The Oracle Data Cloud blog highlights the latest data-driven insights and trends in digital marketing and ad tech.

The most useful, data-backed digital advertising predictions for 2019

Each January, marketers are inundated with well-meaning experts offering predictions for the upcoming year. “It’s the year advertisers get serious about voice!” (OK, maybe not wrong.) “Chatbots are the future!” (Exclamation points galore!)

At Oracle, we realize how hard it is to sift through the content to decide which trends are must-haves for your to-do list, and which are merely distractions. No matter where you sit on the professional spectrum—whether you’re a CMO, executive, digital strategist, media buyer, or sales director—you’re probably still wondering: What will set my agency/brand/company offer apart in 2019? How can I understand the deeper concepts hidden behind industry acronyms (so many acronyms!) that truly drive digital marketing success?

It’s easy to wave a magic wand and declare 2019 the year of [insert buzzword here], but it’s harder to glean true, research-backed insights. Oracle is here to help, with a few data-driven glimpses into the future to make sure you can stay ahead of the game. (Then watch us make magic happen and turn these predictions into a perfectly formed PowerPoint presentation for your next strategy meeting! Because we know that’s what we’re all really looking for. . .)


1. 2019 is the year of transparency!

Does anyone else feel that it’s been the “year of personalization” for the past 10 years? Or that every year is the “year of mobile”? We totally get the need to emphasize trends and, sure, predictions are just that: guesses that are subject to being totally off base. But in this industry, which is rife with an amazing amount of intricacies, making broad, sweeping statements about complex types of technology leaves us skeptical and often unconvinced.

The “Oracle” Says: Instead of focusing on one trend, we’d rather touch on an overarching theme. Therefore, we declare 2019 the year of transparency! This year more than ever, we will see more clarity surrounding various forms of ad tech and a bigger emphasis on accountability in partnerships.

And if we had to look into our crystal ball and pinpoint a specific trend (just to give an example), we’d mention blockchain. This is a term that’s been floating around the industry for a few years now, and in the coming months, we think we’ll see it becoming less of an elusive buzzword and more of an actionable piece of technology. Blockchain protects digital transactions by creating efficient ways for two or more parties to complete transactions at potentially lower costs. This leads to greater outcomes—more reliable and high-quality data, and enhanced safety measures.

But to paraphrase LeVar Burton, who hosted the classic children’s learning program Reading Rainbow, “Don’t take our word for it.”


2. While new technologies will make execution easier, effective strategy will remain audience driven.

The technology serving the digital media space has come a long way, and 2019 will be no exception. But it’s important not to get too distracted by shiny tech objects. Effective digital marketing is still all about pinpointing your exact audience and deeply understanding their motivations and habits. At Oracle, we find that our clients who focus on audience-first strategies still win, reaching more potential buyers and generating higher incremental sales.

The “Oracle” Says: Lean on the people you’ve hired to guide you toward the path of audience enlightenment. Here are some efficient ways to learn from the experts:

  • Partner with your data providers to cultivate intelligence and measurement across audiences, media optimization, and personalization.
  • Set high expectations to prove metrics and outcomes, and boost overall campaign effectiveness.


3. Brand safety will be all about context.

Ensuring brand safety continues to keep marketers up at night, especially in these times of never-ending news and instant gratification. No one wants to be the headline in a big story about a brand tripping over its messaging.

In a world where brand placements across platforms become increasingly automated, the chances of your brand living next to a somewhat dubious article increases.

The “Oracle” Asks: Do you actually have your bases covered? (This one may seem obvious.)

  • Oracle data has shown that full-page contextual intelligence is 3.8x better in identifying unsafe contexts than URL-only analysis. Protect your brand from toxic content with contextual intelligence.
  • Follow these three steps to safeguard your brand:
    • First, define what brand safety means to your business (i.e., brand safety for Vice is not the same for P&G) to put the brand-safety challenge in perspective.
    • Second, determine where you want your ads to be and where you don’t want your ads to be.
    • Last, find the cross-platform measurement solutions that work for your business. Oracle’s new measurement solution Moat Reach provides advertisers with comprehensive viewability and audience profiling insights on a daily basis, measuring all campaign impressions including digital, TV, linear TV, and OTT. Companies are using these insights to gain more transparency and inform smarter budget and optimization decisions across campaigns.

Like any year in digital advertising, 2019 will be one that moves quickly, sees many headlines, and embraces (or rejects) various forms of technology. Industry players will need to be on their toes at all times. That’s why we’re committed to helping all levels of marketers become smarter, launch more effective campaigns, and drive better results with a range of powerful resources.

Before you go, check out some of the data-rich articles we’ve recently published, including insights about millennials, cord cutters, America’s top 1 percent, and Valentine's Day.

Look out for more predictions and insights – they will be the perfect accompaniments to your next digital media up-front discussion, quarterly business review, or top-to-top sales meeting. 


This article was co-written by Emmeline Toyama and Kori Hill Wallace.

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