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1. Privacy issues are here to stay.

With ongoing data scandals, the privacy issue will continue to gain momentum this year. The introduction of the General Data Privacy Regulation by the EU last year was the first major step to a worldwide standard for keeping personal data private. 2019 will see policies tighten and further third-party restrictions[1].

Approaching privacy as a sliding scale rather than a simple opt in or out, will mean higher personalisation and transparency for the customer. It will also allow for marketers to apply machine learning to the data they can access, without repercussions.

2. Value-add advertising will become the norm.

We will move further away from unwelcome interruptions in online experiences and non-personalised ads. Customers expect brands to know their preferences. Brands that don’t leverage marketing intelligence systems with real-time insights and smart campaigns will fall behind.

3. AI will improve customer journeys.

AI is evolving rapidly to empower marketers. It will take on low-value jobs such as consolidating and visualising data, leaving experts with more time to spend on strategic and creative tasks.

Brands that dipped their feet in small machine-learning projects in 2019 are pouring increased investment into bigger projects this year. This means reaching their most valuable audience with a personalised message on the right platform at the right time[2].

With budgets tightening and customer expectations for clever communications rising, automation will help marketers scale more effectively. If used to learn faster, speed up decision-making processes and cut operating costs, it will ultimately contribute to the bottom line growth.

4. Content experience will supersede content creation

2019 will see marketers focusing on creating richer experiences with their content. This will call for a healthy dose of fun and smarts injected into creative, to cut through our saturated feeds.

Marketers need to be asking questions such as: what is it that you want your audience to feel, believe or do? How can we push the boundaries of our content on mobile and social to encourage this? How can we more seamlessly link digital and bricks-and-mortar? How do we mobilise our customers to become advocates for our brand online?

Great content is all about adding value in a personalised manner. Also keep in mind the level of consideration required for conversion. An impression may be enough for a low-consideration purchase. But a $2,000 investment may require several minutes of education, reinforcement via reviews and an in-store visit.

5. The nano-influencer will continue to rise.

Late last year the Australian Association of National Advertisers’ (AANA) updated their Code of Ethics to state “advertising and marketing communication will be unable to include body shapes or features that are “unrealistic or unattainable” through healthy practices.” This followed an update earlier in 2018 cracking down on the use of sexually driven ads that could be viewed as degrading [3]. Brands are taking these updates seriously, so influencers need to get on board.

Following the tightening of these policies, marketers will demand more authenticity and transparency from their influencers. They’ll also begin to adopt advanced AI methods and influence scoring to identify the right value-based influencers to authentically connect to audiences. This movement will support the rise of nano-influencers – those accounts with under 10,000 – who brands will bring on board as longer-term partners.[1] https://www.cmo.com.au/article/650687/predictions-9-digital-marketing-trends-2019/[2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/henrydevries/2018/12/27/ten-digital-marketing-predictions-for-2019/#57ac97892c9d[3] http://www.adnews.com.au/news/aana-crackdown-unrealistic-body-images-banned-from-advertising