What else awaits the digital marketing industry in 2017?

25 Jan 2017

  • Customer Experience
  • Digital Marketing
  • Marketing Technology

By: Mailee Creacy, ANZ Country Manager, Rocket Fuel

In a previous post about what lies ahead in 2017 for digital marketers, we talked about programmatic, going beyond the mobile into cross-device territory and the creation of unified profiles.

The digital marketing industry is going through a transformation that's driven by technological advances and the need to engage customers in new ways. Here's what else we predict will become prevalent this year...

1. Last chance for last touch attribution

Finally, the industry will move away from last touch attribution. Last touch makes far more sense when siloed, as it doesn’t speak to the complexity of interactions between brand and consumer that might result in an eventual move from awareness to conversion, nor to the complexity of interactions between devices.  With better technology and better modeling, 2017 will see the development and testing of new attribution models that move away from last touch and toward more comprehensive assessments.  These models will eventually impact how we measure ROI and plan campaigns.

2. First party data comes first

2017 will see the ascendency of first party data in marketing.  This data has significant advantages – it is intrinsic to a specific company, meaning that no other company has the identical data; it provides significant insight into the demographic and psychographic profiles of customers; and it can be combined with third party data when needed.  This year we will see more and more DMP functionality distributed into other marketing technologies, either in addition to stand-alone DMPs or in lieu of them.  Expect more and more DSPs to offer DMP functionality like tagging and integrated analytics, and expect more companies to try to derive a competitive advantage from the quality of the data they’ve gathered.

3. Creative and customisation will be key

Programmatic has developed at a rapid pace but the creative in ads hasn’t kept pace. 2017 will be the year that ad creative catches up with the delivery of the ads themselves. Programmatic creative is essential in supporting the customised delivery of content to the consumer, thereby enabling messages to be extremely relevant in order to capture the recipient’s attention and increase campaign results. With the continued growth of video and other high-impact rich media creative formats through programmatic channels, we will see more immersive and expressive creative formats opened up.

4. AI is everywhere

2017 will be a year in which AI dominates marketing news.  To tie all the pieces together, we need the ability to learn from the data and improve the specificity of a campaign in five different ways—getting the right creative, right audience, right message, right device, right time. With the volume and velocity of data being assembled and put to use, an amount that is beyond human scale, artificial intelligence provides the most effective way to process the data and make informed decisions in real time.  Look for new AI solutions, enhanced AI offerings, and for more brand cache to attach to machine learning and AI solutions in the coming year.

5. Evolution of programmatic to predictive

Today, we are on the cusp of a new transformation driven by prediction - building on the continued shift towards digital interaction, exponential growth in useful data, and the ability to connect disparate marketing functions in real time, we are moving into an era of truly predictive marketing - using artificial intelligence to optimise every part of the marketing mix and deliver the seamless, always-on, always-relevant experiences that consumers value.

What does this mean? The transformation that started with media is now making its way across the entire customer journey - the AI that helps marketers and their agencies buy and optimise media can now start talking to the AI that delivers their marketing campaigns (and will increasingly help build the creative and messages themselves), and they both can talk to the AIs that manage inventory, CRM systems, and every other business function in the enterprise. This leads us to a new era of predictive marketing, where all marketing functions are enhanced through artificial intelligence, and marketing AI works seamlessly with all enterprise AI.

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