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Marketing & Media Trends

#BizTrends2018: Personalised advertising, robots and AR

Working in the digital advertising industry makes 2018 a truly great time to be alive. There are new ways for marketers to reach their customers more effectively every day. 2018 is going to be an incredible year for personalised advertising, robots taking over and your car knowing when you need milk.
Bianca Quinn-Diavastos, managing director at Jetweb.
Bianca Quinn-Diavastos, managing director at Jetweb.

1. The Internet of Things - Who is the boss?

The European Commission describes the internet of things as merging "physical and virtual worlds, creating smart environments”. Even if you think you’re not one of them, you probably are. Your TV, phone, car and your smart watch are all connected. Researcher Gartner, estimates that more than 8.4 billion "Things" are connected to the internet today, a 30% increase from just one year ago.

We useD to only concern ourselves with our phone and laptop being connected, however  we now need a fridge, air conditioner and a security system that can connect and preferably be controlled remotely.

5G is on the horizon. 5G is a new network system that has much higher speeds and capacity, and much lower latency than existing cellular systems. Next generation speeds and capacity could finally enable full realisation of virtual and augmented reality, snap downloads of movies, vastly more traffic, seamless autonomous vehicle communications and controls on land and air.

2. Artificial Intelligence AI – The rise of the machines, has it finally arrived?

AI is defined as the “intelligence exhibited by machines”.  Any type of device or machine that understands its environment and takes an action to maximise the chance of achieving success and reaching a goal is the best way to understand how AI works, for example, self-driving cars, robots, and various types of machine learning including facial recognition and human speech programs.

AI is somewhere between scary and exciting. It will definitely be a hot topic for marketers in 2018, as the emergence of AI could be the "worst event in the history of our civilisation", unless society finds a way to control its development, physicist Stephen Hawking said in November 2017.

According to researcher Gartner, AI bots will power 85% of all customer service interactions by 2020. A third of the world’s population is using social media, and AI is playing a huge part in how businesses are communicating with potential prospects online. In South Africa we have 16 million active Facebook users and 8 million who access Facebook daily. Customers want to reach you where they are comfortable, and in 2018 it will be Facebook. This will expedite the rapid growth of AI and Bots to reach customers and to resolve their queries faster and more effectively.

Mountain Dew is currently using a bot on Facebook and Twitter:

3. Dynamic Advertising - You will need to make it personal in 2018, very personal

For most, our phones are possibly the most used object in our daily lives. The average person checks their phone over 500 times a day, while most South Africans check their phones within the first five  minutes of waking.  As a result, consumer’s patience for receiving irrelevant ads and content has run out.

In 2018 we will see smarter use of re-marketing. Dynamic Advertising evolved in 2017 and it offers marketers the opportunity to use data to make advertising personal. It is essential to re-engage an interested customer. If I am looking at a dress online but I am unsure if I want to purchase it, a generic brand ad will not necessarily send me back to the site, but a personlised ad with that specific dress will.

Dynamic advertising allows you to show users products you know they are in the market for. This creates extremely powerful and effective personalised ads. Only 5-8% of your website visitors will convert on your page, so re-targeting is an effective way to reach all of the leads you thought were lost.

In April 2017, Channel  4 announced a new VoD ad format, which was developed by video tech firm Innovid, that allows advertisers to incorporate the first names of viewers into their ads.

All Channel 4’s 15 million registered users who watched an Alien Covenant trailer ad while signed in on a web browser, will see personalised messages asking them to “Run…” followed by their first name.

4. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality – Let me entertain you

According to market research firm IDC, worldwide revenues for the augmented reality and virtual reality market are projected to approach $14 billion during 2017, and explode to $143 billion by 2020. As reported by Quid, Facebook is setting itself up to be a key player by acquiring 11 AR/VR companies between in 2017.

Big brands have embraced this trend with innovative and creative executions on a large scale.

PepsiCo recently pranked commuting Londoners with an AR-enabled bus stop display. Travelers were shown a prowling tiger, a meteor crashing, and an alien tentacle grabbing people off the street.

In 2018 digital marketers will need to consider AR and VR and it exciting opportunities as part of their strategy. It is important to try out new things to reach customers.  Consider what will work well for your brand, and don’t be afraid to try it. Through social media you can reach out to customers and do market research to find out what tactic and trends will work.  I am excited about the year ahead in digital, and I cannot wait to immerse myself in these trends.

About Bianca Quinn-Diavastos

Bianca Quinn-Diavastos is the managing director of the digital marketing agency Jetweb - "Digital on Demand". She has worked in media and publishing since 2006, and has gained a diverse range of experience spanning the marketing and strategic digital industries.
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