How digital marketing will change in 2019

In today's fast-paced digital environment, it's adapt or get left behind. Businesses around the world are transforming, adopting digital-first strategies which retarget and intensify their online marketing efforts.

This year has already seen the rise of high-performing chatbots, ephemeral marketing and influencer sponsorship - but what's ahead in 2019? Let's take a look at some of the trends promising to make movements in digital marketing next year.

Trend 1: Mobile-first and voice search

In September, more and more digital marketing professionals took to social media to discuss a perceived increase in mobile-first index inclusion notices from Google. What does this mean?

Woman reading

More consumers are relying on mobile and voice-activated search in 2019.

Well, more than two-thirds of all web traffic is coming through mobile channels, reports Stone Temple Consulting. With the majority of users preferring mobile, Google is beginning to shift the way it indexes websites. The mobile-first index means the search engine giant will be looking at your website's mobile user experience for ranking purposes before desktop. This means many websites with mobile versions that differ significantly from their desktop content may see a negative impact on their search engine optimisation. The good news is that the change has yet to be officially announced, so marketers still have time to prepare their sites with responsive design.

Alongside typical mobile search, voice is on the rise with the advent of smart speakers. One in five of all searches are voice queries, according to Google, and this is only expected to grow. Furthermore, 58% of consumers have used voice search to find local business information in the year up to April 2018, and 28% then call the business, reports Bright Local. This is tightening competition for search marketers, making that number one spot all the more valuable, especially around local search terms.

Trend 2: Machine learning and intent data

Personalisation is highly attractive in marketing - knowing where your audience is and appealing to them with highly targeted advertisements ensures your messages are landing on open ears. With the development of more complex machine learning capabilities, marketers are able to break down audiences beyond just demographic, into habits, desires, activities, interests and purchasing preferences, and then turn these metrics into actionable insights.

The resulting metrics, referred to as intent data, show aggregated information from other websites to predict user interest and build complex buyers' personas. Armed with intent data, marketers can better identify the right channels and times for reaching active buyers, whether that's sponsored blog posts and search or dynamic web banners.

People on phones

Powerful intent data helps you put valuable content before the right people in 2019.

Trend 3: Non-disruptive advertising

Native ads were predicted to make up 60% of ad spend in 2018 by eMarketer. This growth is expected to continue into the new year, with 70% of users preferring to learn about products through content rather than traditional advertising, according to Search Engine Watch.

The real benefit of native advertising, when combined with intent data, comes from providing real value to your users that meets their needs at the right time. These ads don't present your product or service as a cover-all solution, but establish your brand within your users' community and digital space. You are able to engage with your audience on their own turf, and while this may not immediately create conversions, it begins a relationship which can lead to customer loyalty.

So get ready - as we head into 2019 it’s sure to be another big year of change and forward thinking in the digital marketing world. By making sure you’ve optimised your website for mobile and voice search, as well as engaging in native advertising and personalisation tools, you’ll ensure that you’ve put your best foot forward for 2019. The underlying value in all of these is understanding where your audience is and how to engage them. 

If you want to put your brand before a huge captive audience, get in touch with the team about advertising on, New Zealand's largest property website. Drop us a line at

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