Ten 2019 Digital Marketing Predictions You Should Probably Ignore

Is your inbox and/or feeds full of 2019 digital marketing predictions yet? Mine are, and starting last year, I thought I’d do something a little different. Since there are so many prediction posts published, why not find and curate those predictions that I don’t necessarily agree with. It’s not hard considering marketers are always talking about the next buzz technology, trends or methods.

With that said let’s explore some predictions you should probably just ignore.

1. Voice search will be a marketing tool

While this is interesting, and voice discovery will eventually be used as a marketing tool, we’re still many years away from implementing voice search in our marketing programs, outside of eCommerce.

Amazon, Google and Apple have not provided an easy turnkey way for voice optimization for top funnel content.

2. Augmented and virtual reality experiences from brands will be common place

This is, and will continue to be, just a novelty next year. As long as adoption for these technologies remains small there’s no need for brands to market on them.

That said, for brands targeting gamers, these are viable channels to produce content on.

Virtual Reality

3. Artificial intelligence (AI) will start to displace marketers

We’re a long way away from AI causing many marketers to lose their jobs. AI, as a technology, is still in its infancy, and it’s much more likely to increase jobs in the near term.

4. Chatbots will be heavily adopted by marketers

As a customer service tool, chatbots can work well by delivering efficiencies in answering customers questions. However, outside of customer service, there’s just not a lot of use cases that make much sense.

Most of the marketing cases I’ve seen are pretty spammy. Next year will not be the year of the chatbot deploying marketer.

5. The online ad industry will die

While it’s true that display and interruptive advertising budgets are shifting to social and native advertising, overall spend continues to increase. At the same time, transparency is getting better and better – we’re also moving from a click-based economy to an engagement-based economy. This will lead to even further growth of online paid media spend in this category.

6. Video will overtake written digital content

Video is cool, but still expensive, and difficult to scale. I know many industry talking heads like to push lower quality production using phones, and this is a viable approach for some brands.

Usually, the numbers cited as proof that video is poised to be the number one form of online content by brands is based on bandwidth estimates – but just because video takes up much more bandwidth than written content, that doesn’t mean there’s more video being produced by brands.

7. The marketing technology landscape will shrink because of consolidation

All one has to do to debunk this prediction is to go over to Scott Brinker’s Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic and compare the YoY growth of it. From 2016 to 2018 it more than doubled from around 3,500 to almost 7,000 vendors.

There will be consolidation, but for every company that gets gobbled up, three more will emerge.


8. The brand newsroom will die

There’s been too much investment (and continued investment) by many brands to kill off their newsrooms.

From blogging to more advanced multimedia publishing, the brand newsroom is here to stay – whether it’s insourced or outsourced.

9. Persona-based marketing is dead

Really? Whether the personas are strategically defined or loose categories it’s a very useful tool for most (if not all) marketing tactics.

It doesn’t matter if those personas are defined by humans or AI, written down or just commonly known, marketing will still use them.

10. Digital marketers will embrace content production for the Internet of Things (IoT)

The IoT is still in its infancy – and while novel, it’s very early for most brands to put together a content plan for the IoT.

I think it’s more likely that marketers will embrace and use the data collected by these devices to enhance what they’re already doing before they start producing dedicated content for them.

Smart Fridge

There it is folks – the 2019 digital marketing predictions you can go ahead and ignore. You likely don’t need a plan for voice search, AR/VR, chatbots, and the IoT, and you don’t have to kill off your personas and brand newsrooms, or dump written content in favor of video.

Don’t believe the hype – I’m sure this time next year there’ll be new doozies for me to opine on once again.

A version of this post was first published on the InPowered blog.

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