Trends to look out for in 2019 by Remie Abdo, Head of Strategic Planning at TBWA/Raad
Posted on February 14, 2019

Remie Abdo, Head of Strategic Planning at TBWA/Raad shares her predictions with regard to the trends to watch in 2019.

From Third-Party Data to Zero-party data

No piece of prediction goes without talking about data, so let’s start with it, and get done with it. Marketers realized using inferred data is not optimal and contains a real chance of missing the point, and the target. On the other hand, consumers understood their data will anyway be shared with brands and marketers, no matter how much they try, in vain, to protect it. An ugly reality that both parties will get around with the rise of zero-party data. We will see consumers voluntarily and proactively sharing their data directly with brands and marketers in return for values and benefits. A win-win for all.

From Attracting Top Talents to the Brain Drain

Tech giants are evolving into the ad industry. Growth in the changing advertising landscape is not clear. The lavish advertising lifestyle that used to charm employees is easily accessible to everyone (and less prominent in the agency industry anyway with all the economic changes). The personal fame that advertising agencies promise is easily self-created on social media. New bling is attracting top talents today: tech environment, start-up mindset, consultancy image, more interesting problems to solve, fuller picture on projects, an outcome-based approach to fee… As such, we will need to prevent top talents from leaving the world of advertising, because even though it’s true that things are changing, change is the driver for excitement.

From Strategy as Input to Strategy as Output

While strategists can be great at almost anything, they can do better at marketing themselves and their value. However, more than ever before, agencies and clients are realizing the value of strategists’ input and making more of their powerful thinking. As such, the role of strategists will broaden from being an input – to creative output, to becoming an output in its own right. I take this trend to heart and in 2019 I will be excited – and making efforts, to see strategy becoming intrinsic to clients’ decisions, and offering business ideas beyond creative ideas only. Many agencies already launched their consultancy arm, like TBWA and Grey amongst others. And we will see more of that.

From Agility to Speed

Agility is too soft (or romanticized about) for the actual need for speed advertising agencies will be witnessing. In our ‘always-on’ world, and in the face of tighter clients’ budgets and increased competition, speed is of the essence. We will see tighter deadlines from clients (yes, even tighter), shorter processes in the agencies, and more brands tapping into live cultural stories and triggers to be part of social conversations in real time.