2019 Marketing Trends
2019 Marketing Trends

Kantar’s recently released media landscape predictions outlines 12 trends that are expected to shape the media and marketing industry across the board over the next year.

Analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), says the research firm, will finally bridge the return-on-investment (ROI) gap. There is increased pressure on companies to measure and prove ROI. The use of data in more sophisticated ways, thanks to better data management systems, together with AI and analytics techniques will create a greater understanding of true ROI, as marketers will be able to get to grips with omnichannel behaviour and media investment.

Thanks to the growth in connected devices, marketers will be able to use voice technologies more creatively, Kantar predicts, adding that it foresees an explosion of voice and audio activity by brands in 2019. Opportunities for the use of audio in communications will arise not only from connected devices such as connected in-car entertainment and smart speakers, but also from a variety of formats, such as voice assistants and podcasts.

Kantar notes that China is emerging as a leader in allowing marketers to understand how social media can employ new technologies that will create both trust and richer experiences for consumers. Examples include TikTok, the short video-sharing platform, which reaches 100,000 users with social ads, and Red, which releases 500,000 product-related posts per minute. Both demonstrate how brands in China are reaping the benefits of earned and paid social media.

In the year ahead it will be incumbent on brands to create a world of experience as opposed to selling products, Kantar says, predicting the creation of a “branded experience network” of social platforms being transformed into marketplaces, publishers becoming content creators and data scientists turning into advertisers – think Amazon’s launch of the first voice-controlled microwave in early 2018.

Gender targeting is seen to be coming into its own, with brands getting serious about social issues, such as the way women are portrayed in advertising. Kantar predicts it should take until 2020 for marketers to develop competence in gender targeting and eradicating stereotypes.

Amazon will become a dominant player as an adverting platform in 2019, with advertising revenue becoming its fastest-growing sector, Kantar predicts. Given the size of the audiences it engages, advertisers are expected to look to Amazon as a marketing vehicle for their brands as it joins Google and Facebook in this space.

Kantar says video ads are fast becoming their own “standalone” sources of content and not simply an edit of TV advertising. This trend is expected to grow as consumers want authenticity from videos, illustrated by the success of Snapchat and Instagram story ads that entertain consumers in a personalised way, with technological advances allowing them to become involved in the conversation.

The big take-out

The big screen, AR, smart data and gender targeting will rank high for marketers and agencies next year, Kantar foresees in its media prediction report for 2019. 

Far from decreasing in popularity, the big screen will make a comeback in 2019, Kantar foresees. According to research undertaken by Kantar Norway, smart TV penetration is growing rapidly, indicating that consumers are still watching TV – in all its forms, turning to the best available screen for their TV and video needs.

AI is also expected to help drive media targeting in 2019. New developments in marketing automation will be assisted by AI, which Kantar argues is one of the greatest developments of modern times. AI in the media and marketing industry will enjoy an increased adoption rate of over 50% in 2019 as well as impact-predictive analytics, marketing automation and advertising targeting, speeding up decisions about media for agencies and their clients, Kantar says.

Kantar’s report notes that two thirds of global brands (65%) will be increasing their spend on influencer marketing over the next year. But celebrity brand endorsements are predicted to give way to more authentic “micro-influencers” – experts in niche topics who have a very specific profile and are more likely to be trusted by consumers.

Targeting will become more specific over the next 12 months, Kantar predicts.  More sophisticated data sources will be used, which will allow the targeting process to become smarter and provide more space for digital creativity, with greater focus on attitudinal and contextual targeting.

An increased focus on augmented reality (AR) will be another hallmark of 2019, Kantar predicts. AR provides consumers with the opportunity for immersive experiences, thanks to the availability of AR on the mobile web. AR is expected to gain traction in the consumer world faster than AI, which Kantar says will continue to reside largely within the business-to-business space. The advantage AR provides for brands is that it enables consumers to “try” their products out, experience destinations and visualise furniture in their homes before they make the decision to purchase. Brands that experiment now will reap the benefits when AR becomes the norm, Kantar says.