AI, authenticity and agility – the three As of marketing in 2019

Thu, 27/12/2018 - 08:30

As 2018 draws to a close, it’s important for marketers to look into their crystal balls to see what the big trends of 2019 will be. Not just so they can make small talk at a New Year’s Eve party. So they know where to concentrate their efforts in the new year.

It was thought that 2018 would be the year of video marketing, voice search and all things augmented and virtual reality. And while those were present, one story, one company, dominated the marketing headlines. That’s because it’s a story that in some way, no matter how big or small, reached all of our lives.

2018 was the year of Facebook scandals with many people choosing to ditch their account and log out for one last time. In fact, it’s been reported that up to one in 10 Americans deleted their accounts during the course of the year.

While the scandals at Facebook and general mistrust toward it are set to continue into the new year, 2019 is to be a year of so much more. Specifically, it is to be the year of AI, authenticity and agility in marketing.

Just a few days ago, IBM Watson Marketing released its 2019 Marketing Trends report. IBM summed up the trends of the new year, saying that changes in digital were redefining what it meant to be a modern marketer. The clever people at IBM had identified nine key trends that were changing how marketers did their jobs and enriched each and every customer experience. The nine exciting trends are:

  • Marketer 4.0: Emergence of the tech-savvy martecheter
  • Director of marketing data becomes the hottest new role
  • AI and machine learning make hyper-personalisation a reality
  • Digital marketing agencies transform into consulgencies
  • GDPR helps build more customer trust
  • Agile marketing adoption accelerates
  • MarTech + AdTech finally together = the Holy Grail of Marketing
  • Customer centricity will drive constant transformation
  • In the emotion economy, purpose creates loyalty

"As marketers ourselves, we felt it was critical to dissect the industry dynamics that are reshaping the profession to help our peers set a strong vision for their organisations," said Michael Trapani, Marketing Program Director for IBM Watson Marketing. "By understanding the transformative trends – from team structure, to the advent of AI-powered marketing, to heightened expectations for the discipline – the findings in the 2019 Marketing Trends Report will be indispensable for marketers."

An important part of authenticity is personalisation. More and more, consumers are preferring – no, demanding – that the marketing they see be personalised. This leads to a feeling of improved authenticity and a deeper sense of loyalty toward a brand. And the power of AI can be used to personalise marketing campaigns to enhance that all-important customer loyalty.

AI can also assist marketers to find what’s working and what isn’t. This can assist them to re-engineer their creative campaigns to be more appealing to consumers by allowing them to concentrate on what’s working and scrap what isn’t. This kind of campaign agility, of course, leads to greater engagement and increased lead generation. 

Inhi Cho Suh, general manager of Watson customer engagement at IBM, said in an interview recently that AI was not something for marketers to fear. It was merely a tool to be used, exactly like the computer, cellphone or tablet you’re reading this on right now.
“At the most fundamental level, AI has the potential to enable professionals to free up time that would otherwise be spent on tedium (manual data entry, pivot tables, insertion orders, sifting through countless hours of content) and instead empower us to focus on higher value tasks, like contemplating ‘the Big Idea’.”

This reference to marketing grandmaster David Ogilvy’s Big Idea is something that’s of utmost importance to all marketers. Who would choose to input data into a spreadsheet when they could be doing the work of coming up with the next big campaign concept or slogan. It brings new meaning to Just Do It.

We at Rogerwilco are a proud IBM Watson Partner and we look forward to seeing the new opportunities we can create for our clients in 2019 and beyond.

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