Top leaders at Publicis Media highlight trends they think will impact the advertising and broader media industry over the coming 12 months.

The Future of Data is Decisioning
As we look towards an opt-in, privacy-compliant future, companies at the forefront have the opportunity to mine the first party data being created in their own consumer ecosystems to develop custom growth algorithms and bring their own decisioning to the auction marketplace. Over the past decade, as consumer time spent in user-generated environments grew and concerns of brand safety rose, advertisers began focusing on curating their contextual adjacencies in private marketplaces. That direction towards curation and customization in 2019 will extend into decisioning in 2020: as advertisers now understand why which audiences perform, they can create their own custom algorithms based on first party data, allowing them to take control back from DSPs, thus putting the power to score and bid for audiences back in advertiser’s hands.

Helen Lin, Chief Digital Officer, Publicis Media

Consumers Will Seek Purposeful Disconnection
We will see a sharp rise in people disconnecting for purpose. Not a polarizing luddite dismissal of tech but context based opting to turn off data, avoid a screen or disable notifications. This will be led by teens and young adults; as the first generation who have connection entitlement they will value the benefits of purposeful disconnection most. Platforms and device creators that offer intuitive human and lifestyle centric tools to empower people in this pursuit will flourish.

Bohb Blair, Chief Experience Officer, Starcom

Exclusive Content, Sustainability and Supply Chain Key Drivers in New Commerce Era

The transformation of retailers into retail media offerings will continue to expand beyond the mass merchant players. Food and beverage ecommerce sales will explode in 2020, supercharged by enhanced omnichannel solutions from traditional retailers and the inclusion of alcohol. Marketplaces will continue to double down on unique content, livestreaming and live experiences to capture consumers into their ecosystems, like Amazon having Taylor Swift headline the 2019 “Prime Day” concert and offering exclusive access to popular TV shows like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Traditional brands and retailers will continue to reframe their partnerships to include real-time data sharing and redefine Category Leadership status. Sustainability and supply chain will also be key drivers for brands to win in 2020 – give me what I want, and make what I need in a “better for the world” way.

Amy Lanzi, EVP/NA Practice Lead, Commerce Publicis Media

Brand Connections Will Be Fueled By Emotional, Behavioral Design

In 2020, the smartest brands will go back to basics; exploring and applying the principles of marketing science and brand growth, to drive effectiveness and create deeper connections with people that will drive their business. Technology, data and the precision it provides, will be recognized as more of an enabling force, than an end unto itself. We’ll start to see more marketers wield these modern forces to inspire deeper brand connections with people and enable connected brand experiences. The brands that win will be those where everything connects: Media will connect to message; Experiences will connect to advertising. Short-term promotion with long-term activation and ideas will connect to execution. All combining to make brand experiences distinctive, memorable and powerful.

Jonathan Tatlow, EVP/Head of Strategy, Digitas

Brands Need to Think Like a DTC to Enable New Growth
According to eMarketer, “an overwhelming 99% of consumer goods leaders surveyed…said they are investing in direct-to-consumer (DTC) strategies of some kind.” DTC brands have clearly gained prominence and this shift will mean that brands are less reliant on dominant ecommerce retailers and will look to enable their own direct consumer learning, acquisition and control to drive further business growth. Companies that manage all parts of the ecommerce process from shipping to returns will create an entirely new ecosystem of support to manage the full consumer journey. With more data becoming available, brands need to rethink brand-building approaches and consider themselves more of a DTC business to create lifetime value with current and prospective customers.

Sarah Kramer, Chief Client & Operating Officer, Spark Foundry

Marketing Focus Needs to Shift to the Multicultural Majority

In 2045, the US population is projected to become majority Multicultural. While we’ve spent the past decades educating clients and partners about the tremendous purchasing power that diverse audiences wield; the years between now and 2045 will be about taking action to prepare for the next frontier of inclusive marketing. Companies will need to re-think legacy practices — from staffing across a diverse spectrum of cultural identities (ethnicities, ages, abilities and orientations); to prioritizing culturally-specific insights to reach people in more contextually & emotionally relevant ways; to re-writing briefs, scripts and casting specs to be intrinsically inclusive from the beginning. Driving this new frontier of culturally-driven marketing will be the next generation of advertising leaders: data-savvy, passionate about inclusion, and multicultural themselves, this cohort will build a more representative advertising ecosystem by helping marketers align with their consumer’s culture-based identities to ultimately drive transformation and growth.

Lisa Torres, President, Multicultural, Publicis Media

Brands will finally bring “dark social” into the light.

So-called “dark social” – the sharing of links via SMS, e-mail and messaging platforms – accounts for a remarkable 77% of all social sharing, compared to Facebook’s 7.5%. This demonstrates a decline in public social sharing but also points to the importance of 1:1 link sharing. To date, few brands have put the power of social messaging to work in meaningful ways. The practice has become known as “dark social” because private messaging activity isn’t seen by analytics platforms and lacks tracking visibility, which makes most brands wary of investing in the channel. However, clever brands are incorporating link-sharing buttons into more of their posted content, with buttons generating a serialized shortcode URL for sharing that helps with tracking. 2020 will be the year that data, technology and the enormity of opportunities in this space coverge – and intrepid brands realize the benefit of “dark social” in game-redefining ways.

Ian Baer, Chief Strategy Officer, Rauxa

Marketers Go Traditional to Deliver Performance Across the Decision Journey

After more than a decade of scaled online investment, brands will start questioning their levels of digital customer acquisition investment in pursuit of stronger consideration and brand demand building vehicles. Tactics labeled “traditional” have renewed appeal thanks to better targeting, measurement, and personalized creative options. Connected TV, dynamic video solutions, and sponsored content across channels will absorb incremental dollars as brands look to grow consideration and communicate customer experience enhancements. Digital performance marketing channels, like search, will too see increased investment in brand building and consideration – not just last-touch, direct response – campaigns. Digital media investment will continue to be plentiful, but true incremental demand will underpace brand investment appetite. Smart enterprises will move money out of working media and into projects meant to improve customer-facing systems, sale conversion rates, consideration building, and customer lifetime value.

Ryan Sullivan, Performics Chief Strategy Officer, Performics

Affiliate Marketing Will Be Valuable Data Source for Better Shopping Experiences

With the many changes browsers are making to how data can be passed, stored and accessed, we are seeing tech companies make major updates to their tracking methods. 2020 will continue to shepherd in tracking changes as data privacy regulation continues to shape global markets. This will place continued focus on adapting tracking and marketing efforts to respect consumer privacy without degrading user experience. Access to valuable data and understanding consumer insights will be increasingly important as companies look to continue offering valuable shopping experiences. Brands are making great strides to move away from reliance on browser-based tracking methods to have greater insight into consumer behavior. Affiliate marketing will continue to provide new ways for marketers to find performance-based solutions in this evolving ecosystem.

Nicole Ron, VP of Marketing and Business Systems, CJ Affiliate

Download the full 2020 Publicis Media Predictions.

Some predictions originally appeared on MediaPost.