Staying on top of an ever-changing tech landscape is part and parcel of marketing in 2019. The complex web between branding, technology, and customer engagement is changing year-on-year, and it leaves modern marketers scratching their heads in wonder and asking themselves:
- Which emerging tech trends are really worth investing in this year?
- What are today’s biggest challenges when it comes to standing out among the digital noise?
- What do modern consumers really value—and expect—from brands in 2019?
Uncovering the answers to these questions is often a shot in the dark for the modern marketer. That’s why Bynder and OnBrand have released the State of Branding Report 2019—shining a light on not only the current state of branding, but also revealing where it’s heading in 2019.
Together with marketing research firm Survata, this report gets inside the heads of 500+ marketing decision-makers spread across a variety of industries and companies both large and small to reveal their biggest challenges for 2019, their priorities, and how they plan to stay on top of the latest trends within marketing and branding.
Below are some key findings gathered from the report to help you tackle the year ahead with confidence—for more results and findings, check out the full report here.
Social media proving to be a blessing and a curse for marketers
It’s safe to say that social media is more powerful than ever before: from the humble startup to the world’s most iconic brands, they all have a direct line to today’s always-on consumer. Yet, as all marketers know, there’s a lot of noise to cut through and get your voice heard nowadays. In these highly opinionated times, winning the social game from a branding perspective can be a tricky task.
With that in mind, social media networks were reported to be the most effective channel for reaching targeted audiences and influencing buyer behavior, with 65% of those surveyed believing that social media algorithm changes were the biggest threat to online brand engagement.
Customer experience seen as the biggest brand differentiator
“Customer experience (CX) quality has been a recurring theme for years. CMOs will now tackle this perennial problem by returning to their roots and grounding CX efforts extensively with brand.”
The results from those marketing decision-makers surveyed for the State of Branding Report echo this sentiment, with “excellent customer service” (29%) believed to be the most effective tactic in breaking through to consumers in today’s crowded digital space—even more so than the product itself (13%) or the quality of brand campaigns (15%).
However, with the non-stop coming and going of digital platforms, it’s no surprise that the top challenge for companies when it comes to customer engagement was finding the most relevant and targeted channels for reaching their target audience.
Majority of brands playing it safe with their 2019 tech investments
Now more than ever, the continually evolving tech landscape acts as a catalyst for the marketing of tomorrow as brands aim to stay relevant and gain that competitive edge. With the stakes so high, 94% of respondents feel that it is “very” (63%) or “somewhat” (31%) important for their company to invest in emerging technologies for 2019, with customer experience and engagement (41%) proving to be the number one motivation.
Despite this optimism, most organizations are still focusing their investments on conventional, “tried-and-true” outlets, such as the development of effective mobile applications (66%), progressive web applications (50%), and digital asset management software (46%), rather than more experimental technologies such as AI (45%), voice assistants (40%), and virtual reality (36%).