As the end of the year approaches, we thought we’d make some predictions for what to expect in 2019 around tech and marketing.
Does your company speak data?
Data is the secret sauce to understanding any audience. And its usage and collection are just starting to be understood and fully realized. In 2019, we expect to see people who don’t strictly work with data to start incorporating elements of data science into their existing jobs.
Major banks like JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup are now teaching investment bankers to code, according to reports from the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal. Not only that, but current employees of JPMorgan are going to be upskilled to meet the requirements of an evolving tech landscape. Increasingly, we’ll see job descriptions requiring some degree of familiarity and proficiency in data science techniques and we expect a wide variety of jobs to require employees to write or at least understand code in order to find valuable data and actionable insights. If you haven’t already, it’s time to learn a digital language.
AI is far from saturation
AI is definitely here to stay and it’s very clear that AI is having a profound impact on the world today. Whether it’s being used to improve healthcare, security, or even pour better beer, AI is changing the way we do business. But it hasn’t even come close to a tipping point. Most Senior Leaders know it’s relevant, but they’re reluctant to make AI a strategic priority — instead, they’re adopting it cautiously, on a case-by-case basis. Case in point: AI’s main use right now is mostly with chatbots, cognitive servicing and doing complex calculations at extreme scale.
What’s so fascinating about this is that people are more likely to engage with the result of AI in their personal, rather than their professional lives. However, smart organizations are already realizing the benefits of AI, specifically when it comes to efficiency of operations. AI can reduce basic tasks and free up humans to focus on more creative and strategic tasks, while also enhancing the customer experience. Machines not only understand audiences, but can react to them in real-time, pivot and give them exactly what they want, oftentimes before they even know it.
We expect to see AI taking over business models and being incorporated into organizations’ overarching business strategies in 3-5 years, but only once the general public have accepted the technology. With Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, we’re making strides, but once this acceptance becomes widespread, we’ll see the real beginnings of an AI business boom.
Data regulation upheaval
There’s no doubt GDPR has had a substantial impact on data collection and marketing. Within the first few days of the legislation, some of the biggest blue-chips were coming under fire for being non-compliant, most recently the Marriott hotels data breach. Companies are struggling to come to grips with the new rules, probably because they aren’t black and white. One of the most significant unintended consequences of GDPR is that companies are fearful about using personal data — even though this caution threatens to stymie data-led initiatives that are so important to developing new products, services and business strategies. Let’s be honest, it’s impossible to understand your audience without analyzing them.
This fearfulness is delaying progress that would ultimately benefit businesses and their customers. In fact, compliance can positively affect your bottom line. Not only will a streamlined data collection process create cost savings, you will also prevent inaccurate data collection via removal of old records of disengaged customers.
In 2019, we hope that organizations will understand that the GDPR need not limit their ambitions to use consumer data to make better decisions and that frankly, this will actually improve the customer experience. Showing explicit respect for customer data privacy will generate trust between brands and customers, and positively impact customer loyalty and brand value.
The cloud goes enterprise size
In recent years we’ve come to associate the use of cloud applications with trendy start-ups working out of coworking spaces and coffee shops. Now the capabilities of cloud-based working are being truly leveraged by large global corporations…and for good reason. Cloud storage offers significant savings on servers and allows companies to scale up and down as needed. Plus, it provides easier access to data, allowing companies to be more agile in their marketing strategy. n
The race is on for companies in 2019 to dominate the cloud scene. Could we see someone own the B2B data transaction in the same way that Amazon has taken over the consumer ecommerce landscape? In the past few years Google has worked hard to be front of mind for businesses’ cloud needs and time will tell if they can convert their big consumer base into enterprise size accounts.
What do you see on the horizon for 2019?