As we embark on a New Year, Pilira Mwambala, Ad Operations Director at Mark1 – a digital media execution business shares the top digital trends for 2018 and beyond. According to Mwambala there has been an upsurge in disruptive digital technology and innovations like Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), chatbots, blockchain, native ads, wearable technology and many others.
“We’ve witnessed the mobile device continue to give birth to a wide variety of key developments which allow consumers faster access to the world of convenience. We’re living in a data-driven world and data will not just be a trend for 2018 but the core of all things digital and online,” he says.
He notes that today’s online advertisers are willing to pay top dollar for audience data that yields optimal return on investment (ROI) for their brand. Yet on the flip side, media owners are investing in both the technology and the people who can mine massive amounts of data and segment this into “off-the-shelf” commodities that can benefit advertisers with large wallets.
While players within the complex and dynamic digital marketing ecosystem strive to connect the puzzle pieces; consumers continue to generate, access and share massive volumes of online data. Online information, entertainment and education is available at the touch of a button. In the pursuit of unlocking the online marketing mix, Mwambala says online marketers have seen that data leads to understanding patterns within user behaviour.
The shapeshifting trend in online data stems from huge volumes of data that arise from free online apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, Skype, Google (Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps), and so much more.
He says data from the Winterberry Group, the IAB and the DMA shows that in 2017, US marketers alone would’ve spent around $10 billion on 3rdparty data. Another $10.13 billion will additionally be spent by US marketers on activation efforts to yield practical ROI from data insights. Overall, the digital ad industry worldwide is booming and digital ad spending is increasing.
In June 2017, IAB UK reported that the UK digital advertising market was worth £5.56 billion. Q1 of 2017 marked the highest ever Q1 earnings for digital advertising in the US, hitting $19.6 billion, according to IAB’s Internet Advertising Revenue Report. South Africa also witnessed a healthy growth of digital ad spending to the value of R3.95 billion with mobile, social media and paid search being key contributors.