Innovating With Impact

The theme of this year’s Edelman Digital Trends Report report is “Innovating with Impact” through the lens of organizational accountability. As digital innovation continues to shape how we work, live and interact with brands, companies must evolve internally to succeed in today’s marketplace, whether by embracing a new workforce, restructuring to encourage nimble innovation or integrating technologies and data to enable better decisions. Here are the top digital trends for 2019 outlined in the report:

Gen Z will transform your organization. Gen Z is coming to the workforce, and leaders have a choice: empower these new professionals to make the entire organization better or risk becoming the next corporate bureaucratic dinosaurs.

Towards an integrated marketing tech ecosystem. The latest trend of convergence sees organizations matching new technologies that address data integration with internal efforts to align enterprise marketing technologies.

Brands are innovating with their ecosystems. Marketing innovation teams are on the forefront of understanding how to connect to customers and should be leading the charge inside organizations to drive innovation.

New expectations for an accessible C-suite. As responsible social media use becomes a key metric by which the C-suite is evaluated, businesses realize that impactful programs require new levels of coordination and integration.

Authentic influencers create real value. Influencer marketing throughout 2019 will center around working with authentic creators who are open to collaborate on a deeper level, leveraging a mix of owned, earned and paid to drive results.

Context + personalization = relevance. Consumers expect a higher degree of relevant, personalized and contextual content, and brands should become more adept at meeting consumers regardless of time, place, or device.

Audience-centric B2B. In the race to embrace digital innovations in B2B, a basic but core aspect of marketing is too often overlooked: creating relevance for the customer.

The currency of digital identity. As consumers become more aware of the value of their digital identities, brands must quickly prepare to provide transparency in data collection and customer protection.

Contextual content is the next step for social commerce. Fueled by the potential of visual commerce and the rise of voice assistant integrations, social commerce is poised for explosive growth, but consumer trust is a hurdle that must first be cleared.

Machines as marketers? While machine learning will continue to expand its capabilities and grow more sophisticated, it will have the power to only reshape, not replace, human thought and digital marketers’ instinct.

The rise of A.I. ethics. In 2019, brands must develop a new ethics function, with the objective of shifting from only risk-avoidance to forward-thinking, planning, and counter-efforts across key areas.