As 2017 comes to an end, it is time for people involved in the advertising industry to look ahead to what the next 12 months can hold.
From machine learning to the GDPR and the growing ubiquity of both AI, 2018 promises to be just as eventful as its predecessor.
We asked a range of industry professionals offer us their predictions for what the year has in store for brands and marketers and to peek into their crystal balls.
AI and machine learning
Oliver Bronner, Creator of Berlin-based brand consultancy, Hy.am:
“In 2018, I believe mankind and machine will attain a symbiotic relationship courtesy of Artificial Intelligence. Throughout the ongoing usage of our apparatus for instance, AI will be able to consume information of our day to day lives — by the information we read, the music we listen to and the content we watch and take these critical learnings so as to provide a more lively experience. As AI continues to become integral to our own lives, the technology will not only advise us on news feeds, playlists and TV shows– what we like — it will have a mention on the things that matter, leading us on a path of self-betterment, if that is kicking a bad habit, or meeting a life ambition.”
Steve Bartlett, founder and CEO of influencer marketing consultancy, Social Chain:
“Social media will move from being one-dimensional, to a completely immersive experience that users can participate with outside a ‘like’ or ‘retweet’. 360degree content will increase, allowing consumers to discuss content for people to research in their own will. Social feeds will probably be overlaid onto fact, whether that is through AR-enabled apps such as Snapchat and Instagram, VR cans, or even via a contact lens.”
Aurelien Simon, Head of Immersive in Digital Catapult:
“We anticipate 2018 for a major season for its growth and roll-out of next generation hardware for VR/AR — place to be greater, lighter and more economical than previously. We’re anticipating the initial headsets fromMagic Leap for example — the secretive company is expected to unveil its hardware. Oculus is set to rollout a standalone headphone which could drive consumer adoption that was further in 2018, Oculus Move, which will add sophistication and further selection .
“In terms of the creative industries, we have seen enormous strides in imaginative content over 2017 and I expect this push to get quality over quantity to continue next season. Significant production studios are likely to improve existence and their interest in the VR space, while VR games generation looks to take a step ahead.
“Eventually, in the space, I expect a transition from prototyping to mass roll-out. Multinational retailing giant, Walmart, is currently leading the way in this. Having successfully used VR to train employees it plans to roll the programme out to 200 academies by the end of this year. We are likely to find a similar expansion of programs in the automotive sector, where VR was used effectively to show prospective customers the expression of their vehicle in the showroom.”
Richard Kidd, VP head of business development, EMEA, at independent advertising exchange OpenX:
“For programmatic advertisements to continue its exponential growth annually, we need to foster greater trust. The way to attain this is straightforward: increased transparency in all elements of programmatic.
“Opaque processes that do not disclose which auction type is utilized, or obscure the real price of inventory, will no longer be tolerated as we move into 2018.
“While the industry continues to ‘clean up’, there are clear steps advertisers can choose to protect themselves from being victims of opaqueprocesses. They should just work with suppliers utilizing the strictest quality and anti-fraud measures — utilizing thirdparty validations such as TAG certification to help identify these — and insist upon only the greatest degrees of transparency.”
Stuart Flint, Head of EMEA at electronic content stage Oath:
“Programmatic is still not going to ‘come over here and steal all of our jobs’. More and more agencies and brands are upskilling their staff across all teams and disciplines in ‘programmatic’ as businesses see the benefits of the efficiencies it brings, despite high profile stories. 2018 will see media owners, brands and agencies adopting programmatic buying and selling at higher ratios across their companies as they hone in on more complex ways of automated campaigns and more people drop the “spray and pray” approach.”
Thomas Madsen-Mygdal, co-founder & CEO of movie marketing company TwentyThree:
“Characteristics like Facebook reside has made livestreaming easy and accessible for marketers across the world. And livestreaming on a native site where the user experience can be controlled by entrepreneurs will continue growing in 2018. Movie is 3 times longer engaging than pre-recorded video. So will this shift in 2018? Other than more brands experimentation with the application streaming is called to be interactive. For instance, Amstel Radler hosted a customer-led live flow, where viewers controlled the content based on the way they were engaging with the video.
