Ep. 112 | 4 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2019

In this week’s Rethink Marketing podcast, we chat with Brian Aldrich, vice president of paid search at Logical Position.

We discuss digital trends for 2019 that he thinks marketers should be pay attention to. We cover closed-loop analytics, in-depth audience targeting and personalization, direct to consumer sales, and more.

Brian has been in the industry since 2011, with a focus on enterprise-sized clients. Logical Position started in 2010 and serves a variety of clients, “everything from small mom and pops to multi-million dollar brands,” according to Brian.

“Most recently, we were named the Bing Channel Partner of the Year for 2018, and also we took home an award from Google for growing businesses online. Our focus really is just helping businesses grow online,” Brian said.

Picture of Brian Aldrich for the Rethink Marketing Podcast where he talks about four digital marketing trends to watch in 2019

Why is it important to track marketing trends?

Brian: I think it’s always important when you’re in an industry that changes so frequently, like digital, that you know where the industry is going and the direction of where things are going, so that you can adjust your marketing and keep ahead, so you don’t fall behind.

What is your top trend for 2019?

Nathan: Let’s get started. So what do you think is number one, B2B or just overall marketing trend to watch out for in 2019?

Brian: The first trend I would say is, you’re seeing a lot of movement towards more integrated closed loop solutions. What I mean by that is, you have a lot more companies that are trying to close the loop on a lead.

So a lead comes in through marketing in the back end of your system. Let’s say you use a CRM system, like Salesforce, and you enter all the information about this lead, going through the closing process and then ultimately, how much that lead is worth to your business, if it closed, if it didn’t close.

What a lot of companies have been trying to do over the past five, 10 years is, how do we pull back into our marketing information into Google Analytics, into Google Ads, into Facebook, all of this information? And where can I have a platform that really tells me all of my cost data associated with my leads and associated with my marketing for those leads and really what my return is on that cost.

So you’ve seen in the past a lot of these solutions starting to come in play. Salesforce added a Google Ads integration directly. There have been a number of other players in the space that have been trying to add integrations.

But I think in 2019, you’ll really see a much stronger push towards this direction. We’ve noticed consumers just a lot more expectant that since we can track so much, that we should be able to have a more robust closed loop solution. So I think that you’ll see a lot more of that in 2019. As well as, you’ll get a lot more in the agency support as technology is increasing and more tools are coming out, to really try to close the loop to those solutions for B2B.

Image quote from Brian Aldrich for the Rethink Marketing Podcast where he talks about four digital marketing trends to watch in 2019

How do I get my own closed-loop analytics program?

Nathan: Is this a technology fix or is this a process fix, where they just need to better understand their overall process and the questions they need answered? Or is there an off the shelf product that they can go out and buy and just better understand what that cost of a lead is or that type of information?

Brian: Honestly, I think it’s a little of both. There are out-of-the-box solutions. Like I mentioned, Salesforce has a number of integrations and that number is increasing. I think one of the challenges has just been either seeing all this information in one place, or being able to import that information back into your marketing platform, so that you can make tactical decisions based on what leads actually closed.

I’d say that’s probably one part of it, you’ll see technology get better. Sometimes I joke with people that in digital marketing, we get so caught up in tracking and that we can do all of that, figure out what led to what, that we actually lose track of the fact that it’s still marketing, ultimately, that we’re doing, that you can’t track things like word-of-mouth, that there are a lot of limitations.

But I think you will see technology continue to step up to be able to plug into more platforms, pull that data in, and really give people a robust system in order to be able to evaluate that data.

On the flip side, I think that there’s definitely the education piece, in terms of internal sales representative or people that are responsible for figuring out if phone calls are quality or not, tracking that appropriately in a system. Because you can have a system that allows you to enter this information and push it back to Google Ads, or various other platforms. But if your representatives aren’t using that appropriately internally, or not segmenting the data correctly, then what you end up with is an expensive or a semi-expensive thing that’s not necessarily giving you the information that you want.

So I think in 2019, you’ll see a little bit of both, as agencies are trying to find ways to better communicate that to clients, which then ultimately will be leveraging the continued expanding technology in that space.

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How do marketers prioritize which trends to act on?

Nathan: It can feel all overwhelming, and we haven’t even started talking about the usual suspects when we talk about trends, like AI or chatbots and so forth. I’m just wondering, do you have any tips for how a marketer can get started?

Brian: I think that one of the interesting things that is always out there, and people don’t always think about, is there’s so much information online that’s put out by all of the different platforms, by the various agencies, various articles. For example, search engine land has a lot of information on all sorts of different things that are going on in the industry.

You’d be surprised how many times, if you’re just curious about something, if you Google it, either help articles pop up or people have written blog posts about it, or podcasts like yourself. A lot of that information is where I usually tell people to go to start, is at least Google it and see if somebody else already has information for you bundled up. The second part would be, just talking to an agency that might specialize in that space, see if they have any free resources or obviously, depending on your size, looking for different engagements and that.

But I think really, making sure that information and research is part of your process, whether it be through Google, whether it be through your favorite podcast or your favorite article syndication, just making sure that … keeping that intentional and making sure you’re keeping up to date that way, I think would be the best source of information that you can get, since it’s changing so frequently.