It’s long been said that people will do business with those they know, like and trust.  The same goes for patients seeking out physicians in their area. So, when asked “What do you think is going to happen with marketing in 2019?” John Hall  the CEO of Influence & Co., and the author of “Top of Mind.” confirmed this in his comments.

The following is what Mr. Hall stated in Forbes about his ideas for 2019.

5 Marketing Trends for 2019

1. People are putting more trust in others they know and reputable content, not ads.

Nielsen study from 2015 showed the top four most-trusted sources of advertising were: people you know, branded sites, editorial sites, and reviews. Ads are near the bottom of that list, and that fact hasn’t really changed.

A full 30 percent of all internet users are expected to be using ad blockers by the end of this year, meaning traditional ads now won’t even reach 30 percent of possible target audience members. So, does this mean marketers should abandon ads completely? Not necessarily.

There’s still a place for some ads, but they have to be more relevant and valuable to the consumer. This is why we see more money going to content marketinginfluencer marketing, referral partnerships, and other methods that are designed to deliver actual value to audiences.

2. Creativity, not conformity, will set successful marketers apart.

People have been saying for a long time that print is dead, but I recently came across a company that used software to obtain physical addresses for clients and started sending them print newsletters. Imagine that. In the age of MailChimp and HubSpot, this company went against the grain and spent extra money to do it the old-fashioned way. I was also surprised to find that its campaign was extremely successful — but why?

Simply put, everybody else had gone digital, and this company saw an opportunity to stand out.  Consider integrated campaigns and creative distribution tactics  focusing on ways to engage audience members.

3. Winners won’t be concerned with internal barriers.

Engaging content doesn’t just help marketing, it also can enable your sales team (or in the case of a medical practice, enable the office staff)internal communications, training, and communication with patients and your professional referral source.   Creating engaging content isn’t just a marketing concern. Great content can fuel other parts of the company, resulting in better talent, lower costs, and improved relationships.

4. Understanding how your customers communicate is vital.

Technology has evolved tremendously over the last several years. Patients expect communication  with them in the ways they like. That’s why it’s so important for marketers to be aware of their customers’ communication preferences.

Experts out there are making some big predictions about how customers will operate in the future. Some analysts say they think close to 50 percent of all searches will be made through voice search by 2020. I’m not sure how accurate predictions like this really are, but I do know that my daughters and the generations that will come after them are growing up in a world where smartwatches and smart speakers are the norm.

5. Helpfulness and authenticity will combat relationships lost through tech and automation.

There’s no stopping marketing automation and technology. These advances help marketers scale more effectively, make better decisions, and save money. However, these advances sometimes come at the expense of the relationships those same marketers have typically built with members of their audience.

Although automation might cover basic tasks, it’s important to do your best to add a personal touch or offer direct help when possible. I was recently speaking to some contacts at a consulting company that had done an amazing job scaling marketing communication, but they still made a rule to visit their clients in person once every year to see how they could be helpful or improve the relationship and get to know the people better. They said that when they do this, the clients stay longer and spend more money.

These are just five trends to look out for as you think ahead for the end of this year and into the next. Remember, there’s not a single “right way” to build a marketing strategy, but these five tips can help you achieve any marketing goal.

There is no need to get overwhelmed. Try out one trend and then when you have achieved it, you can move on to the next one.

Need more help?  Contact Barbar@TheMedicalStrategist for a free consultation.