Looking ahead into 2019

18th December 2018
Adstream - 2019 trends

As 2018 draws to a close, we’d like to thank everyone who has worked with Adstream throughout the year. We’ve put together an overview of the work that we did in the EMEA region throughout 2018 – lots of ad deliveries and projects created in our platform!

EMEA Year In Review 2018

As we were reflecting on the year that was, we started thinking about what would drive the industry next year. We’re looking forward to an even bigger year with many new and exciting trends predicted for 2019 – below you’ll find a few that we think will be at the forefront of marketing and advertising in the year to come.

It’s no surprise that when people think of impressive, talk-about-it-for-years-to-come global advertising, it tends to be B2C marketing campaigns that come to mind. However, in news that might surprise, Forbes contributor and author of Marketing in the Fake News Era, Peter Horst, predicts that going into the new year marketing worlds are set to collide. Come 2019, B2C marketers will have some critical takeaways from the B2B world, and vice-versa. We took a look at the trends that are set to dominate the advertising & marketing industry in 2019.

Programmatic marketing

In 2014 the IAB estimated that by 2018, programmatic spend would increase to over 80% of digital marketing spend, up from 28% just five years ago. And they were right. In 2019 it’s only set to continue growing, with eMarketer reporting that by 2020, 86.3% of digital display ad dollars will transact programmatically, from the world’s biggest markets. Globally, programmatic will account for 68% of digital ad spend (Zenith). That puts global spend predictions for 2019 at a massive 214 billion US dollars, of the 316 billion US dollars projected to be spent on digital ads worldwide (eMarketer). It’s easy to see that when programmatic marketing first hit it was most appealing for its high volume reach and low cost efficiencies. But, now, it’s not enough for brands to reach more people in more places online, just for the sake of it. As the industry progresses, so too has technology to a point where programmatic marketing allows for a certain level of tailoring. In 2019, programmatic advertising options provide brands with access to hard-to-reach audiences and precise engagement insights, all within the context of engaging key decision makers via their preferred channels.

Let’s get personal

Engaging key decision makers using highly personalised content is set to soar in 2019. Industry experts at a 2018 marketing exchange in the US predicted hyper-personalisation to become the new norm in marketing. As Jeff Marcoux of TTEC mentioned in his keynote speech at the exchange, “Personas and segments don’t buy your product – a human buys your product.” According to Content Marketing Institute, 89% of marketers already use content marketing within their business model. Of those that don’t, over half of these plan to incorporate this into their marketing strategy come 2019. However, it’s finding the most effective way to tailor this content to your customers that would appear most important come the new year. Considering that personalised content marketing generates three times as many leads as paid advertising (Kapost), it’s easy to understand that buyers expect us to use the data they are sharing to bring them a highly personalised experience. According to a Demand Gen report, only 10% of companies have “successfully broken down data silos and aggregated customer information.” In reality – as marketers – we should be incorporating first and third party data, with machine learning and AI to achieve a whole new level of personalisation.

Artificial Intelligence

One of the ways in which companies will be able to address the growing need for personalised customer experience (CX) in 2019 is through the use of artificial intelligence (AI). According to Statista, of the $2.4 trillion US dollars that was forecast for 2018 in B2C e-Commerce sales worldwide, the majority of these were transacted by millennials. Data released by Google in 2017 showed that 50% of all B2B researchers and buyers were also millennials, with the figure expected to rise to 70% by the start of 2020. Among these millennials, 70% look to chatbots when they need a quick answer to a simple question (Salesforce), and 90% start their buying journey with a simple Google search. With Google receiving upwards of 3.5 billion searches every day (Marketo), their RankBrain machine learning program is perhaps the simplest form of AI that most people interact with, without even realising it. Learning to use it can undoubtedly give marketers a business advantage. It goes without saying that AI marketing capabilities are giving brands more lift and scale across their platforms, hence becoming standard best practice as fast as the technologies become available. Not only can AI help predict potential customers, discriminate between buyers and visitors, and improve lead gen, it can also deliver the right content, to the right customers, at the right time. Even more recently AI technology has sparked interest for being able to write grammatically correct content, web pages and emails that target specific SEO keywords. We’ll soon be talking in more detail about AI & Machine Learning as we do a deep-dive into the subject. If you’re interested in finding out more, please register your details here.

With the immense amount of content that needs to be generated to service these trends, and the data needed to manage campaigns, organising your workflows and assets is more important than ever. By making sure you’re publishing the right content, storing your assets correctly, ensuring you’re not violating usage rights and maximising your cost efficiencies, your business will be sure to thrive in the year ahead.


No matter what your business goals are for 2019, Adstream can assist with digital asset management, traffic management, media automation, data analytics and more. Contact us for more information

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