2019: The Year of Digital Personalisation, Customer-Centricity, Consent, and Collaboration


Creativity and technology are a lethal combination. The marketing industry is the best ground for these two to play together. There are technologies like dynamic creative optimization (DCO) that though frequently discussed, have not yet gone large-scale to create relevant digital communications. But it has certainly started differentiating between ‘personalization’ and ‘dynamic optimization’ opening up even more interesting possibilities for marketers in 2019.

Personalization technologies that are rapidly integrated into digital communications and video content, will be one of the focal points for marketers in 2019. Dynamic Creative Optimisation is the process of creating and testing multiple versions of ads for performance-based campaigns. DCO campaigns can establish the optimal combinations of best-performing assets using techniques such as multivariate testing. Creative and ad spend can then be focused on these. But this will need a significant amount of data to learn and optimize; which in turn demands a costly set-up and expensive experienced resources. But the results are worth it!

The next step to personalization needs to be customer ethics and customer-centricity. In 2019, customer awareness will only increase, and any misalignments between their interests and companies that use their data will be noticed. Where they notice a clear value alignment, they are happy to share data, it has been observed. So in 2019, the customer-brand alignment will be a big focus.

This brings us to consent and first-party data, especially because of regulations that are getting tighter in this area. Even besides the GDPR, it makes sense for brands to connect with users who express their interest in buying, with relationships they establish with brands. The best first party connects come when companies focus on creating stories from the multiple touch points that are created with the customers. It will certainly need technology innovation but will be a far more focused and relevant exercise for branding.

Then there is customer modeling which demands that customers be treated as a unique identity, and not bundled into data units based on Blunt multi-variate testing, dynamic content optimization and other forms of brute force personalization, which often miss the mark! Companies need to create a persona of the client using the common ground between digital behavior and established models of human behavior by linking digital footprints and well-studied personality types, traits and personas. This enables a clearer identification of human needs that helps create powerful experiences.

Then, of course, collaborative systems that leverage new technologies like AI will see a rise in 2019. This will lead to new operating models which take into account the new factors of transparency and explainability. Collaborative AI combines the power of machines with the creative power of the human mind, to build better experiences. Hence, smart leverage of controlled automation, decision support tools, and AI assistants, will allow marketers to move up the chain of abstraction. Their considerable skills can be focused on decision levels tasks, like a fine-tuning copy or generating more accurate variants for A/B testing.

2019 will certainly see a big leap in the way marketers reach out to the market.