What Didn't Change The World Of Advertising In 2018 -- And Probably Won't In 2019

  • by , Featured Contributor, December 20, 2018

It seems like a good time to relive some of the most-hyped technologies and trends predicted to change the world of advertising in 2018.

Here are some of my personal favorites:

Blockchain. There’s no question that blockchain technology will find many applications for the advertising industry at some point — some with real market impact. However, blockchain is not going to revolutionize our industry nearly as fast as the hype would have you believe.

AI. Yes, artificial intelligence is an important technology that has been with us for decades, but is finally showing the capacity to improve computing systems in a number of industries, advertising included. However, the hype of AI for advertising massively overstates its capacity for actual real-world impact in the business today.

Data science. I am a big fan of data science, and spend a lot of time personally working on increasing its application and impact on the advertising industry. However, anybody who’s realistic would realize that the vast majority of decisions made in advertising are not even very empirical, so we shouldn’t expect “big data” to change advertising — not until our industry becomes more comfortable making decisions on even “small data.”



What market dynamic might live up to its pre-season hype as we head into 2019? 

My bet is the D2C movement. Not since the emergence of the World Wide Web have I seen something emerge that could be as consequential on the advertising, media and marketing ecosystem as the revolution being staged today by these digitally based brands to undermine channel-dependent incumbents in industries as far-ranging as razors, contact lenses and mattresses. This trend will only accelerate in 2019.

What do you think? What technologies or trends didn’t live up to their 2018 hype?

3 comments about "What Didn't Change The World Of Advertising In 2018 -- And Probably Won't In 2019".
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  1. AJ Brown from LeadsRx, December 24, 2018 at 5:22 p.m.

    Nice perspective, Dave, and we would agree. Blockchain may one day be a major disruptive force, but with current performance issues and the lack of broad-scale support, it could be a number of years before the mainstream makes use of if effectively. 

    The D2C movement, however, is where we ( will place our bets alongside yours. I think we've only scratched the service of players who will enter the scenes here, and the advertising, media, and marketing ecosystem will indeed change dramaticaly as you point out. Look for attribution technologies to play a major role in underscoring how the D2C impact is felt. 

    Another trend that didn't live up to the hype in 2018 could be programmatic digital advertising. While the concept is intoxicating, it's not clear to us the cost/benefit ratio pays off relative to more traditional mediums like radio and TV. The aversion consumers have to clicking on digital ads seems to be continuing, and while ad impressions are indeed leading to view-through sales, the ultimate cost of acquisition is incredibly high in many cases. I think the D2C movement in particular will point this fact out as they initially focus their ad spend on digital mediums... and eventually on more traditional marketing.

  2. Gabe Greenberg from Gabbcon, December 27, 2018 at 2:16 p.m.

    Nice article Dave,

    I have to disagree on the blockchain piece. I am working with a few companies who now have live viable solutions that are quickly gaining momentum. Blockchain is now in real live use cases and brands are experiencing savings by elimintaing middle men that are no longer neccessary in the supply chain. 

    It is not surprising that companies most likely to be disrupted by blockchain say that blockchain has performance issues or lack of support. They will most likeky be the first to be disrupted. They will be the blockbusters or Kodak's of our time. 

  3. James Smith from J. R. Smith Group, December 27, 2018 at 8:23 p.m.

    Questions for AJ and Dave:  On the D2C front, how are brands dealing with their traditional distrib/retailer relationships?  Wouldn't you agree, while inevitable for many brands, this means a shift in their marketing models?

    On data science. There seems to be a real shortage of experienced (in brand verticals) of data science people, that also can handle the software and crunch the numbers.  Is that what you folks are seeing?

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