Sometime in the last century, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby sang, “Have you heard, it’s in the stars, next July we collide with Mars?”
So much for predictions. But as 2019 is only a few days away, we can’t resist the urge to share some additional forecasts about how marketing will evolve in the new year. Hopefully, they will be more accurate than Cole Porter’s lyrics.
Phil Davis, chief business officer for TowerData, says there will be more videos in emails.
Davis admits he was reluctant to test video in his own firm’s marketing and sales emails. “Creating videos used to be technically hard, and embedding them in emails looked funky,” he states. “Plus, it’s a little awkward to take a selfie-style video and send it off for prospects to see.”
He has since changed his mind. Emails with videos “earn higher click through (65%) and open (19%) rates, and lower unsubscribe rates. Since adopting video, our own sales emails have seen a boost in opens and clicks,” he continues.
Granted, marketers worry about how their emails will render on different sized screens.
Here’s another biggie: Voice-activated email. Amazon has “single-handedly made a big change in how we interact with our email accounts,” Davis writes. “Now, Amazon Alexa will be able to read your emails out loud, and dictate your replies via voice command.”
This feature will probably spread to Google Home and other smart devices, driving many new considerations for email marketers. For instance: “How will your email render on Google Home or Amazon Alexa? How will a car or smartwatch read your email? What does your CTA sound like?”
These statements may be a little ahead of the curve, given that many marketers are still grappling with basic deliverability issues.
Davis also predicts wider use of Consumer Data Platforms (CDPs), claiming that these packaged software programs break down barriers and improve information sharing.
“Customers expect a unified brand experience,” he argues. “CDPs help marketers by reducing the friction that comes with organizing lots of data across dozens of platforms and technologies.”
What’s Davis’ track record? Last year, he predicted major growth in AI. That seems to have happened, although you might say it was a no-brainer.
Don’t think that all 2019 predictions are upbeat. Barbara Rembiesa, president and CEO of the International Association of IT Asset Managers (IAITAM), warns that there will be tough privacy legislation in the U.S.
“The recent Facebook discovery has people looking for the adoption of something like GDPR in the U.S. faster than anticipated,” she states. “It seems that people feel they are able to make decisions about their personal data better than any company or organization would.”
Please feel free to disagree.