2019 is coming at us with faster than the frequency of a person trying to become an influencer. Everyone has the power to be a creator now, even my uncle backs himself as a photographer now that he has a phone by a brand he can’t pronounce but he can afford. 

Like him, we now have all of the tools so close to us that we don’t need to think much more about what we’re creating. All we need is a simple snap on our mobile devices and a filter to make as look a little cleaner. I look forward to the day the filter quality evolves so that it helps me. 

I can’t for the life of me fathom that I’m about to start chatting about 2019, and what I think the content trends are going to be. You can read my 2018 predictions here.  Now I’m not saying I’m shit hot but my predictions were. Snapchat hasn’t died but it’s on life support. Twitter is still not as influential as people on Twitter think it is. Facebook and Instagram are still my first picks in a game of digital running-red-rovers. I knew VR wouldn’t be that hectic in a South African context. I don’t think it will in 2019 either. We may see one or two really nice campaigns but I think client budget is going to focus on reach rather than experience, they’ll tell you stories are important but the reality is, that it isn’t to them. 

Brands need to realise that great experiences will get reach if the journey is good enough. We need to understand that if everyone’s documenting their stories, so find a way to be an extension of that. 

Automation

There are probably three hundred and thirty-three thousand and thirty-three articles about the importance of automation and how it’s going to change the world. I can only say that if you’re using automation with a personality you’re going to have some pleased consumers. Our Sconetent one is pretty cool – you can play with it here.

Influence 

It changes all the time, but in 2019 brands can no longer afford to be lazy or dictate. Brands are not going to listen but I’ll continue for the sake of this article. Research who you want to partner with, design a story with this partner and create a business relationship with them. Treat your influencer like an extension of the story. They can be insightful trend understanders, excellent reputation watchdogs and super salespeople. If you’re making agencies work so hard to get your business, why are you choosing influencers like four-year-old chooses friends at the beach?  

Brand Partners 

Speaking of partners, I think (hope) we’re going to see a bigger uptake in brand partnerships. There are some ridiculously cool opportunities, Puma’s work with Barbie is one I didn’t think of but I wish I did. Agency business winners need to look who the right people to chat to and get talking fast because these are the kinds of experiences that are going to win the race quicker than marketers make up words and try to generate talkability. These are such great experiences for consumers. 

Data 

Data is only useful if it’s used. I think we’re going to find new ways to use data to make it work for brands, but I’m an emotional guy and I buy into brand experiences. If we can use the data to make the experience more wholesome then that’s great. The John Lewis Christmas ads don’t give a Crocodile Rock about your data and they knock it out the park every year. 

Creations die without the creative passion. 

I’m excited for 2019. You should be too, there is a quiet confidence in the agency space around creativity and the experiences we can create for brands with the consumer at heart. Great customers make great brands. 

Open yourself up to some new ideas, I’ve seen some really great ones get passed up this year.