Are you ready for 2019? Marketing organizations are in full-on planning mode for the new year. Teams are balancing the constantly evolving landscape with end-of-year performance, to build high-impact plans that are also nimble and able to withstand rapid swings in consumer behavior.
To help marketing leaders get ahead, we asked members of the OneSpot leadership team to share their predictions for how personalization will occupy marketing organizations in 2019. Here’s what they had to say:
Personalization Goes Mainstream
According to OneSpot Chief Strategy Officer David Brown, in 2019 personalization is going mainstream within marketing teams. Most marketers will either be piloting or scaling various personalization projects across the customer journey. For most brands, this starts with collecting audience insights and data capabilities to then fuel a robust roadmap. After establishing their content vision and digital ecosystem, brands will identify the pilot opportunities for personalization to deepen their relationship with customers.
To set themselves up for success, brands should start with the pilots that most align with top business objectives and the learnings needed to optimize their content strategies. As a result of these pilots, brands should aim to find success early to build confidence and momentum in personalization programs.
Teams Bring Content Production In-House
As marketing teams try to formalize their content marketing strategies, it will be important for them to create content at scale. While in the past teams would have outsourced content creation to move quickly, Brown says that in 2019 marketers will continue to pivot to bring content production in house to move faster and keep content output aligned to a cohesive content marketing and personalization strategy.
As in-house content studios mature, they will go from producing high-quality content at a tactical level to a more strategic mission. They will deliver content that aligns to the customer journey, and individualized content needed to fuel personalization. These teams will also be challenged with optimizing their offers and content production processes. With a thoughtful creative intake process in place, brands can ensure all marketing stakeholders have a clearly defined strategy and alignment to business objectives. We recommend teams have formalized processes in place for gathering inputs from project stakeholders, also known as “the creative brief.”
Marketers Make Headway with Content ROI
2018 was the year of content production, as brands accelerated the publication and distribution of content. However, overall consumer engagement with this content was generally low. Experts even estimated that 70% of the content generated by marketing teams never gets used. Going into 2019, there will be a shift in how marketers measure content ROI and they will make massive strides in measuring content performance thanks to sophisticated attribution analysis.
To make more effective decisions on content development plans, marketers will begin to look closer and understand how content influences a customer action. With tools like OneSpot’s Active Content Intelligence, brands will be able to measure which types of content customers engage with most and which content drives meaningful action.
Marketers Will Scale Manpower to Execute Personalization Strategies
Going into 2019, most large brands will be focused on building direct relationships with consumers, rather than relying on retailers and third parties to own those relationships. OneSpot CEO Steve Sachs says personalization will be a top priority to reach consumers in meaningful ways, but brands will be challenged with how to hire team members with the experience they need to execute their personalization plans to achieve their goals.
To build a coalition of colleagues around a personalization initiative, brands will need to align the right stakeholders to pull it off. These folks may sit within different teams of the business—and since customers experience branded content across all channels, it’s important to build alliances with colleagues who have expertise across all customer touch points. Click here to learn more about the seven roles that could make or break your content personalization strategy.
Content Marketing Is Seen As Marketing
Sachs also says that in 2019, content marketing isn’t seen as a separate marketing function—instead, marketing organizations begin to see content marketing as an integral part of every marketing function. Content is one of the best tools businesses have for building brand awareness, earning customer trust, and generating traffic. The best marketing leaders know that content is core to effective marketing and setting the entire marketing organization up for success.
There are three core signs why content marketing will be seen as marketing in 2019. First, content is cross-functional and a well-executed content marketing strategy touches every aspect of the marketing organization. Second, more and more brands are investing in content-focused talent and growing in-house content functions. Third, content marketing is changing how marketers leverage customer data by delivering individualized content experiences based on consumer behaviors and interests.
Marissa leads marketing at OneSpot.