“Personalized video content: The best benefit of using video content is its ability to feel individual and connect with your audience. In 2018, we’ll see this taken with brands using sales, advertising, and customer service videos to help build relationships and earn customer trust.
“Video advertising automation will proceed further towards the mainstream. Moving prospects down the funnel has been accelerated with the emergence of Video Marketing Platforms which convert syncs and users data with marketing automation softwares – especially through video. Video will become incorporated. In reality, it’s been shown that mails with video have a 63% higher click through rate and landing pages with video can increase conversions by 80% or greater.”
Stuart Flint, Head of EMEA, Oath:
“Mobile video will be leading growth driver in digital advertising spend as more brands experiment with AR and mixed fact Mobile video has seen the most growth in electronic advertising this season and this trend is set to continue in 2018 as more brands invest in AV as a route to connect with consumers.
“We hope to see brand experimentation with how best to use this technology to reach consumers through audio visual and usefulness experiences. 2018 will observe AR no longer relegated to just the “10%” of advertising budgets as adoption grows”
Tom Goodmanson, president and CEO of customer engagement and analytics software firm Calabrio:
“We can anticipate much more communication channels to emerge in 2018, adding to the complexity of how brands serve their clients. A breaking point is imminent for its front-line employees who are on the receiving end of increasingly complicated customer problems. New research shows that 56 percent of customer service representatives are challenged with difficulties. What’s more, 60 percent of these employees state that their companies do not offer technologies that is sufficient to handle those issues, which makes them stressed out and progressively unengaged.
“In order to continue to deliver on the promise of a great customer experience, brands must refocus on their people and technology integrations. In doing this, workers become empowered to rapidly make informed decisions and provide on the service contemporary consumers expect.”
Mark Smith, President of customer travel analytics companyKitewheel:
“Customer experience will shift from the problem-solving crises mode seen within the previous 10 years into some proactive process.There’s already expansion here, which will continue into 2018. Kitewheel’s statistics proves that customer interactions in the growth phase – in which businesses focus on rising and deriving more value – grew 400. 75 percent of these expansion interactions dealt with customer satisfaction, customer support or customer loyalty meaning that firms are already beginning to comprehend the need.
“Customer journeys will become longer and more complex. In 2017, the ordinary customer journey length for customers that have already been obtained reached a mean of 20 weeks, compared to 10 for an acquisition journey. This implies that while a client lost or can be won quickly, retaining and developing a client relationship takes time and effort that is cross-channel. With the growth of new channels and technologies, 2018 will find even more complex journeys and longer journey times.”
Patrick Tripp, VP of Product Strategy at client participation technology firm RedPoint Global:
“2018 will indicate the passing of segment-marketing. In the coming year, achievement for brands hinges on zero-segment marketing. The fact is marketers won’t ever be able to come up to execute that the current consumer’s need for granularly personalized connections. As clients hop in and out of stations, machine learning and AI are the sole means for generating all the probable scenarios of next-best-interaction and personalizing in scale.”
Scott Meyer, founder of privacy compliance tech companyEvidon:
“The beginning of 2018 will see the General Data Protection Legislation (GDPR) be thecatalyst of significant change in how information is gathered and used. As we struck the five-month mark until execution the feeling of urgency around the GDPR is already growing — our latest research shows 36% of organizations think privacy will be central to their culture after the May 2018 deadline, and 67% consider budgets for spending on privacy increases after the deadline.May will see businesses rethink their relationships with information and put together thelast piece to the GDPR puzzle: how to quickly and effectively communicate their information practices to clients and employeesin clear speech while also giving control over private data.
“A significant part of the new law is that all information practices must be transparent, so a person may make an informed choice about their private data.Consent management tools, while already on the current market, will increase in 2018 and much more will start to use Artificial Intelligence (AI), which will help businesses meet this condition. E-Privacy has been overlooked to some level this year but will become an important consideration in 2018.”