With the dust firmly settled after the New Year, we asked the team for their 2019 industry predictions. Covering everything from democratised data and a US equivalent of GDPR, to an increase in investment in Analytics and expectations for the big three (Google, Facebook, and Amazon), here are their thoughts.
“Looking at the year ahead, the industry should expect 3 major step-changes.
The Search landscape will face huge disruption in the coming year, owing to the rapid encroachment of voice assistants changing the way that users engage with search.
Analytics will become an even greater priority for businesses, and budgets will reflect this. Total spend on Marketing Analytics will likely increase by 35% YoY.
Thinking visually, digital video advertising will be incorporated on a wider scale, based upon a 25% uplift in video consumption across Social and Video platforms. Display will also get some much needed TLC as brands will start to care more about their creatives again. Specifically, keep an eye on product carousel ads: the industry should expect big changes (for the better) in product carousel ads.” – Luke Judge, CEO
“Agencies will desperately try to categorise themselves as anything but an “Agency”, but most will do little to change the bad practices that led to the negative associations that businesses have with the word.
Looking towards the key players, we’ll see major improvements to Amazon’s advertising platform, while Google makes a significant move away from last-click measurement and announce a series of new initiatives to help SME retailers compete against larger brands.” – Damien Bennett, Director of Business Strategy.
“Instagram is a prime channel for retail and ecommerce, something we have known for a long time. The visual focus has drawn in influencers and in recent months the platform’s advertising capabilities have bloomed. This, in turn, has created a perfect storm which will see retail and beauty brands shifting their Paid Social budgets away from Facebook, so as to invest more heavily in Instagram.” – Ruthie Pinion, Junior Marketing Manager.
“There are 2 big themes that I think will come to the forefront by the end of 2019. First, major tech firms will be going big on cross-leveraging in an effort to sustain their historically stellar growth. Amazon will try to use its’ Shopping and Cloud dominance to push across into advertising, while Google tries to use their advertising dominance to leverage into the Cloud.
Secondly, we’ll start to see more democratised data that doesn’t require a PhD in data science to understand. As data tools get easier to use, it will also become easier to manage complex campaigns at scale; making it easier to in-house. Expect to see agencies responding to this with more sophisticated cross-platform services. The flip-side is that this will require ever-larger volumes of data, which will result in more frequent – and larger – data scandals in 2019!” – Paul Rauff, Head of Technology.
“As prices rise on necessity goods like food, utilities, and transport, consumers will continue to cut costs where they can, especially with regards to entertainment, fashion, and holidays. This has caused many mid-range retailers to struggle over the past year, and we have seen many dropping prices or closing branches to compete.
This continuing trend will mean Direct-to-Consumer brands who can offer cheaper prices on many of the same products will really flourish in 2019. As noted by eMarketer, D2C brands don’t have the baggage of established brands, which means they can use their speed, flexibility and responsiveness to change to their advantage in a way which is highly cost-effective.” – Lisa Morton, Head of Marketing.
“Over the course of 2018, we saw a significant decline in organic clicks. This was down to a number of things. Google’s huge push on their ads last year was bad news for organic results; eating into organic real estate and forcing advertisers to increase their budgets. On top of this, there are a lot more features in the SERP – such as featured snippets and knowledge boxes – which have further reduced the real estate for organic results. Finally, as voice search continues to increase, fewer users are going to Search Engines. It should come as no surprise then that we’re expecting organic clicks to continue to fall.” – Joe Comotto, Operations Director.
“With GDPR dominating headlines last year, it is likely that something similar will hit the States. We’re already seeing the groundwork being laid down for this with California’s Consumer Privacy Act, but expect it to become more widespread.
Also, Amazon will continue to grow and improve their systems, becoming more accessible to advertisers and agencies in the long run.
Finally, on-demand streaming/content services will continue to grow, leading to increased price competition and potentially new opportunities for advertising on these platforms as they struggle to remain competitive.” – Craig Brown, Account Director.
“As voice-activated devices become more prevalent, the core providers will develop a costing model for advertisers to finally include voice search on plans. AR will also be a new market for advertisers to tap into. We’ve seen the clearest application of this through retailer sites such as ASOS, allowing users to see apparel contextually. As this continues to mature, many will be lining up to explore this innovative new form of advertising.” – Max Trifonovs, Display Consultant, DQ&A.
From what it means to be an agency, to the future of voice, to big disruption in the Search space, we’ll be keeping an eye on these trends over the coming months. Which of our predictions do you agree with? Let us know on our social channels!