2018 has been an exciting year on the marketing front. Well documented is the rush we all had in May to complete our compliance with GDPR but other things were happening under the radar that some businesses may have missed.
So, what is going to spill over into 2019?
In December 2018 the Government announced that the ICO (Information Commissioners Office) are now making Directors personally liable for breaches in telemarketing laws. Directors could now face fines of up to £500k. Estimates from Ofcom show that British consumers were bombarded with 3.9 billion nuisance phone calls and text last year. Previously it was only the businesses that could be fined. Last year the ICO fined two companies a total of £250k for making unsolicited calls to numbers on the telephone preference scheme and a third company £200k for sending 14 million texts in breach of the PECR rules. More changes are expected to this regulation in 2019.
Last year Facebook faced all sorts of problems, as did marketers and businesses using the platform. The social media giant made change after change to try and claw back some of its reputation. For many businesses this now means that as few as 10% of those that like and follow business Facebook pages will now see a post – a big blow for small businesses.
“Storification” is now the buzzword for making impact on social media, especially across Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp, Snapchat and Linkedin. Research has recently found that sharing via stories is growing 15x faster than feed based social sharing and that creation and consumption of stories is up by 842% since 2016. Images and video content are playing a big part in story formats. The prediction is that video will continue to dominate on social media and experts are predicting that up to 80% of what we consume online in 2019 will be video content.
The biggest disruption to online presence last year occurred when Google finally delivered what it had been promising for at last 2 year; it re-ranked all websites on their mobile performance. In July of last year it no longer mattered how stunning the desktop version of your website was, it mattered how Google perceived its performance on a Smartphone. Many companies are still trying to claw back their position as a result of this move.
And finally, a thought for retailers who continue to suffer from difficult trading conditions. It appears that many are turning away from digital marketing and back to direct mail, with reported average order value increasing by 15% over digital channels.
In the ever challenging and changing world of marketing the lesson is it doesn’t pay to be too set in your ways!