As new technologies are created and innovated upon, our world as we know it changes – bit by bit. 2019 will see a deeper adoption of tech in our society and as a result consumer demands for tighter privacy and protection strengthens.

On The Digital Transformation Show we move through our top 8 predictions for 2019, which you can listen to here. But hey, you’re already here reading the article, so read on: 2019 Trends – The Digital Transformation Show

 

Blirt’s Top 8 Predictions for 2019

Prediction 1: Artificial Intelligence

If you’ve been following our podcast and articles, you will be familiar with the different tech waves we’ve all moved through. We unpack the different waves of technology in this article about the XMarketer –the 5th wave is AI.

We’re currently in the 5th technology wave and AI is the surging current that all business departments will be swept up in. Wave analogies aside, this means that now all departments are unified using connected systems and using the same data, there is now some powerful tools surfacing that can analyse every piece of information to predict what needs to happen next.

According to Gartner, all software in the coming years will use some form of AI. As a business, the question you need to ask is how can I make AI help me? 

It’s not just leading to accurate sales forecasts, it’s also tracking and automatically logging sales activities (calls, meetings, emails, texts), tracking and analysing contacts, providing sentiment analysis, and virtually coaching sales staff by suggesting next best actions to take.

We see AI exponentially increasing the impact sales operations has on sales results by enabling sales operations to finally provide sales staff at all levels with the sales intelligence they deserve to receive.

For the first time, reps are empowered to be the CEO of their own territories.

 

Prediction 2: Data Privacy & Security

2018 was not a good year for Facebook. The Cambridge Analytica disaster saw over eighty million peoples data shared inappropriately leading to worldwide awareness into the dangers of security breaches online. 

Marriott disclosed that in December 2018 , 500 million guest information may have been compromised. From names, emails and addresses to credit card numbers, travel locations and even passport numbers.

Quora was hacked by a malicious third party on December too. Basically anything account information you have on Quora was swiped if you were part of the 100 million users that were affected. 

So what can we expect from the top end of tech town? Increased security, better insights, closer tracking, and perhaps the intervening governance of a data security body.

One insight that we have pulled from all the differing reports is that no matter if you’ve had your data compromised, your best bet to protect yourself is to use the best tech.

Salesforce and Microsoft are best in class with near perfect track records for the robustness of their security systems.

The one differentiator that an organisation has over your own, is that they have hundreds of security-tech-nerds working 24/7 on their security, whereas an IT department aren’t equipped well enough to protect you from threats all over the world.

 

Prediction 3: Personalisation

Persona based marketing is where marketers place leads and customers into buckets for the purpose of tailoring the marketing message.

For example: I love the beach. I visit a website that sells surfboards and look at a few. The next day I start receiving emails and being retargeted with content about surfboards.

Whereas personalisation first tries to understand, then tailor specific messages that will best help the customer and maximise chances of a sale.

For Example: I’m a surfer. I visit a website that sells surfboards. I use a calculator that records my height, weight, skill level and location for the purpose of recommending the right surfboard. The next day I start receiving emails and retargeted with content that shows surfboards that are perfect for my body composition, even showing me the most popular boards that people buy in my area.

The difference between persona-based marketing and personalisation is trying to understand someone to offer the most specific recommendation possible. Not broad categorisation for the purpose of sending marketing communications.

 

Prediction 4: Resurgence of Brand

As a follow on from Prediction 3: Personalisation, the exploding amounts of data in a lead driven world can diminish core brand values. For this reason, the importance of brand will resurge throughout 2019 to provide more stability in go to market strategies.

Over last 2 to 3 years, brand marketers have been losing their share of the marketing budget to the lead gen focused digital marketers. Why? Because leads are now easier to acquire online at a much cheaper return in comparison with brand.

However the direct response strategy that shows almost immediate gratification loses effectiveness over time, whereas brand has the opposite effect; taking longer to get started but increasing in effectiveness over time.

Ty Heath, Global Lead Market Development at LinkedIn advises that via the IPA Study into Marketing Effectiveness you can reach best results using a 60:40 split. 

Making the 60:40 rule work will take the combination of both creatives and analysts to work in conjunction with each other. Data driven creativity is set to be one of the main differentiators of 2019 and it boils down to getting the customer experience right.

To do that, you need the perfect blend of data and creativity, that’s distributed with relevancy and accuracy. You need creative teams working with the data/analytics teams throughout execution.
“A data-driven approach to creativity helps marketers work more productively, create the right content faster, and deliver that content to the right customer, across the right channels, at the right time,” Stacy Martinet, VP of Marketing Strategy and Communications, Adobe.

 

Prediction 5: Evergreen Content

Content that is evergreen contains content that is timeless. The main benefit of creating content that doesn’t expires is mainly for SEO and reducing dependency on the content production.

Disclaimer: depending on your industry and products, some content will have an expiry date. E.g. content about health and wellbeing will have an almost infinite relevancy whereas content about 2019’s prediction will have a relevancy period of approximately 3 months.

The key takeaway from this prediction is to create content for a purpose, ensure it delivers value and avoid creating content for the sake ‘getting something out’.

 

Prediction 6: Simplification of Tech

Tech is complicated.

Throughout many organisations where a business function needs to be improved or innovated on, there is some form of technology that can help. The issue is that with all the differing business functions require differing pieces of technology that it becomes too complex to manage. Data becomes siloed, processes lap over and inefficiencies start to surface.

The requirement for single source of truth systems to communicate across the entire business and its functions will be sought after in 2019.

Simplification of tech into one core platform will be the only way to scale an organisation in 2019 and beyond.

 

Prediction 7: Outsourced Innovation

When Robert Kiyosaki in his book Rich Dad Poor Dad says that in order to succeed you need to pay the professionals. The individuals and organisations who try to do it all or look for the cheapest possible quote will always lose out in the end.

Often times with digital transformation projects, businesses attempt to self-implement or search for the cheapest possible solution for their innovation. While cost savings are important, it’s more important to invest in the right partner or the job, not the cheapest.

Organisations do what they do and do it well.

Introducing a digital transformation project and expecting your business operations team to execute it can lead to major cavities in workflows, overall productivity and performance.

 

Prediction 8: Unification of Customer & Employee Experience

We hear a lot about customer experience and how we need to get it right. Equally as important is the employee experience, encouraging our teams with a sense of purpose and positive working environments.

As we move through the different revolutions, we uncover that the 2 types of experience go hand-in-hand.

If you provide a poor customer experience, your employees will have a bad experience dealing with complaints. If you provide a poor employee experience, that will then be transferred to your customer.

 

 

How have you positioned your business this year? Have you set the compass through all of the above?

If you need help, speak with me and we’ll see if we can help you get on the right path.