This year, we assembled experts from across Publicis Media’s agency brands to see what they predict will be our industry’s future in 2019 and beyond. Here are their collected thoughts on everything from 5G to ROI to social commerce and everything in between.

Connected Experiences Tug-Of-War
Connected Experiences will be the most high-stakes tug of war in 2019. On one side, a rising fear that technology will disconnect us from each other. On the other, a solidifying conviction that the experiences that connect us will move us forward. For marketers, there’s a lot riding on the outcome.

Because one thing is clear: consumers will no longer tolerate disconnected brand or media experiences. If your product requires waiting in a line or (heaven forbid!) speaking to a person, this is the end of your era. There are better ways for brands to connect with people. Anticipation, orchestration and integration are the new marks of quality. Expected connections will pass. Delightful ones will win.

Scott Donaton, Global Chief Creative & Content Officer, Digitas & Content Practice Lead for Publicis Media Americas

Commerce Experiences that Deliver Digital Magic will Drive Human and Business Outcomes
A recent Sage report indicated that well over half of consumers expect “digital magic” in the way their personal data is used to craft their user experience within any digital platform.  We’ll continue to see the expectation for serendipity within digital brand experiences rise, particularly as it relates to commerce experiences. Marketers are and will increasingly be expected to use everything they know about people to craft unique experiences, personalized to individuals and their context. Those that do this best are seeing full brand experiences play out within their ecosystems, with inspiration, discovery, comparative shopping, purchase and post-product community all happening within one platform. Additionally, with consumers increasingly valuing choice curation, product personalization and predictive convenience, we’ll continue to see paid subscription shopping services gain traction across categories.

Bohb Blair, Chief Experience Officer, Starcom Worldwide 

AI & Automation Will Enable Brands to Uncover Consumer Mindsets
More brands will move from targeting demographics to targeting intent signals and mindsets across the entire purchase journey ─ understanding, exploring, evaluating and buying. Automation and artificial intelligence will enable brands to do this at scale, bringing intent-based marketing mainstream. A person’s identity doesn’t change day-to-day, but their needs do. They respond to ads and experiences differently depending on their mindset. This year promises more media experiences and landing pages aligned to specific mindsets within moments, powered by AI—enabling brands to expand media investment beyond last-click, conversion-focused media to engage and assist people in intent moments earlier in the decision journey.

Esteban Ribero, SVP, Planning & Insights, Performics

Shoppable Content Will Solve Industry’s Age-Old Video Measurement Gaps
While the idea has been around for years, only recently have publishers and social platforms unveiled scalable and semi-automated capabilities that empower brands to drive product sales within a content environment. Instant shoppability will link content to revenue growth and brands will finally have an answer to the age-old question of whether or not content integration delivers a return on investment.

Jeremy Cohen, VP, Head of Global Content Partnerships, Publicis Media

5G Will Replace Blockchain as Brainstorm Meeting Darling
Marketers often spend their time brainstorming around nascent technologies, but sadly often find the benefit to humans is specious at best, and hollow at worst. 5G is neither of those things. 5G will be game changing in the sense that it will enable us to move faster and more seamlessly across a variety of areas.  The key to effectively brainstorming around 5G will be figuring out ways to get the technology closer to people than it naturally will be, so they understand how it will make life more magical.

Steve Bonner EVP, Brand Innovation, Starcom USA

Brands Ditch Legacy Decision Making To Tell Better Stories
Clients will walk away from legacy decision making—and the agencies that continue to push that approach—in favor of those that offer new, efficient and inspirational ways of bringing brand stories to life.  Brands are catching on to what consumers already know: the more you interrupt their experience, the more they’ll go out of their way to avoid you.  It’s this attitude that has marketers re-thinking their marketing strategies, and will lead to them move away from wasted inventory (banners/takeovers) to more personalized and engaging approaches to advertising and storytelling.  This approach will put the consumer at the center, focus on experiences that can be brought to life on and off screen, be digitally informed (not led), and prove out efficacy through new and updated methods of measurement.

Eric Levin, EVP, Global Chief Content Officer, Spark Foundry & US Lead for Publicis Media’s Content practice

Technology, Data, and Customer Experience Will Be Key to Winning in the DTC Space
Agencies will develop data and technology offerings for their clients, not just services. Direct to Consumer (DTC) brands will continue to own and embrace their relationships with customers, which means they will not compromise on the experience element. To thrive in this space, agencies will need to break down their own silos and become agents of that customer experience, managing everything from advertising and media to customer acquisition and management. The stakes will get higher as projects involving just one element of the marketing mix will be reduced in favor of more consolidated assignments. The winning brands of tomorrow demand that authenticity and control be kept as consistent and close as possible, and the agencies of tomorrow will need to adapt to be more than a partner; they must be stakeholders in the success of their clients.

Scott Martino, VP, Digital Investment, Blue 449

Advertiser Power Will Be in Customer Ecosystems
In 2019 the most powerful brands will begin to evolve into invaluable consumer ecosystems, simultaneously unlocking growth and relieving their reliance on other platforms. Successful companies are already figuring out how to provide consumer utility and experiences that people feel they can’t live without – all the while collecting signals that link into powerful customer data platforms. And while these new customer ecosystem brands will need to adapt to behave more like platforms from a controls and privacy protection perspective, they will reap the rewards of knowing their customers better than ever, growing usage and mind share. Agencies driving marketing cloud adoption will be poised to help brands activate data-informed advertising in a more privacy-compliant way and will enable the emergence of analytics and insights that weren’t possible before.

Helen Lin, Chief Digital Officer, Publicis Media

Data Will Unlock Unprecedented ROI
2019 will see a shift from talking to doing. The last 3-5 years have been about collecting, buying, sourcing and finding a place to ‘hold’ data.  This year is about the shift from amassing data to using data strategically – a move that will unlock unprecedented ROI for brands and that will transform how we truly understand a customer– from insights that drive brand-building communications, to the usage of a persistent ID in end-to-end customer relationship building. It will no longer be enough to use audience data to deliver more precise digital plans or for lower funnel execution – the true power of data will be proven by the insights it can unlock, and by how we can use those insights to drive bigger and better ideas that build brands, create personalization a scale, and drive business growth.

Kathleen Dundas, President, Data Strategy, Moxie, Zenith, MRY

Behavioral Science Will Become Standard Function Across Marketing Teams
Behavioral Science has been intentionally (and unintentionally) used in product design, in-store experiences, and marketing for some time now, but moving into behavioral science as a standard function in marketing teams in the US is on the rise. By understanding and utilizing implicit and unconscious motivations of consumers, we’ve seen positive sales impact across all of our brands and in 2019 can expect to see more marketers tapping into behavioral science for more effective marketing efforts in the future.

Liam Copeland, VP, Intelligence, MRY


Download the full article 10 Ways the Industry Will Transform in 2019 and Beyond

Some predictions originally appeared in MediaPost.