The only constant in digital marketing is changing. Across the globe, brands are succeeding not by finding best practices and sticking with them, but through constant innovation and re-invention of existing practices.
With 2019 quickly approaching, it's time to take stock of the digital marketing landscape. Disruptive technologies have presented this landscape with more opportunities and challenges than ever before. Only brands that embrace these trends can succeed in building a significant digital presence and yielding success on a sustainable level.
These are our five most impactful prediction for 2019 and beyond, as they relate to the future of digital marketing.
1) AI Starts to Transform MarketingArtificial intelligence has been on the radar of technology professionals for a few years now, but 2019 seems to be the year it will make a significant impact in the marketing realm. In its annual FutureScape report, IDC estimated that by 2020, "15% of companies will use AI to provide a consistent and differentiated customer experience across channels."
Change is coming, and it's coming fast. By 2019, 40% of digital transformation efforts in Asia Pacific will be driven by AI. As a professional in the business, you're probably well familiar with efforts in that realm. Now, be prepared for the same revolution to start impacting marketing solutions.
Ad platforms like Google and Facebook are already well familiar with AI in providing solutions to advertisers. Those advertisers are now beginning to level the playing field. Think about software that can learn customer trends, and adjust content and user experience accordingly on an automated level. You'll also start to hear about intent-driven marketing, moving targeting techniques from interests and demographics to future-facing actions.
Getting to that point requires significant processing power. For years, this sector was relatively stagnant, but that's poised to change in the near future. The upcoming second generation of the AMD Ryzen™ PRO processor provides consumers and marketing offices alike with the computing power they need to build more automated, customised digital marketing plans.
2) Privacy Laws Disrupt Ad SalesGDPR was only the beginning. IDC estimates that by 2020, 35 U.S. states and 5 non-European countries will have passed similar laws designed to protect consumer privacy. Already, these regionally-based laws are having an impact on organisations based in Asia Pacific. That impact will only grow in the near future.
Countries within this region are gearing up for their own data privacy laws. For marketers, that means a disruption of the status quo in which through advertising platforms, consumer information was easy to share and leverage. In-depth targeting based on cookies will only become more difficult. Instead, more sophisticated methods are necessary.
Information based on inferences will become more critical as verifiable personal data becomes more difficult to obtain. As targeting relevant audiences become more complex, organisations will need to spend significant time during their strategy building on this issue moving forward.
3) Voice-Based Marketing Enters MainstreamIDC predicts that by 2023, half of all consumer internet traffic will come via voice-based assistants. In the Asia Pacific, the market will be worth an estimated $600 million in 2019. Countries like Australia, India and Indonesia are taking the lead in this field. What was once an innovative tool is quickly becoming the new reality.
Think about it as the new mobile. The days in which "optimise your website for mobile devices" was a hot marketing tip seem decades in the past. In today's world, mobile-first is more common than mobile-optimised. The same will be true for voice-based marketing in 2019, which is poised to start its road to domination.
The implications for digital marketing are based on behaviour. Consumers who rely on voice assistants for their information needs will browse the web, ask questions, and interact with companies very differently than those who use more traditional keyboards. Accounting for these differences will be crucial.
That means adjusting your search engine optimisation efforts for more natural language. It also means building an advertising strategy designed to account for users who prefer voice over keywords. From assistants like Alexa to voice options in search engine, we're about to see a revolution in which the world looks for and consumes content.
4) Digital Communication Becomes PersonalWe're increasingly moving from the age of mass communication to a more intimate, personal environment. While large social networks like Facebook are still viable, their more direct communication lines (such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp) are increasingly sought-after.
It started with Snapchat and its instantly disappearing messages. Then came WhatsApp and its encrypted messaging system, now with 1.5 billion monthly users worldwide. At this point, every social media network has at least some direct messaging built in. In 2019, they'll start to become a marketing powerhouse.
Few marketers have an idea about how to leverage direct messaging systems for comprehensive digital strategies today. That has to change to account for these shifting behaviours. Accounting for and responding to messages is just as important to brand building as public posts. We'll also see the rise of advertising options within these private channels, with tools like Sponsored InMail leading the way.
5) The Coming Need for Hyperconverged InfrastructuresAll of the trends above are defined through new technologies emerging in the consumer sphere. Predictably, that has led to a preponderance of vendors looking to help marketers move their business forward with customised solutions.
Experienced technology professionals know the problem that presents. The more vendors add to your portfolio, the more complex managing the data becomes. Separate partners for chatbots, voice-based marketing, and other channels are not sustainable if your goal is building a comprehensive, consistent, and successful digital marketing structure.
Enter the rise of hyper-converged infrastructure. Already an emerging trend in IT, 2019 will be the year in which it makes its way towards marketing efforts as well. Building more consistent data structures allows you to leverage multiple vendors designed to improve your digital environment while still staying consistent in your technical areas.
Prepare for the Future of Marketing through Digital TransformationMarketing's constant change is a challenge for professionals and organisations not prepared for it. With the right adjustments, though, you can build a robust digital marketing structure designed for success both now and in the future.
Above all, that means understanding the current and coming trends in this arena. It also involves analysing your capabilities to accommodate these trends and making changes where needed. Finally, a comprehensive plan designed to match your abilities with your audience's expectations will allow you to build a better, more successful marketing strategy.
There are many paths to get to that point. Digital transformation is among the most important. It means not just embracing the right technologies, but also the mindset underlying these technologies to drive change within the organisation on an IT and marketing level.
That process is complex and might take a while. You need buy-in on all levels of the organisation as well as the right technological capabilities and infrastructure. Our eBook can guide your digital transformation on an organisational scale, setting the stage for success not just in digital marketing but for the entire business.