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Millennials, AI and transparency: 10 predictions for 2018

www.thedrum.com, 16.01.2018: Transparency, data and digital transformation were big topics last year. As brands and agencies undertake their strategic planning, what will 2018 hold?

 

Here are the top ten predictions for 2018.

 

1. AI will help achieve marketing performance optimisation

A big challenge for marketers is dealing with complex, siloed data assets. [Looking ahead], data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) will equip marketing departments with the ability to achieve the holy grail of marketing performance optimization (MPO).

 

Armed with a granular level of detail on individual customers and their behaviour, marketing will have the ability to better inform the sales process and even own the customer experience function to deliver on consumer’s expectations.

 

Katrin Ribant, CSO, co-founder at Datorama

 

2. First-price auctions will fuel a new digital advertising era

The main problem with the programmatic auction, as it’s run today, is that it doesn’t allow advertisers to achieve the win rates they need to reach audiences at scale. This has always been a problem, but it’s been aggravated by header bidding which effectively creates a two-tiered auction system.

 

The adoption of first-price auctions will create a ripple effect, finally ending remnant-era practices, allowing trust to re-enter the ecosystem, expanding budgets to programmatic and ushering in a new age in digital advertising.

 

Sebastian Moesman, chief executive officer at Improve Digital

 

3. Marketers will get proactive about millennials

Millennials are expected to hold a collective annual buying power of $31 (£24) trillion by 2020 (UBS Group, 2017). Marketers who succeed will proactively assess the impact millennials may have on their market from a macro-economic perspective and as social influencers which could affect bottom line campaign results.

 

Irisini Davis, marketing director EMEA at Marin Software

 

4. Location data will rebuild trust

Location marketing has not been immune to criticism. In fact, 80-90% of location data up until now has been wrong or imprecise, according to at least one leading executive in the ad industry.

 

In 2018, the industry will work together to address these issues. Publishers have realised they’re sitting on a goldmine of high quality location-based data within their app-based services. Brands also have access to a multitude of data sets; from media data to advertiser data.

 

Ian James, general manager international at Verve

 

5. Performance marketing will drive margins

For marketers, getting the right balance between marketing spend and sale margins will be paramount. In 2018, performance marketing teams will gain access to enterprise resource planning (ERP) data, allowing them to adjust advertising spend based on real-time stock levels and inventory turnover rates.

 

Andreas Reiffen, founder and chief executive officer at Crealytics

 

6. The beginning of actionable transparency

Following P&G’s Marc Pritchard’s demands to raise the media bar and consumers taking a stand against irksome ads; 2018 will force marketers to take action.

 

Quality experiences will become the key priority for advertisers, publishers and consumers alike in the coming year. Marketers will need to focus on delivering ads that complement surrounding content. In addition, the next 12 months will see a clean-up of the supply chain. OpenRTB 3.0 will offer a comprehensive solution for a transparent and fraud-free ecosystem, allowing publishers to not only validate that an impression is from their domain, but also the user’s location, the ad size and a wealth of other information.

 

Ally Stuart, managing director EMEA at Sharethrough

 

7. The human factor through data will determine success

A true data strategy that works hand in glove with the business and marketing strategies is mission critical for a great customer service. Customer service, the net sum of all that happens ‘before, during and after’ and it is this: Identification, Understanding and Engagement of the human factor through data, that will determine success; not forgetting Measurement, otherwise how do you know you’re winning, losing or standing still?

 

Lisa Packe, sales director UK at Acxiom

 

8. Influencers will be seen as distribution channels

My prediction for the future is that influencers are going to be seen as what they truly are: distribution channels. Brands will therefore have a standardized metric to measure influencer marketing, which is not variably linked to the perceived relationship that an influencer has built with their fans.

 

Timothy Armoo, chief executive officer at Fanbytes

 

9. Transparency will rise to the top of the marketing agenda

2018 will be the year that transparency will stop being just a word that we use and instead will become a set of actions which will transform the advertising industry into a much more open and consumer-centric market.

 

We will see the demise of opaque buying systems that optimize to arbitrage and result in ads being placed on low value and potentially fraudulent sites. There will be more quality controls in all parts of the buying system therefore providing better value for advertisers, hopefully stronger yields for quality publishers and an ongoing reduction in fraudulent activity.

 

Paul Wright, chief executive officer at Iotec

 

10. Consumers will take control of digital advertising

Smartphones are putting people in the driver’s seat, and new forms of mobile advertising will have lasting and far-reaching effects on the digital advertising marketplace in the coming year. Advertisers will use data to create and deploy custom audience segments to better connect with the right customers. Selecting publishers based on prestige will matter less, while understanding customer preferences, habits, and moods will become increasingly important.

 

Adam Cohen-Aslatei, senior director marketing at Jun Group