Marketing: Beverage industry trends set to take shape in 2019

Marketing: Beverage industry trends set to take shape in 2019
© Unsplash, User: Marvin Meyer

Tools and technologies are transforming just as rapidly as customer requirements and needs. In the process, trends and hype appear to be very similar. But in marketing the trick is to hop aboard the right train and focus precisely on key developments in the marketing department’s own company. Which trends will be critical for marketing efforts in the beverage industry in 2019?

The focal point at the moment is technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) that are making enormous inroads into both the end-customer and business-customer areas. No matter if you’re talking about Industry 4.0, blockchain technology, chatbots for automated customer service or automatically generated content production — search engine optimization included — the list of smart features that can take over repetitive standard jobs is long. For many years now, advertising campaigns based on machine learning could be easily generated with the help of automated functions like Google’s “Smart Campaigns.” Nonetheless, the potential of companies is far from being fully tapped, according to a study by the German Association for the Digital Economy.

Using data creatively and strategically, including for social media

In general, digitalization and AI are changing everyday marketing activities. For years now, this work has involved vacuuming up user data and poring over this on the basis of relevant factors. With this information in hand, a targeted approach can be taken to individually and successfully reach customers. Data generated by consumers themselves or data from tracking their activities on the company’s own website is particularly valuable.

The use of social media and the options this generates are continuously growing. Social media’s relevance is becoming increasingly crucial for marketing in the beverage industry as well, including in such areas as customer assistance through messenger services and the integrated purchasing function in Instagram and Facebook. Instagram evolved some time ago from a photo platform into a marketplace where the entire ordering process, including customer assistance, is performed. In 2018, Instagram produced global growth even as its parent company, Facebook, weathered repeated storms. After all, it’s all about the important trend of “moving pictures,” an activity that’s becoming increasingly relevant in the B2B area.

Audio and voice control is booming

Voice control is one of the trends in the beverage industry that has been advancing with lightning-like speed and has already enormously changed user behavior online. Smart speakers work completely without screens. They’ve even begun to take the place of smartphones at times. Their functions have undergone rapid improvement, advances that enable the speakers to distinguish the voices of different individuals. Companies can use voice control for their products and services, but they also have to ensure the content for voice search has been optimized. The reason for this is simple: Voice search and the mobile first index now play important roles in search engine optimization.

Programmatic advertising continues to grow

The use of artificial intelligence facilitates the management of automatic campaigns. The amount of programmatic advertising continues to grow. Today’s customers move seamlessly among the broadest range of devices, channels and platforms. Marketing must seize this opportunity, even if it has to pay a number of tolls on its way to the world of automated advertising. “Sixty-five percent of all money spent on advertising in digital media in 2019 will be traded programmatically,” according to the global media agency Zenith’s Programmatic Marketing Forecasts. Programmatic advertising has already become the most important method of digital shopping in the world, even if the transition will take a little longer than expected due to the introduction of data protection regulations, the study notes. The main reason for the delay, the study adds, is that companies must still invest in infrastructure and data to design their programmatic activities more effectively for the future.

Augmented and virtual reality leaves the world of entertainment

Today, customers can come in contact with products and services online: Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) make it all possible. The technology is being continuously refined in a process that is preparing it for use on a broad scale and is enhancing its user friendliness. Practical uses have arisen from the “entertainment-driven” hype. Marketing departments can delve into these technologies and discover ways that these advances can be used to place their companies on center stage. At the moment, AR is the technology of choice in the B2B area, but BMW is also demonstrating how virtual reality can be used to efficiently support the planning of future work stations in production.3

The next drinktec will be held in 2021. At that point, we will see what challenges and opportunities will have been created by the many possibilities of using AI in beverage marketing.

Andra Gerhards

Andra Gerhards is a freelance journalist and copywriter. She focuses on topics such as marketing for town councils and local companies, (sustainable) consumption and retail.