The beginning of the year is always a popular time to discuss which trends will make the biggest impact on businesses during the next 365 days. Just search “marketing trends for 2019,” and you’ll find hundreds of articles written by nationally-recognized media outlets from Forbes to independent marketing consultants.

For 2019, it seems like most marketers are talking about a combination of innovative topics like artificial intelligence and micro-experiences, as well as maintaining an authentic voice by embracing personalization and empathy. What’s fascinating is that every trend or idea seems to be based on timeless principles marketers have used over the years.

4 Timeless Principles Behind the Biggest Marketing Trends of 2019

Here are four timeless marketing principles that are foundational for the most popular marketing trends for 2019:

  1. Always develop your strategy with the end in mind. Whether it’s outlining an entire content marketing strategy or designing a specific “micro-experience” for your audience, every marketer needs to consider: What is the end goal? Whatever ideas or strategies you consider this year, always fight for what it is you’re hoping to achieve. Starting with the end in mind provides focus and clarity for which ideas will actually help you achieve your goal.
  1. Get clear about exactly who you’re trying to reach. Empathy and personalization are popular buzzwords for 2019. But, you can only empathize with people if you know them. Creating personal experiences that stand out and rise above the noise requires knowing exactly what it is that motivates people to act.
  1. Don’t forget to be human. According to a recent study, 86% of buyers state that authenticity is an important factor when deciding which brands to support. As consumers are increasingly distrusting of advertising and marketing, authenticity is becoming critical for brands. The best way to come across as authentic is to embrace the humanity of your brand. Whether it’s through promoting an actual person as the face/voice for your business or leveraging user-generated content, it’s important to remember that people place more trust in humans than in brands.
  1. Be agile. Artificial Intelligence is on everyone’s radar heading into 2019. But, what’s interesting about AI is that it provides brands with the ability to constantly tweak and optimize a campaign as it goes. Even if you’re not able to invest in AI, you can still leverage this principle in your marketing efforts. Take time to consistently evaluate your campaigns as you go. What are you learning? What seems to be resonating? What can be improved?

If there’s one piece of advice I can offer as you think about this year’s marketing trends, it’s to focus on principles, not tactics. While you might not be able to predict which channels and tactics will really work this year, you can embrace the timeless principles and strategies that are behind them.