Pinterest’s Jon Kaplan Pins 3 Marketing Predictions for 2019

The global head of partnerships believes brands must embrace context, authenticity, purpose

What will 2019 bring? Vera Fedorova/iStock

Pinterest global head of partnerships Jon Kaplan shared three changes that he sees coming to marketing in 2019.

Kaplan wrote in a blog post that he believes brands will move more ad dollars to contexts and environments that make people happy, adding that people are prioritizing time with people they love and products they feel good about using.

He wrote, “Context is king—and brands should care about the emotional quality of where their brand shows up.”

Kaplan also stressed authenticity, saying that he sees more companies acting on values that matter to them.

He cautioned brands that this does not mean they should jump into every social issue, but rather, define what their brand cares about and help drive those values.

Kaplan cited outdoor gear retailer REI, saying, “They’re all about helping people get outside, and they routinely invest in programs to make it happen. On Black Friday, when every other retailer is trying to get people in their stores, REI shuts their doors and tells people to go outside instead. They’re not just saying they care about people’s quality of life—they’re showing it.”

He expanded upon that theme by suggesting that more brands will share their inspirations in 2019, pointing out an initiative by Lacoste last February in which its iconic crocodile logo was swapped out for 10 endangered species, adding that the clothing maker’s collection sold out in 24 hours.

Kaplan wrote, “It’s a great example of taking something you care about as a brand and using it to inspire your customers. Research from Harvard Business Review showed that making customers feel inspired by your brand is even more important than satisfying them. It’s a lot harder to get that emotional connection than it is to check the boxes on functional satisfaction. But when you do, inspired customers actually spend two times more than customers who say they’re merely ‘satisfied.’”

He concluded, “Good marketing doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The best strategies come from paying close attention to what people care about and how their needs change over time. In today’s consumer-led marketplace, it’s not enough to be the loudest or the brand that spends the most. You need to show you’re listening the hardest, too … People expect more from businesses these days: more purpose, more passion and a more powerful use of their impact. As you head into 2019, think about the ways that your brand can listen, speak up and build stronger bonds.” David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.