Marketer predictions for 2019

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 31 December 2018

Data continued to explode in 2018 and marketers are predicting we’ll see significant improvements in how it’s used in 2019.

The desire to know more about customers has been meet with concerns about the effectiveness and safety surrounding data.

Facebook was also a reminder of this in 2018 with its multiple security breaches occurring and news it's being sued for inflating its metrics. As Showpo CMO Mark Baartse predicts, the industry will reevaluate its "extreme focus" on data.

Other big trends to watch out for next year are artificial intelligence (AI) and voice, with both steadily taking off in 2018.

Lexus produced the first commercial entirely scripted by AI this year and research predicts 30% of searches will be done without a screen by 2020.

Here are some key predictions from top marketers in 2019:

Sally Byrne, Coca Cola Amatil marketing director

Stealth health and virtue signalling are my two hit picks that will continue to fire. Being in fast-moving consumer goods, the 'overnight' switch to products that are perceived (real or not) to make one a better person through health or doing good is like a moth to a light. Think poke bowls, kombucha, keep cups, protein bars, the list goes on. I myself fall prey to them willingly and knowingly. These products start small but when they start to scale the magic happens.

Jason Bradshaw, Volkswagen Group Australia director of customer experience and marketing

In 2019 we will see more brands strive to connect with the hearts and minds of customers by ensuring a consistency of experience delivered through both retail and online channels. Brands will focus on integrating with the everyday lives of consumers to not only connect with them, but show the relevance of their products and services. It’s not just about making customers’ lives easier, brands should also be enhancing them.

Malini Sietaram, Finder CMO

In 2019, voice will no longer be the exclusive domain of the tech-savvy; it will enter the mainstream and evolve from an exciting talking point to an essential part of the channel mix. Taking convenience to the next level demands a shift in thinking about how we market to the customer. For example, how do we break through while they’re busy changing nappies and can’t see our brand or product? Marketing needs to cut through the chaos. With such personal integration into the lives of consumers, I hope 2019 will also be the year where marketers fiercely protect customers and ensure their data is handled with integrity. Marketers need to have a seat at the table, alongside our technology and legal counterparts, whenever data-related decisions are made. We need to put our customers first, always. It’s time to rebuild that trust.

Malini Sietaram.

Malini Sietaram

Emily Murren, Domain national brand marketing manager

Looking ahead to 2019, I believe we are going to see an increased focus on brands seeking to build genuine and lasting trust with consumers in different and clever ways. Confidence has been dented this year, with big issues around data and privacy and it’s only a positive thing that trust becomes completely central to everything we as marketers do.

Mark Baartse, Showpo CMO

I’m predicting the demise of data. We’ve become so data obsessed as an industry. This was needed and important and I’ve been a key supporter of it, but we’ve gone to the extreme. Quantitative data is great at telling you what people do, but awful at telling you why they are doing it. This needs qualitative research and some common sense. Data is a really important part of the solution, but not the total solution.

Karen Ganschow, NAB general manager of consumer marketing and customer strategy

2019 will see marketing become a service for our customers. Brands will demonstrate how they are proactively putting the customer first, harnessing data and insights to service customers before they earn the right to sell. This also requires an obsession to enable customers to access the way they choose the range of services so voice interactions will start to grow, with the increasing penetration of voice assistants such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa brands needed to support voice services alongside the traditional and digital ways to interact.

Karen Ganschow

Karen Ganschow

Ranita Cowled, Campbell Arnott's marketing director of meals & beverages ANZ

With the state of housing prices, rumbles of market crashes and an undercurrent of tightened purse strings, I predict that “good value” is going to become a theme marketers deal with in 2019. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t about a race to the bottom on price. It’s the notion of “worth paying for” and “valuable to me” that will become a bigger part of how people approach purchases. It’s those small, affordable luxuries like the good wine or the fancy cheese that will win out over the overseas holiday.

Amanda Johnston-Pell, IBM chief marketing officer

This year we saw a growing number of marketing professionals adopt AI and I expect that to accelerate in 2019. Today AI is helping marketers generate rapid customer insight, make sense of unstructured data, and improve customer loyalty/NPS. This means they can focus on being more strategic and creative, spending less time on the tasks many would find mundane, but mission critical. We’ll also see AI become more creative. Already AI has helped write music, create fashion and inform creative decisions in advertising. The use of AI to help humans in their creative and strategic endeavours will be the new frontier.


Amanda Johnston-Pell

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