6 min read September 7, 2018 Charles Studt Here’s What Maximizing Advertising Performance Will Look Like in 2019It’s hard to believe that the end of 2018 is looming large. Though most of the United States is still in the throes of summer’s heat and humidity, fall is approaching and the holidays will follow shortly afterward. As much as it might seem preemptive, it’s really not too early to think about how maximizing advertising performance will look like in 2019. For a rundown of what you can expect, you’ll find a primer below.1. Augmented and Virtual Realities Lead the Way When Maximizing Advertising PerformanceWhile Pokémon Go might have been the way that lay people were introduced to augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), some brands have been using these technologies for a few years already in an effort to augment their customers’ experience. In 2019, expect to see more companies follow the groundwork laid by innovators like IKEA.With their virtual reality shopping app, IKEA customers have been able to try out various solutions from the well-known furniture giant since the app’s release in 2016. With just a few clicks, customers can experience firsthand how a customized kitchen could look and feel as they test different cabinet or finish solutions. In 2019, more brands will follow IKEA’s lead by offering augmented and virtual reality solutions to their customers for a more personalized experience.2. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Become the NormMuch has been written about machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) in the past four years — and for good reason! Though 2018 marked the year that many brands started really embracing these two forward-thinking concepts, 2019 will signal the start of a true ML and AI explosion. In 2019, you’ll see exponential improvements in productivity, efficiency and customer satisfaction as previous experiments with ML and AI become more refined and clear.With an eye toward building more customer-centric marketing strategies, brands need to look at AI as a method of understanding what consumers are seeing and whether the brand is marketing content or documents that they themselves have generated or if it’s user-generated. Doing so enables a brand to analyze trends more effectively, enhance customer profiles and build more sophisticated strategies for personalization.Delving into the data your brand collects and stores means using applications that rely on the power of AI in order to analyze them. QuanticMind used smart algorithms to help language acquisition company, Babbel, increase their PPC sales by 150% by analyzing the performance of their current campaigns and shifting it where the data indicated growth.Brands can also tap into the workflow and automation solutions that are offered by artificial intelligence. These software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions can help companies streamline and improve their digital operations across many facets of their businessa.3. Voice Becomes the Most Popular Search Marketing Tool for Maximizing Advertising Performance in 2019By 2020, ComScore estimates that fully half of all searches will be made using only a consumer’s voice. Of course, voice won’t completely replace screen-based searches, but it is a significant enough concept that it will need to factor into the strategies that brands use now and far into the future — if they want to be found during voice searches.As the rate of a search engine’s word recognition increases — Google’s accuracy rate increased from under 80 percent in 2013 to over 90 percent by 2015, for example — consumers will feel more confident and appreciative when they access the convenience of an intelligent voice search. There are several methods that brands can get in front of using the ultimate search marketing tool now so that they’re poised for the future.When developing a strategy that maximizes your brand’s advertising performance, it’s crucial to think about the differences between speaking and writing search inquiries. These will likely hinge on utilizing a more conversational message so that your brand’s content aligns more accurately with the way that people naturally speak. Focusing your marketing efforts so they encompass both voice searches and typed messages now ensures that your brand is poised to capture more attention.Currently, most voice searches occur because of practical matters. For example, a consumer might initiate a voice search for a restaurant nearby as they are driving home from work in rush hour traffic. As the rates of word accuracy continue to climb, though, and consumers continue to have their needs met accurately by the results returned during a voice search, users will start to rely on their voices more to get things done. In turn, brands will need to expand their strategies in ways that enable them to meet this need.A final word on the subject: voice search is used primarily by consumers who are on the go. It’s vital for your brand’s website to be fully optimized for mobile users in order to experience the full spectrum of possibilities available through voice searches.4. Video Is Still KingVideo continues to rule the interwebs and it appears to be on track to become 80 percent of its traffic in 2019, as predicted by the Washington Post in 2015. This is no surprise since most people have a short attention span these days or simply don’t have time to read something in-depth.While brands have latched onto the public’s love of videos by delivering behind-the-scenes snippets, live events and short lists of tips and tricks in an effort to capture their viewers’ interests, the fact remains that like any marketing strategy, a video is most effective when it delivers what consumers want and when they need it. Hubspot noted that adding a video to an email resulted in a 200 to 300 percent click-through rate. A video placed on a landing page resulted in an 80 percent increase in conversion rates.While using video as a way to maximize advertising performance isn’t a new strategy, going forward in 2019 will see brands becoming more original in their approach. Expect to see imaginative and interactive videos that encourage the consumer to engage with them. Because consumers can quickly become bored, focusing on this strategy instead of posting videos simply for the sake of having them will give way to more engaging and interactive content.5. Native Marketing Encourages Creativity When it Comes to Maximizing Advertising PerformanceIrrelevant ads or those that pop up before obscuring half the screen can reduce a user’s enjoyment of the internet and lead to frustration. For the consumer of today, a robust ad blocker is the tool of choice when it comes time to browse online.The key to getting around these ad blockers is for brands to make their marketing efforts blend into their content more naturally. Native ads and traditional ads are starting to look very similar to consumers, and they might ask for a more distinct separation between the two, as well as other types of content. This push for transparency will likely lead brands to embrace more creative solutions that are less disruptive while still being a larger part of whatever conversations are happening.Even as consumers become more aware of the presence of native ads, major brands like Lexus, Airbnb and Visa are leveraging native ads as an essential component of a diverse marketing strategy.6. 2019 is the Year of Programmatic AdvertisingProgrammatic advertising saw a sharp increase in its growth in 2018. For the following year, this technology is expected to comprise two-thirds of digital display advertising around the world. Not surprisingly, the United States is leading the growth of this trend. While 78 percent of its digital display was traded programmatically in 2018, this figure is projected to rise to 83.6 percent as of 2019. The U.S. is also behind the pioneering of the shift from the internet to traditional media using programmatic. Currently, the amount spent in the programmatic areas of radio, out-of-home and TV programmatic is around 6 percent with a projected growth to 13 percent — which equates to about $13B by next year.2019 is shaping up to be an exciting year in marketing that offers brands innovative and proven methods of maximizing advertising performance. Now that you know the technologies that will be used across the board and throughout many industries to push brands who want to maximize their advertising budgets, what are you waiting for? Do you have current plans to implement or beef up your focus on a particular technique that you already have in place? Which of the six concepts do you plan to integrate into your current marketing strategy?