As 2019 fast approaches, many business pundits are looking at what will trend in the year to come. Some of the most promising trends combine both new and old ideas to meet the needs of business and fulfill the elevated expectations of consumers.
That applies to administration and management as well as to sales and marketing. Thanks to recent innovations in all of those areas, 2019 is expected to be an exciting year.
Advertising Will Change
By the end of 2018, however, it is expected that 30 percent of consumers will proactively use online ad-blocking tools. That will usher in two significant business trends for 2019. First of all, companies offering more effective ad blocking technologies are positioned for success. Secondly, businesses buying online ads could potentially waste as much as 30 cents on the dollar when those ads are blocked.
Companies like Netflix and Amazon had the foresight to take advantage of this consumer aversion to ads, by offering uninterrupted and ad-free streaming content. That enabled them to steal market share from cable television competitors. More businesses will jump on the ad-free bandwagon in 2019, to disrupt their own niche markets.
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Word of Mouth Marketing
But consumers do still trust advertising when it is communicated through friends. In fact, they rely heavily on word-of-mouth endorsements to help them make purchasing decisions. So businesses will need to ensure that they offer higher-value, credible content that has the best chance of being shared amongst friends.
Social media is the easiest way to reach consumers within their own trusted social circles. But the biggest social media platforms are experiencing growing pains that have damaged their reputations. In 2019, social media companies that can restore their credibility and demonstrate a commitment to reputable content and user privacy will reap the rewards.
Voice Activation and Artificial Intelligence
Connecting with consumers will also increasingly rely on futuristic technologies. More businesses will adopt the use of voice-activated search engines like Amazon’s “Alexa.” They’ll also leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to harvest and analyze consumer data, and use chatbot technology to improve customer engagement and service.
A recent survey cited by Forbes found that approximately 40 percent of large businesses and nearly 30 percent of small businesses will adopt AI technologies by next summer. Most of these tools are expected to be deployed in order to streamline routine business procedures. Instead of using them to replace employees, they will instead be used to free-up employees to concentrate their efforts on core initiatives.
Enhanced Payment Processing
Technology will increase business efficiency and productivity in 2019 across all industries, with regard to financial reporting, payment processing, and cyber security. One of the major trends during the new year will be a seismic shift from manual payment processing to automated platforms specifically designed for business. The best of these new technologies provide comprehensive, customizable financial service solutions that do not require additional IT investment.
Businesses can reduce overhead and labor while doing a better job of accelerating payments and capturing lost revenues. Companies also benefit from additional features integrated into these platforms. Those include such things as secure cloud services, enhanced reporting and analytic capabilities, and hardened security protocols.
Every year brings new challenges. That’s the cost of doing business in a competitive world. But businesses that are equipped to overcome them will be poised for dynamic growth and profitable success in 2019.