Everyone’s favorite subject is budgeting, right? Okay, actually putting together your budget can be dreadful, but at least spending the money is fun! Marketers in particular often get to invest in hot technologies and are experts at staying on top of trends and shifts in the field.

Investment in technology is the theme across many predictions for 2019. In 2018, Gartner reported that marketing technologies (martech) account for an impressive 29% of spend. This is expected to increase this year, as marketers continue to focus on creating experiences for digital-obsessed consumers.

There are countless articles you could read on 2019 spend predictions, so to make it easy, we did that for you. We scoured the ‘net and compiled the top ten predicted marketing budget items.

Here are 10 ways marketers will spend money in 2019:

1. Using Chatbots for More Than Customer Service

From Forbes:

Audiences are looking for more authentic, helpful interactions with brands, and they want those touch points to happen on their terms. Chatbots can help you meet your audience members where they are and inform your marketing strategy with insights directly from them at the same time.

Source: itzmagikle.com

Not only do chatbots give you insight into exactly what your audience members are looking for and when, but they also make it easy to deliver that information to them — all while collecting those insights to refine your messaging in the future.

2. Continuing to Heavily Rely on Digital Advertising

From Gartner:

Digital advertising spend surpasses spending on offline advertising: CMOs invest two-thirds of advertising budgets in digital channels.

Source: gotvantage.com

Despite ongoing concerns over trust, transparency and the effectiveness of digital advertising, CMOs are still willing to invest a significant portion of their budget in paid digital media to boost revenue and prove marketing’s worth within the enterprise. CMOs are turning to digital advertising as a means to increase brand awareness and drive new business.

3. Leaning on Influencer Marketing More Than Ever

From Chief Marketer:

This year, brands will allocate more budget than ever to influencer marketing because campaign results have been exceedingly effective for advertisers this past year.

Source: Leandra Medine

Influencer marketing is fast-becoming a more time- and cost-effective way to reach new potential customers.

4. Meeting Consumer Demands for Data Privacy and Security

From Forbes:

Online security and the protection of personal information are growing demands for all consumers, and marketing leaders must accommodate this development. The 2018 rollout of the General Data Protection Regulation in the EU was a big step in that direction.

Source fightingidentitycrimes.com

As audience trust in media declines and concern over privacy grows, marketers will need to put the processes in place to responsibly collect, store, and protect their audience members’ information to maintain the trust they’ve worked so hard to earn.

5. Improving Email Personalization

From Marketing Land:

Email marketing content can and should be more deliberate based on customers behavior, and I believe in 2019 we will see this become more prevalent in marketing strategies. Marketers have no excuse not to personalize email content based on the plethora of data they capture from browsing, purchase histories, and email preferences.

Source: brightinfo.com

This process will get even more scientific as marketers push vendors for perfection. In 2019, marketers will continue to test AI platforms, while pushing vendors to handle their AI needs and automate at a larger scale. This innovation in technology should enable marketers to identify content combinations that perform better, faster and more efficiently.

6. Uploading More Videos to More Channels

From Digital Marketing Institute:

Video is paired with the incredibly accurate and valuable user metrics of digital media to provide much more useful data on how specific efforts are performing.

Source: dribble.com

Whether you’re creating videos for Instagram, Facebook, YouTube or even your own website, it is a top-tier, incredibly effective digital marketing tool.

7. Investing in Voice Search Advertising Strategy Development

From Chief Marketer:

By 2020, it’s expected that 50 percent of all searches will be voice searches, and by 2022, voice commerce sales will reach $40 billion. Next year, consumers will be able to do more in search with their voice, and mobile marketers should be prepared for voice-activated search advertising.

Source: dribble.com

As search engines grow more and more sensitive to user intent, it becomes increasingly vital that advertisers tag every image, video and piece of content appropriately with meta descriptions and alt-text. Search engines use these bits of information to promptly categorize and serve up content to users. Without them, marketers will lose traffic—more so in 2019.

8. Giving More Attention to SMS (Text Messaging) Advertising

From Inc.:

We live in a mobile-first world where people of all ages are increasingly becoming glued to their smartphones. In fact, it’s been recorded that, on average, people check their phones a whopping 80 times per day. As a result, it’s no wonder why open rates for SMS marketing typically hover around 82 percent.

Source: dribble.com

When taking a look at how often people change their social media profiles, email addresses and more, phone numbers are certainly updated the least. This essentially guarantees your SMS marketing will have longevity, something that can’t always be said about alternative marketing channels.

9. Figuring out Instagram Advertising to Reach Under-30’s

From Digital Marketing Institute

Instagram’s meteoric rise has already passed one billion users, an impressive achievement.

Source: dribble.com

That means it’s one of the most rapidly growing social media platforms and, perhaps more importantly, much of its user-base is the coveted younger demographic, especially under 30, that Facebook is losing, due to its reputation as the social media platform for “old people.

10. Upleveling the Mobile Experience to Increase Sales

From Marketing Land:

Historically, mobile average order value (AOV) has lagged behind its desktop counterpart because consumers are less likely to make big-ticket purchases (e.g., large, expensive items) on-the-go. In 2019, we’ll see this gap close.

Source: graphicsfuel.com

In the year ahead, it will become more common for subscribers to purchase larger orders on mobile devices as the user experience gets better. To take advantage of this trend, brands will need to gain subscribers’ trust by offering detailed product content, more images and videos, or customer testimonials to push subscribers over the edge.

How Did Invoca Summit Attendees Align With These Predictions?

At Invoca Summit this year, we asked attendees where they will be spending their budget in 2019. Some top categories were SMS, search, chat, and display—which lines up with the industry predictions. You can see all the categories below.

About 17% of attendees categorized SMS as a top priority. Inc. reported that text marketing has a 82% open rate, which is drawing marketers to the channel. Search received 14% of votes and voice enable devices had 6%. Summit attendees understand that search, and specifically voice search require attention—as Chief Marketer reported $40 billion of commerce sales will be driven from voice search. As Forbes predicted, 13% of our attendees said chatbots will be getting more attention in 2019. Overall, Invoca Summit attendees’ priorities for 2019 lined up with industry predictions.

With technology and data-driven decisions leading the way, 2019 is going to be an exciting year for marketers.

Debby Haynam

Posted by Debby Haynam

Debby is Invoca's Content and Social Media Specialist. With passions in writing, design, and video production, she strives for creative and authentic storytelling. When not creating marketing content, you can find her trying to find the least pretentious cup of coffee in San Francisco.