We asked industry executives to predict the trends that will affect ours work, and our lives, in 2019.
Jean-Paul Burge, chairman and CEO, BBDO Asia
"More clients in more places will ask for better work. Our work, and worth to our clients, is not solely dependent on either technology or great ideas; it's dependent on us delivering the two combined. Now that for many the machine is in place, we'll see clients demand great creative ideas like they have never demanded them before."
Jen Wong, chief operating officer, Reddit
"There's going to be a much longer arc around this movement around data transparency and management. I can see ... where managing your own personal data is just a part of your life, like managing your finances."
Ken Robinson, partner, Ark Advisors
"Distrust will continue to build among brands and their media agency partners as clients begin voluntarily participating in the federal investigation into media buying practices. This will prompt other clients to heighten scrutiny of their contracts, conduct further auditing and, ultimately, put their media accounts into review. Unfortunately, whether or not any legal wrongdoing is discovered, the process itself will result in the erosion of these critical relationships. Hopefully, the industry can get past this murky period quickly in order to focus once again on more positive discussions."
Steven Piluso, executive partner of media and integration, MediaStorm
"Someone is going to jail. There is too much dirty data out there. Are the IDs being used for digital marketing real? Were they obtained legally? The DOJ is focused on our industry and someone's going in. Not me."
Matt Miller, president and CEO, AICP
"The SAG-AFTRA commercials contract negotiations will be a monumental deal—or a monumental disaster—and holding company production/post departments will continue to flounder."
Dustin Callif, managing partner, Tool of North America
Companies will "go big or go small. The mid-size [production] players are going to have a tough time competing in this industry landscape."
Loren Angelo, VP of marketing, Audi of America
"With continued media fragmentation and social divide, more marketers will embrace communicating their brand purpose to better align with the more defined and vocal customer values."
Ed Pilkington, chief marketing and innovation officer, Diageo North America
"I expect to see more brands wanting to deliver memorable and effective experiences. The key here will be making those experiences effective so that they deliver the right scale and impact within the target community, ensuring that they're deeply shareable and deliver a commercial return."
Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer, Mastercard
"Multisensory commerce—touch ID, voice shopping, etc.—will become a natural extension across the billions of connected devices transforming our world. With more touchpoints and channels in the customer journey than ever before, the marketing field is ripe for new interpretation, innovation and transformation."
David Dancer, CMO, MedMen
"People are going to be surprised by ... the accessibility and the ability to purchase cannabis. With the midterm elections, we saw three new states introduce legalization of cannabis, so accessibility is going to just continue to grow."
Jason Deland, founding partner and joint global CEO, Anomaly
"Blockchain and cannabis [are going to] lead a lot of innovation disruption and growth in the consumer and the business economies over the next five years. I see blockchain technology changing everything, from obviously currency to the Internet of Things, and I see cannabis disrupting everything that it touches, from health care to culture to government and regulation."
Michael Kahn, global brand president, Digitas North America
"The 'experience' will replace the 'idea' as the most-coveted marketing and communication currency. And experience excellence will separate brand leaders from all that follow."
Alexis Ohanian, co-founder, Reddit and Initialized Capital
"AI and machine learning is finally being used in a really practical way where it actually makes a ton of sense to simplify the process of taking a Coca-Cola off the shelf and just walking out of the store, and having the store know what you did, what you took, and charging you for it. This kind of futuristic retail experience, whether it's Amazon Go or Standard Cognition, is going to change the way we do retail.
Keith Weed, chief marketing and communications officer, Unilever
"The whole area of data-driven marketing and personalization is going to continue to be the engine of growth in marketing. We're still not doing it as well as we can. The exciting thing in 2019 is I think marketers are going to unlock voice."
Ali Plonchak, managing director and head of digital, Crossmedia
"Clients will start to get smart and think about what other entities are taking client data and making money off of it. i.e. Remember all those pixels you let someone place on your website? Or that intern that sent a CRM list to the agency? Do you know what's being collected, mixed with other data and resold?"
Jaime Robinson, co-founder, chief creative officer, Joan
"Young, independent agencies will look even more interesting to marketers seeking exciting alternatives to the behemoths. It's already happening. So many indies have world-class strategic and creative talent, but have more flexibility in their models, creative philosophies and approaches. ... Another prediction? That agency leaders will continue to make self-serving year-end predictions."
Stacey Grier, VP of brand engagement (as of Jan. 7: chief marketing officer), Clorox Co.
"Marketing groups need to become learning organizations. As data and technology permeate the work that we do, it's really important that organizations develop the ability to learn and react."
Sophia Amoruso, founder and CEO, Girlboss
"What will come to fruition in the next 20 years is that this conversation with women that seems so basic—where there's a first for everything happening all the time, which is incredible and history-making—will become the norm. We'll no longer have to celebrate it, and hopefully the word 'girl boss' will be obsolete."
David Shing, digital prophet, Oath (which becomes Verizon Media Group as of Jan. 8)
"When I think about the distant future, and that could be 50 or 100 [years], whatever, man, it doesn't matter, it's beyond five years. ... There's a challenge and an opportunity for us to perhaps change our entire way that we think about our relationship with media and the environment and brands. What I mean by that is a little, tiny grain of rice embedded into my brain, which enables me to rent information because of this universal Wi-Fi, which is probably my phone."
Jean-François Sacco, chief creative officer and co-founder, Rosapark
"The return to sound. With the over-saturation of images, customers will want to find meaning through sound and speech. Everyone's into podcasts; this relatively new format allows for a more intimate relationship between the sender of the message and the audience. ASMR [Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response] is also a sign of this renewal. By whispering information, we make it more impactful, unlike a flow of flashy images that no one can follow. Finally, sound allows for flexibility when it comes to production, especially in terms of rights, which these days should interest more than one brand."