What will we see the back of in 2019?

by Ben Foster, Director of Digital, Nicholas Graham, Digital Strategist and Christian Taylor, Digital Strategist

‘What we will see the back of in 2019’

At this time of year, the industry press is awash with predictions for the year ahead – Which technologies will be big? What consumer behaviour will dominate? Where will the controversies lie? – but here at MC&C we’ve taken a different approach and are predicting what we will see the back of in 2019.

We asked three of our digital gurus – Director of Digital Ben Foster, and Digital Strategists Christian Taylor and Nicholas Graham – what they thought the industry would be (or should be) waving goodbye to over the next 12 months.

So let’s see where they’re putting their money…

Ben Foster, Director of Digital

I think some of the less advanced Demand Side Platform technologies will disappear.
Historically smaller DSP technologies have relied upon integration with bespoke data sets, integration-unique inventory and their own technology to amalgamate all these signals into a single view.
DSPs without their own bidder and those that utilise data sources accessible by their rivals are already under huge threat as Google and Amazon invest heavily in the space, so I would be surprised if they all survive the next year.

Expensive and rigid asset production will have to be replaced by something more efficient.
Clients require huge volumes of content and paid media creative to be constantly produced. The current legacy ways of working are slow, too time-consuming and therefore expensive. Next year I predict we’ll move to a method of working where we utilise existing technology to build easily editable and even dynamic templates for client copy.

Nicholas Graham, Digital Strategist

I am hopeful we’ll say goodbye to the confusion of GDPR.
The most problematic issue for professional digital marketers in the UK in 2018 is continuing to cast a gloomy cloud. Brands, publishers and agencies alike are still trying to navigate this post-GDPR world, armed only with their conscience and the IAB’s Transparency and Consent Framework, whilst the early winners seem to be Facebook and Google – the duo the regulation was originally set out to restrict.
I am predicting more coherence in the regulation and more examples of what constitutes good data protection practice (as well as bad) – ultimately this will help everyone to reach a common ground, creating more emphasis for the unification of unique IDs and putting us in good stead to deal with the ePrivacy Regulation.

But we will also bid farewell to any optimism that we can come out of Brexit unscathed.
I would love to believe that this time next year we will have stopped talking about Brexit but I think that is wishful thinking. In 12 months we will have moved from speculating on the what-ifs to debating how we can most efficiently adapt to the new normal, whether that’s trading restrictions, overseas talent or – heaven forbid – a recession. In 2019 we will have to confront Brexit head-on and hope we can navigate the new rules while still enjoying growth and prosperity.

Christian Taylor, Digital Strategist

Brand purpose for the sake of it – please let that be a thing of the past
It’s staggering that some brands still seem to think it’s ok to piggyback social causes with badly thought through, clunky or insensitive content. Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner turn will go down in marketing history as the biggest brand purpose clanger of all time, but sadly it has not taught everyone a lesson, even now.
I predict the end once and for all of meaningless brand purpose bandwagon jumping for the sake of having something to say, and I hope I’m right. The stage is set for brands to use their power and platform for good – and in some cases, a brand purpose can help create a successful positioning for certain sectors, audiences and organisations. However, in 2018 a higher purpose has proven not to be the silver bullet it promised to be for every brand, nor the answer to every brief. I look forward to seeing some genuinely thoughtful, well-considered advertising in 2019 with wider brand behaviour to back it up.

If you’re not sure whether you should adopt a chatbot in your social media strategy, you probably shouldn’t. Chatbots are a perfect example of the argument that just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. While some brands, such as Just Eat, are using them well by offering recommendations or suggestions for what you might like to order, other brands – such as, ironically, Facebook – don’t seem to have a defined purpose for their chatbots.

However, I am hopeful the message is getting through and in 2019 we will see brands apply more consideration to their employment of chatbots. After all, 60% of people who use chatbots are teenagers and they can really enhance a brand’s social media presence. For others, they can do more harm than good.