How can you up your customer engagement game in the new year? Make 2019 the year you focus on omnichannel. Unlike message-based multichannel campaigns, true omnichannel campaigns are customer-centric. Instead of repeating the same message in every marketing channel, tell a multi-faceted story — one that unfolds as customers continue on their journey with your brand at different touchpoints and different stages of discovery. It’s more personal and relevant and will deepen the relationship in the end.
Out with Outsourcing and in with In-Housing
This past year, the buzz continued about brands’ struggles with inventory quality and fears about the lack of financial transparency. Even so, media buying is still outsourced more than any other marketing function. But that’s changing, and in 2019, expect mounting concerns about trust and control in digital advertising to drive more brands to take back the reins and either look to bring this function into their own organizations or garner more control and transparency over the process.
LTV Supplants ROI
ROI metrics tend to be focused on a point in time and assigned to specific marketing expenditures and actions taken close after the marketing has been seen. Lifetime value requires deeper understanding about customer behavior over the long term and better analytics about how loyal, engaged and valuable they will ultimately be to the enterprise. While it’s certainly simpler to divide a monthly or annual spend by the associated number of registrations or downloads in that period — the deeper nuance about how those customers then renewed or purchased additional products and services over a longer period of time versus canceled or let their engagement expire after the initial term provides important and necessary information about which marketing is working the best and deserves additional investment.
2018 Was the Year of Transparency, 2019 Will Be About Accountability
With continued marketer and governmental scrutiny on advertising practices this past year, the digital advertising conversation was once again focused on transparency which in turn drove the creation of tools, standards, and industry groups all working to ensure marketers got a better view into where their ad spend was going. But sheer transparency and reporting is not enough. In 2019, we expect to see a new emphasis on accountability, and all of the partners in the supply chain will be under increasing pressure to be more proactive in how they protect advertiser investments and also take responsibility if things go wrong.
From Marketer-Driven to Customer-Focused
Marketers have often approached their media plans through a purchase funnel lens and selecting different media channels for each stage of the funnel – TV and out of home for brand awareness, print and digital during the consideration stage, search at the point of purchase, and the like. However, marketers are getting more customer focused, thinking not only about media and marketing by channel, but focusing on the end to end customer journey – learning how, when and why customers engage with their messages so they can be customized and placed for best impact. We see this manifested in the ad tech world through the growing interest in CDPs versus just DMPs and more granular attribution and creative testing software and analytics.
Headlines Change From Agencies Versus Consultants to Agency Reinvention
Last year’s headlines were riddled with speculation about how consultancies like Accenture and Deloitte would continue to encroach on ad agency turf. Agencies were forced to play defense against the onslaught of this new competition, exacerbated by public statements of client dissatisfaction and concerns over transparency and trading practices. What we’re seeing now are agencies ready to go on the offense, many with fresh C-suite changes, sweeping reorganizations, rebranding and repositioning which we expect will be watched closely to see which reimagined agencies will truly reinvigorate the agency landscape.