Trends to keep an eye on in 2019 - Part 2 from the Gathering marketing conference ...

Trends to keep an eye on in 2019: Part 2


Good morning,
This week is part 2 of trends insights that I am sharing from the The Gathering – a marketing conference about cult brands which I attended in Banff a couple of weeks ago. If you somehow missed Part 1, you can view it here as a blog post on my website, - I've consolidated the content from last week and this week into a single post titled "Top 7 Trends to keep an eye on in 2019"
Matt Rosenblat, Managing Director at Accenture Interactive presented some really insightful content that I think all marketers need to have on their radar as we venture deeper into 2019. Accenture works with Fjord Trends – a company that tracks trends based on crowd sourcing content and input from 1000 leaders working in the area of design and customer experience.
Here’s a rundown of a few more trends they are monitoring. These four trends, along with the first three that I shared last week, complete the seven top trends Accenture thinks are most relevant.
4. The inclusivity paradox
While the use of persona’s has been a marketing standard for some time, the use of personas on their own is becoming less relevant. We now need to consider “context.” It’s now longer about demographics, geographics, psychographics, and behavioural data, we now need to consider the timing and environment that marketing reaches our audience. This will lead good marketing to focus on mindset, rather than traditional segmentation criteria. When we design for context, we cross age and demographics to classify people.
How do we as marketers design for context? The marriage of qualitative and quantitative data will help. For example, if you plane was delayed and the hotel, monitoring flights, knows that you will arrive after the kitchen has closed, could use that information to prepare a hot meal for your arrival. When viewed from a customer experience perspective where we want to create memorable moments that customers will share, context is the magic ingredient. Remember what I said a couple weeks ago about creating moments that customers feel compelled to photograph and share? That’s what we’re talking about here.
5. Ahead of the curb
Fjord research points to large cities increasingly being less able to deal with mobility of urban populations as they grow. Cities and companies need to think about bottle necks in the future. Design thinking about the “last mile” in getting products to customers, or customers to products will become important.
How could this create unique opportunities? When we consider 1/3 of shopping mall space is parking, expensive real estate, maybe there is a more progressive way? Some retail think tanks are experimenting with continuous branded shuttles, requiring no parking, with the emphasis on concierge type service. Add autonomous driving to the mix, and this could get interesting. Or how about branded partnerships with ride share companies like Uber? This should also have us consider the model for parcel delivery on online purchased goods. Look for disruptive models in the future around this I suspect.
6. Space Odyssey
There is a retail renaissance happening with technology like Amazon Go, where you can walk out with the product without using a cashier, because the purchase is recorded to your account through facial recognition, or signing into the app at entry. This use of technology is part of a bigger trend where workspace and physical space is becoming increasingly informed by digital technology.
What are the implications for marketers? Online behavior will increasingly be used to inform offline needs. We Work collective spaces for independent contractors are a good example of this.
7.Synthetic realities
In an era of “fake news” consumers will become hyper aware of technology that can be used to create synthetic realities. Face swapping, voice swapping are all possible now with digital technology, and that will begin to impact authenticity. There was an Obama viral video that made the rounds last year – using his image, seemingly his voice, all synced to his lips, saying things that Obama would never say. It looked absolutely real, but it was created simply to show people what is possible. In China, there is a news agency that has created a “synthetic news broadcaster” – a guy who looks real, is very attractive, but is totally a digital product. He costs less, and he can be programmed to say whatever the state wishes to be conveyed. This stuff of course should scare the daylights out of us from a democracy standpoint, and if you child wants to go into broadcasting, this might be worth a mention. But jokes aside, the line between authenticity and fake has become very blurred.
What does all this mean for marketers? Any new technology used well of course represents an opportunity. But of course, evil always has a way of finding its way in if something can be manipulated. I would suggest in the short term, let authenticity prevail, be upfront and honest with customers, and refer back to one of last week’s trends about using customer data properly and being transparent about collection and purpose.
If you’re curious to learn some more details behind some of these trends, check out
I’ll be back next week with some brand example insights from the Gathering conference, and put a little more context and back story to a few of the cult brand examples I spoke about in my initial summery video following the conference. If you happen to have missed that one, you can view it on Youtube HERE.

Or if you prefer to read the summary, view it in this BLOG POST (there's a link to the video in that post as well!)
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Until next week
Stay current on trends
And focused on the future

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