Editor’s take -- marketing and advertising: Social media, tech revolution and people-focused advertising

Today’s marketers and advertisers are navigating uncharted territory, from perfecting their social media strategy to adopting technology such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and machine learning. SmartBrief readers have been keeping a close eye on these evolving trends in our marketing and advertising newsletters, with social media stories by far making the biggest splash.

Here, we examine the biggest trends of Q1 based on SmartBrief’s top-clicked marketing and advertising stories, and what they will mean through Q2 and beyond.

The continued importance of social media

Stories about social media in marketing and advertising took precedence in Q1, with readers most interested in optimal posting times, key platform trends and the rise of TikTok and Instagram Stories. Users are increasingly seeking out on-demand content and highly tailored services, which makes finding the right social media strategy more important than ever.

What’s next? Immersive content, nontraditional search, messaging and privacy are all expected to be important components of social media marketing throughout 2019. TikTok, the short-form video app, is being hailed by many as the social platform to watch this year. While it doesn’t yet offer paid advertising, marketers are increasingly using TikTok to create content and collaborate with influencers. Similarly, Instagram Stories is growing more popular, with creator usage growing 60% in the final quarter of 2018. Expect platforms that let marketers tell engaging stories and connect with consumers in unique ways to continue gaining steam this year.

How tech is taking hold

Beyond the realm of social media, other technology is beginning to proliferate rapidly in the industry. Voice marketing is growing, and marketers and advertisers alike are finding ways to optimize their campaigns and products for the next wave. Alcoholic beverage company Diageo, for example, offered a free sample via smart speaker and generated more than 6,000 responses, proving that consumers are open to this tech when given an immediate reward.

What’s next? Expect the continued growth of voice marketing, with best practices and new use cases popping up at every turn. Ad-supported over-the-top streaming is poised to become more common in 2019, as is enhanced audience targeting and data-driven marketing spurred on by advances in artificial intelligence. Let’s not forget 5G -- which is expected to help advance digital out-of-home advertising this year and beyond. Most importantly, while brands and agencies will be integrating more technology into their daily operations, they’ll also be looking for the right talent to make sure it runs seamlessly.

People-focused advertising

SmartBrief readers were especially interested in the campaigns that aired during this year’s Super Bowl, which saw technology and car companies alike touting their products with celebrities, athletes and even a few everyday people. Microsoft’s ad for its Xbox Adaptive Controller, which featured young gamers with limited mobility, made an especially big splash, as did Verizon’s commercial featuring Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn speaking with first responders who saved his life. Likewise, Gilette’s controversial #MeToo-inspired "The Best Men Can Be" spot got people talking, with 65% of viewers saying it increased purchase intent.

What’s next? We’ll likely see more brands and agencies thinking outside the box when it comes to grabbing consumers’ attention. These ads and others showed consumers’ desire to see campaigns that have a human interest angle and those that feature brands taking a stand.

Read all of the top 10 marketing and advertising stories from Q1:

  1. The optimal posting times for marketers on social

  2. 5 important trends for brands in social media

  3. Ranked: The top 5 Super Bowl spots

  4. TikTok: The social app to watch in 2019

  5. Consumer reaction to Gillette's #MeToo-inspired ad

  6. Instagram Stories gathers steam

  7. Dunkin' debuts packaging with new name, social push

  8. 2019 predictions for how tech will affect advertising

  9. Has P&G created the ideal agency model?

  10. Diageo explores the way forward in voice marketing

Interested in learning more on how to align your company with the trending topics and events of 2019? Get started with our 2019 Marketing and Advertising Industry Editorial Calendar

Emily Crowe edits marketing and advertising briefs, as well as food and beverage briefs, at SmartBrief and writes about both industries for SmartBrief.com.