2019 – The Year Of Fundamentals For Marketers

Technology trends have dominated marketer’s priorities for the last few years. While technology still continues to be both opportunity and challenge for marketers, 2019 may be a year of focusing on basics again.

As per Warc’s Marketer’s Toolkit 2019, strategic priorities plus technology and media challenges will be the key areas for marketers to focus on in the year ahead.

Major insights highlighted in Warc’s Marketer’s Toolkit 2019 are:

Strategic Priorities: Experience
Marketers see improved customer experience — both online and offline — as key to kickstarting growth and restoring trust in brands. They are responding to disruption of their categories by so-called ‘direct-to-consumer’ brands. This agenda means tech investment is focused on data, and how data and machine learning can be used to drive relevance and personalization in communications.

Warc key data: 61 percent of agencies and 52 percent of brands cited CX as the most important digital transformation for business in 2019. Only 15 percent of brands say their CX is aligned across channels.

Technology: Voice Matters
Compared with the results of last year’s Toolkit survey, there is more interest among marketers in voice, principally voice search, and more interest in payment technology as brands look to expand in ecommerce. There is less interest in areas such as augmented and virtual reality, where arguably there is still need for a ‘killer’ marketing application.

Warc key data: 29 percent brands named voice as a priority for 2019, up 12 percentage points from last year’s survey; 23 percent named AR/VR, down 13 points.

“Like most big marketers and advertisers, we’re looking at the role of voice and how we can continually make that user experience a whole lot better,” said Lisa Ronson, Chief Marketing Officer, Tourism Australia.

Media: Video & Search To Benefit
Video, search and mobile are set to see continued growth in marketing investment. Instagram and YouTube are set to benefit from the shift to video though marketers appear to be cooling on Snapchat. Marketers also appear to welcome the emergence of Amazon as a search platform, with a majority planning to increase spend on the ecommerce site.

Warc key data: 79 percent of marketers expect to increase their online video budgets; 69 percent plan to increase spend on Amazon.

Summing up, David Tiltman, Head of Content, Warc said, “The Toolkit reports of the last two years have been dominated by technology trends; 2019 feels different. It feels like a year of getting the fundamentals right and using tech where necessary to achieve that end. Brands clearly view ‘experience’ as a form of competitive advantage – and the tech that can help them improve customer experience across channels is being prioritized.”

The report is centered on a survey of more than 800 senior marketing and advertising professionals from around the world and takes an in-depth look at strategic priorities, technology and media challenges.

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