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Global Trends

Top trends which should be on every start-up’s radar in 2019

Top trends which should be on every start-up’s radar in 2019

The year is coming to a close. Traditionally a good time for companies to consult their crystal balls on what’s coming over the next twelve months. Seven experienced experts reveal their trends for 2019: including data-driven PR, media for equity, moving images and a call for more Microsoft-like behaviour.

Tilo Bonow, CEO of Berlin PR agency PIABO, sees successful employer branding, data-driven PR and visual storytelling as the three biggest topics for 2019:

“As talent becomes ever scarcer, employer branding will be central in 2019: what does my employer stand for? A clever positioning of spokespeople will help those new to the game enormously. Also crucial: data driven PR - thanks to modern technology, targeted media monitoring identifies the channels that deliver the best results. The third major topic is visual storytelling, for example the use of infographics, videos or other visual means, the production of which is becoming ever cheaper thanks to technology."

According to Achim Feige, brand expert and partner at management consultancy BrandTrust, traditional marketing is at a crossroads:

"Marketing is dead, long live marketing! The role of the classic CMO as advertiser and communicator is under pressure. Everything is now measurable, entire marketing departments are being dismissed and replaced by algorithms. The digital units are the new heroes within companies and they get more budget. Marketing only has a right to exist if it brings meaning to the data chaos and builds an attractive brand. Marketing will become the new sales by transforming the digital customer journey from the simple, quick platitudes of old into a brand experience, making the brand into cultural driver from the inside out and thus becoming the co-creator and storyteller of the company's future. In doing so, marketing remains relevant as a beacon and changemaker and avoids the threat of being replaced by bots and algorithms. Because it makes sense. And it can work like this on TV too."

Klaus Weise, CEO of the PR department at Serviceplan, advises brands in 2019 to take a clear stand in their communications and points to Microsoft as a role model in this regard:

“The established stars of the digital economy Facebook, Apple, Netflix and Google have a common problem: they are all losing their shine. They are being brought down to earth by their customers, employees and the stock exchange. That old dinosaur of the software world from the last century Microsoft is proving it can be different. Under Satya Nadella the company has completely reinvented itself. He has transformed Microsoft by cutting out outdated customs and placing the business on the cloud, and in Skype, GitHub und LinkedIn he has made smart acquisitions. Microsoft boss Nadella is also brave enough to take a clear stand. At the World Economic Forum in Davos he talked about the Third World, recommended the EU General Data Protection Regulation on counterfeiting to his own government in Washington and called for international rules in the use of artificial intelligence. A call for greater regulation – for corporate America, an absolute breach of taboo.  Therefore my top trend for 2019 is: learn from Microsoft. Have the courage to think differently, to reinvent and to take a stand. I predict that in 2019, Facebook, Apple & Co. will go down this road also."

ceo, microsoft, entrepreneur
According to Klaus Weise a role model for entrepreneurs: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Source: Microsoft

Florian Pauthner, CEO of SevenVentures, is convinced that Media-for-Equity and Media-for-Revenue models will become even more important in 2019 in the development of start-ups:

“The B2C sector will continue to develop positively, and I expect particularly exciting developments in InsureTech and telemedicine.  As in 2018, financing will be concentrated mainly in larger rounds and Media-for-Equity and Media-for-Revenue models will make an important contribution here. As for start-up funding, we will see three categories. The top start-ups will continue to be financed with large sums - this will be mainly the very advanced companies. There will be the start-ups that find financing but are not heavily oversubscribed. The third category is the very hard-to-finance start-ups, which couldn‘t develop enough traction. One thing is clear: Good investments will continue to be difficult to find - thankfully.”

ceo, start-up, investment
SevenVentures CEO Florian Pauthner recommends M4E and M4R models to start-ups in 2019, Source: SevenVentures

Svenja Teichmann, founder & managing director of content marketing and online marketing agency crowdmedia, advises start-up companies in 2019 to consider an innovation budget for strategic prototyping:

"It's futile to think about trends and jump on the next hype. I think it is much more important nowadays to have a structure in marketing that allows you to respond to rapid developments without neglecting a stringent development of previous measures. In marketing, part of the budget (time AND money) should be reserved for trial and error - essentially a marketing innovation budget. This means new trends are constantly monitored and evaluated based on target and target group, then prioritised and executed as a pilot scheme. With this procedure you learn how to prototype: execute something quickly, achieve results, evaluate and make appropriate decisions. "

Timo Sailer, Digital Marketing Manager at Starwatch, calls 2019 the year of the moving image in social networks:

"2019 could be the year of moving images in social media. Facebook is increasingly trying to become a video platform, with Facebook Watch and Instagram TV becoming competitors to Youtube. With these channels there are new opportunities to build organic reach and to place advertising content. Facebook is offering a lot of organic reach on livestreams which will continue to grow and be a good form of advertising, especially with professional livestreams (such as branded shows). With the new features, the user should be able to easily create good content on Instagram and Facebook. That's the good news - now the bad: organic reach is falling. You cannot avoid performance marketing anymore. Even to reach your own fans, posts will probably have to be promoted, despite ever more expensive CPMs.”

Christian Paavo Spieker, CEO of diva-e Advertising and founder of One Advertising, highlights SEO-trends in 2019:

"The SEO trend for 2019 is #NoBrandNoRank. Only those who know their customers and clearly position their own brand will succeed with SEO in 2019. The user experience plays a decisive role in this. If you process data and information correctly, you can optimise your website in such a way that the user is the focus. It results in a longer retention time and satisfaction, which in turn means that content is more easily found in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). Anyone who wins the click battle should also be offering something on their website. Customers should not be flooded with information. A clear user guidance and objective motivates the user in the end to carry out desired actions such as a purchase or to generate a lead. If you manage to implement these measures, nothing stands in the way of successful SEO in 2019."