The world of digital advertising is growing at an astonishing rate. In 2018, U.S. advertising spend will excess $220 billion and continued double digit growth in digital ad spend which opens an array of opportunities for brands to promote their message and drive sales. Projections for mobile ad spend to continue to grow in 2018 reaching $70 billion in sales. In my view the top three digital trends on the rise to improve marketing Return on Investment (ROI) include artificial intelligence, augmented reality and blockchain technologies.
Digital Trends On The Rise
The age of artificial intelligence is upon us. Computers can now see, hear and talk. We have conversations with chatbots and home devices like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home. In the coming year, neural networks will utilize big data sets and get even smarter. Tools like Adobe Sensei will improve the design and delivery of online digital experiences. Google Cloud Vision may be leveraged for logo detection in images posted online by social media followers and influencers to track online brand sentiment. The creation of Salesforce Einstein has enabled even faster customer acquisition with artificial intelligence based recommendations of next best steps in the sales process.
Virtual reality would bring an even cooler customer experience but until we are utilizing visors or displays in our glasses, the focus should be placed on augmented reality. This is a great way to blend the digital age with real world experience. Leading technology vendors such as Google, Facebook,and Apple have developed kits with applications programing interfaces (APIs) to leverage their platforms depending on your use case. Users would no longer have to image what furniture would look like in their home with the Ikea app on their mobile device or what it would be like to have a new Porsche in their driveway. The opportunities for enhancing the customer experience with a product placement are endless! As cool as the augmented reality technology maybe it is important to think about how it can be linked to the customer engagement metrics and leading indicators to drive product purchases.
The newest entrant into the marketing mix this year is blockchain technologies. With all the buzz around valuations of cryptocurrency, a gold rush is in the making for how the core blockchain technologies will radically transform industries. The NY Interactive Ad Exchange (NYIAE) is a model that allows publishers and advertisers to trade advertising contracts. Another on the rise blockchain implementation may be the Basic Attention Token (BAT) currently being beta tested in the Brave browser. This new technology can be used by loyalty programs to measure users time of engagement with ads. It then assigns a prorated value of a token to be used by publishers and advertisers to provide consumer incentives like rewards programs do today with points or cashback. This new model may be a more efficient way to reward consumers and to track the value of advertisement and user engagement.
These three exciting new digital trends which may be applied as advertising strategies offer new ways to experiment with your marketing mix of campaigns and ultimately improve ROI in 2018.