5 Digital Marketing Predictions for 2018

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What will marketers be embracing in 2018 and beyond? What are they excited about, what will they be worried about and just what will shape their long-term strategies over the course of the coming year? We had a quick brainstorming session with experts from Leeds-based agency Stickyeyes to share thoughts on what will be the marketing talking point in 2018:

Big Investment in Data Management Platforms: Brands will be looking to adopt and heavily invest in DMPs (Data Management Platforms) to make better use of the vast amount of first, second (‘shared’, first-party data) and third-party data at their disposal.

That ‘old’ buzzword ‘Big Data’ will actually become more meaningful. DMPs will empower marketers to create vast segmentation models way beyond what we have seen before. This in turn will lead to improved personalisation, as brands look to land the right message, with the right audience, at the right time in the right place (AKA, marketing utopia). The challenge for marketers is getting the business cases nailed, a test plan in place, ensuring that the strategy is sharp and verifying that the data going into the system is of the finest quality. Don’t forget to have both eyes on GDPR compliance through your Data Protection Officer, also appearing in 2018.’ –said Adam Culkin, Account Director

We’re going to hear a lot more about brand protection…

The issue of brand protection and reputation management isn’t going to go away. High profile brands pulled ad campaigns from various channels in 2017, and we seem to be at something of a crossroads as to where respectively go from here.

At the moment, brands are being asked to balance the risk against the reward. Nobody wants to become 2018’s case study of “how not to do digital media buying”, and it is creating an environment where CMOs are understandably nervous about where they deploy content, and what they, knowingly or otherwise, align their brand to.

Ad platforms simply can’t keep up with the sheer volume of content that they are being expected to monitor, but the onus is on them to ensure that the tools and mechanisms that they provide to help brands ensure that they aren’t being associated with content that they really don’t want to be associated with. And it is then up to advertisers to make sure that they understand these tools, and the way forward to ensure that their digital ad strategy is a success, rather than a reputational disaster.

 

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Augmented reality will go mainstream

We will see a new step forward for the convergence of augmented reality and search. The release of AR Kit and AR Core by Apple & Google provides a deeper integration for apps and the traditional customer journey.

‘Until 2017, augmented reality has been rather fragmented and with the launch of iOS11, Google Oreo and the integration into progressive web apps, marketers and developers will need to start exploring the potential of the emerging technologies and untie the digital experience with physical world.’ – shared his insights Matt Barnes, SEO Performance Manager

 

Voice search will change how brands approach SEO 

How many Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices will be under the Christmas tree this year? We expect that Santa’s sack will be bulging with smart speakers and personal assistants in 2017, and that is going to make search much more vocal in 2018.pexels-photo-270637

‘These smart devices will push voice search up the agenda, and SEO strategies will need to adapt. Brands will need to think much more carefully about semantics, about conversational conventions and regional nuances than they typically would need to with text-based search. And as the search engines get smarter, and gather more data about how consumers use the technology, it will be those brands that can really understand the intent of a user’s query that will get the result’ – added Michael Hayden, SEO Lead

 

The Year of Attribution

With Google on the verge of releasing Google Attribution to the masses, 2018 is looking to be the year where attribution (finally) becomes a truly actionable methodology. Not only will paid & organic channels alike be able to see the true value of marketing campaigns, but they’ll be able to adapt campaigns based on real data and see the benefits in the results.

‘Gaining access to this could lead to the shift in reporting from ‘last click’ to various different attribution models, depending on the industry and channel. Brand awareness campaigns can be more accurately and properly reported from a first click prospective, highlighting the true value of that activity, rather than it being lost in the more commonly used ‘last click’ model’– commented Jonny Briggs, Data and Analytics Manager.

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