Ah, prognostications! A plenty, they are. I must say, I’m fairly pleased with those we’ve made in the past, so I’m going to take another stab at those we believe will become part of our daily lives in 2019.
First off, let’s look back at a few predictions we made for 2018.
We predicted that brands would begin to consolidate and align their customer data. Without a doubt, this happened, but also predictably, it’s taken longer than we thought. Why? Because data consolidation requires up front investment in technology platforms that often aren’t funded but once a year. So, I believe we’re seeing more brands bring data management platforms (DMPs) online, like Salesforce, Adobe, and others. This has taken some time.
Second, we predicted an increase in prices for quality audiences. Without question, we’re seeing this to be true. For many internet generations, audiences were woefully discounted because digital inventory was often given away as a “bonus” for more traditional buys. We had a long way to go in terms of proper valuations. I mean, it’s a long way from zero to something.
Lastly, we believed that creative work is going to experience a renaissance as designers move from static experiences to more immersive ones. Admittedly, this transition is happening slower than we’d all like, and I put that blame squarely on the technology partners who continue to be addicted to banners and the like. We do see one area of continued advancement, and that is in video. Not surprisingly, most creatives and clients alike know and understand video, and nearly all digital advertising platforms provide for better video experiences. We do not see this trend subsiding any time soon. And that’s good.
And now for our 2019 predictions!
For all of the problems Facebook creates for itself, it’s still a pervasive tab open in nearly all web browsers and always near the top of most-used phone apps. Sure, Facebook’s growth has slowed but that’s because everyone who could be on it is on it. People are willing to trade the risk of privacy breaches in exchange for remaining connected to one another, and until something better comes along, I don’t expect anything to change. As such, brands and agencies alike (including us) will continue to advertise within the Facebook ecosystem (Instagram, the likeliest benefactor) because, at the end of the day, we advertise and market where the people are, and the metrics around Facebook advertising are absolutely conclusive — it works, and it works better than all other digital platforms.
Brands that are all over the place, disjointed in their execution, and who seem to believe that people will do any work whatsoever to interact with them are increasingly losing marketshare to their speedier, smarter competitors.
I would like to bookend this post with a word of thanks to our clients and partners. We experienced the fastest and, quite often, nerve-wracking growth we’ve had in our 23 years. Revenues and staff doubled this year, and all of that growth occurred as a result of our clients’ trust in us. We didn’t front-load this growth. We were just trying to keep up.
So with that in mind, I also want to thank our clients for their patience. I’m sure we weren’t perfect. In fact, I know that at times we were really clunky. I am hopeful that we were able to deliver what we promised to you — a total alignment to the world in which you compete and thrive. We aim to do this important work truthfully, earnestly, and in a way where we welcome challenges and questions. As cicerones, we take our responsibilities to educate and provide a sense of calm in a world where change comes at a rapid clip, often causing stress and consternation for you. We ask our staff to lead with empathy towards you and those stresses you experience, and it is always our hope to relieve those stresses by delivering on our promises through incredible results.
We enter 2019 with gratitude and hopefulness. Here’s to a great year ahead!