The future of media and marketing: eight predictions from industry pros

From social media to podcasts, livestreaming and more, and from advances in artificial intelligence to near-limitless software options, professional marketers and media professionals have never had more methods and venues for getting their messages heard. At the same time, with new data regulations, ever-shifting SEO best practices and a saturated marketplace, it’s never been a more challenging time to be in the industry, either.

It’s vital for professionals in the marketing and media industries to not only stay on top of what’s happening but also what’s coming down the road. Below, eight members of Ag Age Collective share their predictions for what will be impacting the industry in the next couple of years.

1. Brands will need to show what they stand for.
The impact of broad and divisive societal crises — and the need for brands to take stands on these — has started already, but I believe it will only grow over the coming years. As this grows, more brands will be challenged in how they market, communicate and engage with employees, customers and consumers. This shift is changing how we work today and how we will pick the brand leaders of tomorrow. - Maggie O’Neill, Peppercomm

2. Social media will help brands deliver a better customer experience.
More and more of the customer journey occurs on social. Increasingly, social has become how we consume media, connect with others, ask questions and seek recommendations, make buying decisions, and show love for the brands we love. Given this, social will expand within and beyond marketing to become an integral part of how organizations deliver a best-in-class customer experience, regardless of whether it’s business-to-business, business-to-consumer or business-to-employee. - Greg Perotto, Hootsuite

3. Data is going to be more scarce.
With reports coming out about Facebook’s and Google’s data collection methods, folks are getting antsy about where and how their data is being used. I’m anticipating a good deal of backlash that these tech giants will have to react to. The reaction, I believe, will create more hurdles for marketers, as data won’t be as freely available for targeting. Retargeting and targeting will become more difficult. - Troy Osinoff, JUICE

4. The podcasting space will rapidly expand.
With recent investments made by iHeart, Spotify, Google and others, the hurdle of discovering podcasts will continue to shrink and the number of people listening to podcasts regularly will continue to explode. Couple that with an increased focus on tech development to assist in direction measurement and attribution and we’re going to see advertisers jumping into the space at an unprecedented rate. - Kurt Kaufer, Ad Results Media

5. AI will play a greater role in driving campaign decisions.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has forever changed our lives — from the digital assistants that help us every day to self-driving cars and medical diagnoses to the recommendation engines of Amazon and Netflix. Today, AI is transforming how we market and sell by recognizing patterns, predicting outcomes and making complex decisions faster and far better than humans. - Brian Kardon, Fuze

6. Agencies will focus on comprehensive solutions.
Agencies are under pressure to create performance for clients but are lacking ecosystem tools to do so. This is forcing some to rethink how they approach performance in programmatic. One way they do this is by moving away from trying to deliver their value proposition across fragmented platforms to centralizing intelligence into a singular solution they control that then informs other access points. - Joseph Meehan, IPONWEB

7. Metrics will yield even more information.
I’m most excited about the advances in measurement that will allow brands to optimize marketing campaigns based on clicks or sales. AI and deep learning technology are already improving the value that brands can expect from influencer marketing and brand integration. Deep-learning algorithms have the ability to provide predictive analytics on lower funnel metrics, like clicks and conversions. - Ricky Ray Butler, Branded Entertainment Network

8. Technology will make human creativity even more important.
Automation is going to have a massive impact on everything related to digital advertising in the next one or two years. This means that more and more digital advertising success will depend on creative and funnels rather than just platform knowledge, which will become commoditized over time. - Michael Lisovetsky, JUICE

By Ad Age Collective Expert Panel. Published on April 23, 2019.

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