A shifting conversation around data will be a major theme for marketers in 2019. The data landscape will transform—with an increased emphasis on first-party data—in the wake of growing concerns over consumer data privacy and marketers’ ongoing struggles to effectively manage or harness Big Data. New regulation may hit Big Tech in the U.S. this year. Meanwhile, old taboos are breaking down. Data scientists are no longer sequestered from the creative voices in agencies. Brands are increasingly feeling empowered to comment on social issues. In light of this here’s what we can we expect in 2019:
This is the year in which companies will realize that all data is not created equally and, as a result, will begin exercising control over their own data.
Third-party data is far from accurate nor does it provide a complete picture of marketing performance. The brand safety issues with programmatic are well documented and are far from being resolved. New rules around data privacy—possibly including some form of GDPR in the U.S.—are a threat to DSPs and other intermediaries in the media ecosystem. For these reasons, marketers are increasingly looking under their own hoods for customer data to fuel more targeted and personalized campaigns. The result: A better integration of technology, data and marketing, which will open up marketing’s full potential.
Marketing will become braver--thanks to better blending of data and creativity.
The gap between creative and ad tech is finally beginning to close. Marketing’s ideation process will evolve and reinvent itself, much in the same way that automation revolutionized media delivery. (We may think of this as programmatic creative.) As a result of this more meaningful and consistent exchange of ideas between of data scientists, media planners, and creative talent there will be a trigger toward new ways to develop messaging and value propositions that line up against potential audience segmentation. Marketers will begin to realize that data and creativity must live together in harmony.
Micro campaigns for micro audiences will become the norm.
Instead of being all things to all people, today’s brands can create multiple messages for different niche segments to dig deeper into consumer motivation and define increasingly narrow (and more relevant) audiences. Each of these messages can co-exist but not necessarily co-mingle. For example, a consumer product can tout attributes such as energy efficiency or environmental sustainability while simultaneously communicating why it makes us feel better on a more personal and emotional level. Data science research will guide us toward how and where to leverage each of these propositions for maximum audience effectiveness.
Brands cannot be Switzerland any longer.
Nike, Levi’s, and others have had success with campaigns that point to the weighing in on social issues is now a net plus for business. Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ad is a perfect example. It has propelled the brand beyond all expectation. Revenue catapulted 15% over last year to a total of $1.1billion. As a part, in the last quarter, digital sales jumped 36% year-over-year.
Research confirms that people increasingly have an interest in brand authenticity. Approximately 62% of consumers worldwide want companies to take a stand on social, cultural, environmental, and political issues. Nearly two-thirds state that their buying decisions are affected by the words, values, or actions of a company’s leadership, this, according to a survey by Accenture Strategy.
Given these statistics, it’s time for more brands to get off the sidelines. The day has come where data and creativity must live in harmony and make the other stronger.