Here are Mono's 8 predictions for 2019

This week, the Local Search Association (LSA) released their annual predictions for the local ecosystem. With more than 70+ predictions from local marketing experts in the industry, I’m proud to share the predictions that the Mono team contributed to this year’s report. Here are our eight predictions for 2019:

#1 - A structured, data-driven future

“As data continues to grow exponentially, the importance of structured data will become even more apparent in 2019. Digital service providers will need to work to implement the use of structured data in their own processes for more efficient and automated delivery of digital services, as well as educate and empower SMBs with artificial intelligence that allows them to engage with their customers in more meaningful ways.” - Louise Lachmann, CEO & Co-founder

#2 - The rise of personalization-as-a-service
“Personalization is a valuable opportunity for SMBs to attract new and repeat customers and create an extraordinary online experience. In 2019, small business owners will look to their digital service providers for help on how to implement simple personalization within their digital presence to create a unique and accommodating user experience that helps them stand out from their competitors.” - Svenn Andersen, COO

#3 - All-in-one won't mean one-size-fits-all
“While 65% of SMBs (TAI Wave III Nov 2018) prefer to work with one digital provider, the perfect solution remains to be seen. All-in-one cannot be one-size-fits-all. SMB needs are different across size, vertical, maturity and more. Further, their ideal all-in-one solution likely goes beyond just marketing tools and services. We already see a race to offering the 'best all-in-one solution for small businesses' by digital service providers and technology companies alike, yet no one has come across as a clear winner. It doesn't mean the idea is wrong. Technology and the service model need to work together better to provide solutions that are as flexible (for the small business) as they are scalable (for the service provider).” - Jillian Als, Head of Marketing & Communication

#4 - will become a key unique selling proposition
“As the digital landscape evolves, search engine result pages are becoming more prominent as a source of business information. Search engines, like Google, are becoming better at crawling websites and pulling relevant information that users are searching for. mark-up and structured website content will therefore be a key unique selling point for small business websites to ensure they appear in Google's Knowledge Graph, voice search and more.” - Svenn Andersen, COO

#5 - Data privacy 2.0
“2019 will bring continued scrutiny to big tech companies, like Google and Facebook for a lack of data protection. Following the rollout of GDPR and deadlines for regulations like the California Consumer Privacy Effect coming closer, SMBs and consumers alike will begin to demand more assistance on data privacy from their technology providers. While it is ultimately the responsibility of the SMB, digital service providers need to be ready to help small business owners implement the necessary changes to ensure that their digital presence is compliant with data protection and privacy regulations.” - Matt Matergia, Director of Business Development

#6 - The transformation of digital sales
“Digital service providers will need to transform the way they attract, sell, and service small businesses in 2019 and beyond. The seismic shift in how businesses engage and purchase software and services will challenge sales organizations and their customer service counterparts. Service providers will need to adapt from traditional "sales" into being more educational and content marketing focused (both in terms of lead gen and closing new business). While disruptive to sales organizations, the upside may enable service providers to cast a wider acquisition funnel and to potentially lower the cost of acquisition and servicing more independent business customers willing to put in the time to research and self-serve.” - Matt Matergia, Director of Business Development

#7 - Service will be the key differentiator
“SaaS-based solutions will continue to grow in adoption across small businesses. However, the last "S" in SaaS needs utmost attention. "Service" is key, as the customer experience continues to be the biggest way to differentiate a brand as well as the best way to drive value for a client. When digital service providers can offer a well-balanced and value-driven "do it with me" (DIWM) service model, they'll have customers for life.”- Jillian Als, Head of Marketing & Communication

#8 - Accommodating the demands of millennials
“A new generation of millennial business owners will demand more control over their digital presence including having the ability to engage with their customers directly through digital channels, including personalization options on their website and targeted email marketing. Traditional digital service providers need to adapt by offering world-class do-it-with-me (DIWM) solutions to gain the trust of millennial business owners and help them succeed online.”- Louise Lachmann, CEO & Co-founder

Interested in reading more predictions for 2019? Download the full LSA report for even more insight into SMB sales, social media and more.