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How technology will change marketing in 2018

Recently we have seen the rise of personalised campaigns and content and the increase use of mobile devices and smartphones. With rising consumer engagement on the smaller screen, mobile is set to take a big piece of the digital pie for ad spends in 2018.


Udit Bhambri        Last Updated: June 26, 2018  | 21:30 IST
How technology will change marketing in 2018
The picture for representational purpose.

Unless you have been living a very isolated life, your world is digital and has been for a while. We have seen the evolution of marketing take many different forms. Now marketers need to be on top of what is trending and where their consumers are. Interestingly, the brand messaging that provides the most impact is the one that truly connects with consumers, provides human engagement and has real impact on individuals and their lifestyle.

Recently, we have seen the rise of personalised campaigns and content and the increase use of mobile devices and smartphones. With rising consumer engagement on the smaller screen, mobile is set to take a big piece of the digital pie for ad spends in 2018.

Social platforms have initially been used to connect people and savvy marketers are aware that it is not about being the best brand with the best product -- it is about being the brand that resonates best with its consumers. This is where influencer marketing has proven successful.

Influencer Marketing is all about building a real connection between consumers and influencers. While the practice took off in 2016, it is limited by the fact that consumers today might link too easily influencer-led content to brand-led content. The biggest strength of Influencer marketing strength is authenticity and in 2018 more than ever, marketers will need to put the human connection at the heart of their brand messaging and do it wisely with the right influencers using the right tone.

According to a 2017 report by eMarketer, mobile ads will make up 62 per cent of digital ad spends in India by 2021 and the rise in mobile advertising boosted the overall digital marketing spend to around $1.21 billion in 2017.

With digital content and technology trends on the rise, the scope of various brands and industries to engage and connect with their target audience is boundless. We have seen other trends enabled by technology popping up in 2017 more frequently, like AI, VR and Chatbots. Smart brands have started adapting to these trends, strategically planning for 2018 and beyond. With the focus on building consumer experiences and connections through digital means, a brand can have a good chance to be ahead in the game, giving a competitive edge to their business.

Content fuels the engine of modern day marketing and when driven by a dedicated sales strategy can be highly effective. The main purpose of marketing is to deliver a valuable message to the right customer, at the right time, so they have a stronger likelihood to buy a given product or service. As companies continue to find ways to stretch the efficiencies of their marketing efforts, many industries are looking to alternatives like networking and algorithms to enhance their future marketing strategies. As the online environment becomes faster with more options, advertisers need real-time data about their customers to help them create more significant ads and increase sales to boost conversions.

Moving forward, the marketing landscape is expanding at a phenomenal rate. Here's a look at five ways technology will change the traditional marketing strategy in 2018.

Being truly mobile has a distinct advantage. Having a unique desktop version of the marketing content is nowadays less important. Having marketing content that is consistent across all devices is a focus that every advertiser should be aiming for. The user and their experience should be the first priority for the advertiser. As a user, no matter which device you are working from, recognising the brand and resonating with the content will more likely lead to that purchase.

The new marketing technologies have enabled marketers to try innovative ways of marketing. However, it is not just limited to marketing-specific technologies, general technological advancements outside the domain of marketing will also have a huge impact on marketing strategy. Artificial intelligence is one such development that has gained some serious focus. However, there is another exciting new technology which has the potential to advance marketing strategy: Blockchain.

Blockchain is a decentralised public record of user-generated information; not only being a digital ledger in the world of crypto currency, it will also have a huge impact on the advertising world. Blockchain will enable more authentic marketing and enhance data privacy by allowing marketers to anonymous data without individual attribution. Sounds too good to be true? It may be. One of the main hurdles is that it's a 'chain' - in order for it to work, there is a need to obtain buy-in from multiple providers at different levels, including the brand, the agency, the DSP, the exchange and the publisher. It needs to reach a critical mass of users before it can work. However, we can easily expect blockchain to tackle issues like identity management, the use of personal data in targeting and the monetisation of content in the coming years.

Customers are seeking a simpler and more personalised way to connect with brands and machine learning promises to deliver the same. Chatbots enable real-time conversations with consumers. Having concerns or queries answered on the spot is a great way to instill confidence in a brand. Helping the brand to redefine the customer experience and making it completely personal. Expect this to be explored further in marketing strategies.

Professionals believe that machine learning will continue to develop across the mobile market space, acquiring an even larger existence within applications, digital assistants, and AI as a whole. We will witness AI entering our daily routines with investments in the automotive industry; self-driving cars and the logistics arena with drones.

Authenticity remains key to any strategy and people are more responsive to an idea when the impact of that idea touches them personally. Long gone are the days of mass marketing. As we have seen in the news lately with Cambridge Analytics, personalised content to influence user behavior is indeed very powerful. As marketers we need to be mindful to use that data within the limits promised to our consumers and keep our content pure to its message to truly resonate with our audience.

The writer is Country Head at VML India

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