Predictions: 9 digital marketing trends for 2019

What does 2019 hold for digital marketers, and marketing generally? We ask a raft of industry experts from the marketing technology and industry community to give us their thoughts on 2019 and beyond, and what marketers will need to know moving forward.


8. Seamless UX

The focus on customer experience almost sounds like a broken record now, but it doesn’t make it any less important. The consumer journey is no longer linear, and may involve various touchpoints before a conversion is achieved.

The message? Be seamless across all touchpoints, link the journey, and ensure the best user experience whether the touchpoint is physical, digital, or anywhere in between.

“The customer experience will be more important than ever in 2019, with consumers expecting their digital experience to translate to in-store. The emergence of virtual reality, augmented reality, and improved mobile technology will continue to push retail brands to add layers and new experiences to traditional retail models,” said Rakuten Marketing Asia-Pacific leader, JJ Eastwood.

"This year, we have already seen retailers allowing online purchases being returned in-store, limited edition products available at in-store retailers and the ability to place online orders at the physical checkout. Next year, will see the emergence of virtual reality, augmented reality, and more. This will be a particularly important trend in the Australian market, as Australian consumers largely prefer to shop both online and offline, and as such, expect their experiences to translate, regardless of where or how they choose to purchase."

Kantar executive director of customer experience, Jon O’Loughlin, said 25 per cent of brand impact is delivered by paid media, with the remaining 75 per cent the result of owned and earned touchpoints.

“To make more meaningful connections with consumers, marketers will need to ensure they create branded experiences that are memorable and adapt to a world where brands, experiences and purchase journeys are self-assembled," he said. "Through a clear touchpoint strategy, focused around consumer understanding, to connect with Aussie consumers is to ensure you clearly focus on the touchpoints that matter most to your customers.”

FreeWheel commercial director A/NZ, Arjun Arora, said marketers heading into 2019 will face a big challenge in how they make the most of the technological advances in TV and video, and maximise campaigns across platforms and devices. Meanwhile, Rokt CCO, Ant Hearne, said 2019 will see more companies realising the value of marketing to shoppers when they’re already in an ecommerce or transactional environment.

“Smart marketers will reach out to customers with not only personalised and highly-relevant messaging, but also when they are in the mindset to engage. Those that are wise to this opportunity will be the companies primed for success next year,” he said.

For Unbounce VP of product marketing, Ryan Engley, 2019 will be the year of page speed for every business marketing online. He pointed out Google research showed 53 per cent of mobile website visitors will abandon a webpage that takes more than three seconds to load.

"Customers expect superfast mobile content and Google is making changes to be sure they get it. The company sent strong signals through all of 2018 that page speed needs to be a top priority, and this year, it'll be taking it further," he said. "Companies that can deliver lightning fast user experience will see a first-mover advantage - better quality scores, higher ad rank, and more leads and sales."

9. Programmatic remains dominant

Despite widespread backlash against programmatic for its lack of transparency, programmatic advertising spend is still strong both globally and in this part of the world. In fact, with global programmatic spend expected to surpass $43 billion by 2020, programmatic is far from peaking, and will reach its next phase of growth in 2019.

“As programmatic matures, we need to look to where the next phase of growth lies. The trend towards all forms of Advanced TV – Connected TV, Catch-up TV, BVOD; the acronyms and new terms are endless - picked up pace in 2018 and will continue to grow in 2019," dataxu country manager, Matthew Joyce, said.

“TV networks in all major markets, including here in Australia, are pushing audience and targeting features that already exist across the rest of the digital advertising ecosystem. In short, players on each side of the divide spent this year clamouring to benefit from the digitisation of TV advertising and will continue to do so in 2019 as they seek to ride the next wave of growth in programmatic.”

And with the age of personalisation here to stay, brands will be working smarter to ensure customers receive more relevant, contextual messaging informed by data and insights, Pandey said.

“Creative management platforms that can deliver creative campaigns programmatically and at scale will be a game changer for brands who are open to leverage new tools to allow both deeper engagement with customers and ensure campaigns work more efficiently down the marketing funnel.

“You will cross paths with high impact ad formats that delight and surprise. We’re not using the same technology as we did in 1994 when web ad banners started to surface, so why are we still advertising digitally like we did in the 90s? Creative advertising platforms have come a long way, and will continue to evolve in 2019, making lazy static banners a thing of the past, and non-intrusive, engaging, rich media formats the way of the future.

“High impact formats will no longer be a ‘nice to have’, but critical for brands who are serious about delighting and surprising their customer.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu     

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