.