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Heading into 2018, global leaders in market research, including Kantar Millward Brown, have highlighted digital and media trends to keep an eye out for this year. Projections range from creative campaign changes to measuring ROI. Here are our favorite trends from these industry gurus:

1. STORYTELLING

As brands move away from traditional campaigns, they continue to use storytelling to engage the audience emotionally and develop care for the brand, not just the ad’s content. Creating effective branding that engages the audience can be difficult, but with storytelling’s proven success and more platforms than ever, advertisers are sure to find exciting new ways to tell their brand’s story in 2018.

 
2. BRANDED ENTERTAINMENT

Branded Entertainment — documentaries and films that are funded by a brand — as well as sponsored content and product placement, is set to grow in 2018 alongside a continuing evolution of traditional media. Although branding can be difficult to measure, with goals ranging from raising awareness to changing brand opinion, this year promises to move the needle on ways to better measure ROI.

 
3. VOICE-CONTROLLED DEVICES

Voice-controlled devices are changing the future of internet use by altering how and when we use search engines. As the number of voice-controlled devices grows and companies launch more voice-supported features, the advertising and sponsored content is set to roll in. Companies that choose to experiment with this new technology will gain an advantage in a relatively unexplored market.

 
4. WALLED GARDEN GROWTH

It’s expected that 2018 will see rapid growth in walled gardens, which confines the user to accessing content through a specific domain or provider. As advertising restrictions increase, the demand for more targeted audiences with clear ROI will continue to grow as well.

 
5. MARKETING EVOLVES TO AI

Algorithms won’t be enough anymore: in 2018, plan to see more artificial intelligence applied to marketing. AI tech includes language processing, computer vision and more, which may make marketing campaigns self-regulating as AI increasingly enhances PPC, constantly checks analytics, and helps optimization.

 
6. “OVER-THE-TOP” (OTT) STREAMING GROWTH

“Over-the-top,” or OTT, describes streaming services (i.e., Netflix or Hulu) that allow viewers to consume media content instantly. The decrease in cable subscriptions has created challenges for advertisers as more campaigns move towards digital and away from traditional media. OTT services face pressure to streamline data collection and help advertisers increase campaign ROI.

 
7. CROSS-MEDIA MARKETING

Digital advertising continues to gain importance in connecting advertising activity across media. As mobile advertising spend increases alongside the use of new technology such as mobile ID matching and geolocation, marketing plans will progress to focus more on cross-media measurement to better understand ROI and create more targeted campaigns.

 
WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN FOR YOU?

Similar to 2017, the most significant 2018 advertising trends follow from deeply changing audience behavior. An increased presence of new media in homes, such as voice controlled devices and OTT, opens the door to new opportunities in advertising.

As always, the HDMZ digital team can lend our experience to your current and future digital marketing campaigns. Send us a note!