Before we close the books for the year we reached out to a few veterans in the industry to have them share their thoughts on the big topics that communicators and marketers were talking about over the last year. We also wanted to explore what brands need to know as they prepare for 2019. Our first guest contributor is Joe Peters, President of GCI Group.
What has been the most disruptive technology (s) that has impacted brands during 2018? What will it be in 2019?
Joe – Stories – the conceptual theft from snapchat and integration into instagram and facebook has meant a decline in snap and growth in instagram, especially in younger demographics. Now that Stories can be promoted we’ll see a lot more.
AI – I think we’ll see more tangible AI developments in the next year. I think awareness of AI is high for consumers, but there is still a gap in understanding how AI impacts them/makes their life better. As communicators, we’ll need to be at the forefront of decoding and messaging AI developments to consumers.
Influencer marketing, what change will we see in next year?
Joe – Conflict will rise. The uptick in influencer activity will mean brands will need to decide who they can and can’t work with based on their current and former clients.
Any major changes you see taking place to the public relations industry?
Joe – Diversification. Agency growth will depend on service innovation, diversification and integration. PR on its own will continue to be difficult to differentiate with the continued media consolidation and concentration.
Any thoughts on “new” industries such as cannabis? AI? VR?
Joe – AR/VR – One day a lucky brand will figure out how to generate greater interest and adoption of augmented and virtual reality. Maybe that will happen in 2019, maybe not. I have been waiting impatiently.
Any additional thought you’d like to share you see happening in 2019 that will have a big impact on the business landscape?
Joe – Fake News – My wish for 2019 would be for this term to be an artifact, but unfortunately, we’re on a trajectory of things getting worse, not better.
More insight in this series.