The future is digital and we can no longer deny that fact, digital is here and it’s taking over surely and not very slowly. It’s best we all equip ourselves with the necessary skills and information to keep up with where the world is heading. What better way to do this other then checking out the latest trends doing rounds in the industry?

Recently, I read a Financial Mail article by Johanna McDowell, the CEO of Independent Agency Search and Selection Company, where he talks about the nine dominant trends for 2019 in the marketing and advertising industries.

In many instances we often find ourselves back in the age of either or. It’s fish or chips, Robin or Batman, cut or paste. Where as, we can have it all, considering all these things work well together. Ryunosuke Satoro describes this notion best, “Individually, we are a drop, together we are an ocean.” Digital works a little like this too – it works better when it’s working together.

Read More: Experiential and Digital Marketing – A Fine Balance

My work has for the past 20 years spanned in both the marketing and advertising industries, and more so in the television and digital content industries, of which I see as one industry. Each has content; they tell as story – meaningful stories, that support, compliment or impact one another. From what I’ve read from McDowell, here is my interpretation of some of the insightful trends into a common language for the marketing, advertising and digital industries.

Trend 1

Marketing departments in corporates will increase, mostly adding digital and content specialists to the mix. I’ve just recently completed the formidable, Red & Yellow Digital Marketing course and whilst I’m no digital guru, I completely get this trend. Digital isn’t just about Facebook or the world of social media. It’s not about all of these: content, stories, channels, and an ability to boost these creating visibility of the message. Multi-tasking may be old news, but a multi-skilled workforce is essential. South Africa needs jobs; our collective industry is definitely going to be creating these in 2019.

Trend 2

In-house marketing. It seems, very few agencies are nimble enough to provide creative content fast and affordably. I wonder to myself whether this trend will diffuse itself in about 2-years’ time. When the need to have an outside-in approach, rather than the inevitable, narrow, like-minded thinking of ‘inside-out’ starts materialising.

Trend 3

The growth of independent agencies. They’re small, smart, hungry, nimble and not afraid to take risks. I’d like to own this as Boost Collective CT was birthed on this premise. Independent agencies focus their energies on connections, content that is meaningful and reaching the right audience.

Read More: How And Why, Boost Collective Cape Town Came To Be…

Trend 4

The birth of the ‘collective’ or micro networks. This is another trend that defines Boost. The fact that knowing we can’t do, or don’t know, everything. It’s about having the humility and courage to share the wins and own the losses, as we tap into the talent pool out there. A talent pool that doesn’t care about bureaucracy, office space or boardroom brainstorms.   Whilst they send cold shivers down the spines of the old school, we would be shortsighted not to harness these skills and creativity and yes, to reward them generously. (They’re saving us on overheads)

Trend 5

The evolution of marketing and advertising spend. The DNA is shifting. Growth in digital spend is rapidly increasing. Stats like 2016 – 2018 up by 24% is only a mild indicator of what’s going to happen. Furthermore, I tend to this excludes the cost of actual content creation or its production. Watch this space.

Trend 6

This is the one I’ve been waiting for. It’s what I do for a living. Content management. Being able to offer real, human content and meaningful stories. To do so fast and furiously, with deep insights and the ability to connect and inspire action from the audience is what the corporate world wants and needs. It doesn’t end there.   The next step is the ability to intuitively slice, dice and mold this content into different shapes and sizes to fit the multiple media platforms ensuring its ability to amplify and boost. It’s exciting stuff to witness and be a part of.

Trend 7, 8 and 9

I’ve had personal experience with this past year. It’s the trend of procurement departments negotiating the deals and contracts and that that pitches. Trend 7 is not going away. Whilst it’s tough on the little guy, if it remains a process of integrity and if done well, it becomes the path to greater opportunity.

John Ruskin said, “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece,” I believe Ruskin because when advertising, digital, content creation and personal creativity work together, both audiences and brands can expect masterpieces. They resonate with audiences and inspire or inject energy into people to act and behave differently. And in so doing become the ocean of change our world needs and continues to seek, which is the direction that the world is taking digitally. We just need to make sure we jump into this wagon as soon as now.