There’s never a dull moment in the communications industry, and 2018 has certainly been no slouch. This year, we’ve seen the roll-out of GDPR, 1.9bn people tuning in to watch Harry and Meghan getting married, Apple achieving a market cap of $1tn, as well as the UK gradually limping towards Brexit.
And we’re sure that 2019 will be no different; in fact, here’s how we think it’ll shape up.
- FAANGs will keep being bitten: Governments will continue to see privacy and data handling infringements and continue to prosecute brands like Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google – but the megabrands will also throw their weight around. If Zuckerberg can ignore a Parliamentary summons, he’ll keep doing so – but we anticipate that more ugly truths about social networks will continue to rear their ugly heads
- Digital Rebound: As trust in major social networks declines, there will be a slow and gentle backlash against digital channels. The ‘online/offline’ division will cease to be important, with the upshot that the online world eventually loses its halo. Consumers will start to realise the value of real, physical interactions rather than social feeds that provide fat rather than protein to their social diets
- Companies achieve comms balance:With the ‘social influencer’ hype over, organisations will lose their magpie tendencies and work towards balanced comms plans, regarding channels as exactly that – rather than seeing them as strategies
- eSports starts to be seen as mainstream: Brands (and gamers!) have been pushing at this for a long time, with all kinds of firms getting involved and wanting a slice of the pie. With Epic Games putting $100m behind Fortnite tournaments for a single year – three times the Wimbledon prize pot – the gaming world is fast ascending and 2019 see more eSports coverage than any other year to date
- Skills for the AI world: This trend cuts across more than just the comms and marketing industry, every industry is impacted by AI in some way. We’ve all come across the drive for ‘soft skills’ – like management, leadership, writing etc, but a new generation of soft skills will emerge that are crucial in the AI world. They represent something robots can’t do and will include emotional intelligence, strategic decision making and ethics
- Death of being ‘marketed to’: If marketing isn’t entertaining then customers won’t engage. Webinars are becoming more like chat shows, inviting the audience in. People follow brand social feeds if it’s a fun experience and entertaining, not just to keep track of deals
- The funnel is changing: The current sales funnel prioritises transactional relationships but that’s changing rapidly. Brands are winning over customers in micro-moments, or may even lose them that fast, for example on price. The key here is building trust and genuine relationships to foster loyalty – but know that customers won’t always be loyal with so much choice!