Premium media fights back: Google and Facebook have faced criticism on brand safety and fake news through 2017. They will need to win back trust from their user and advertiser base. Google continues to update their Transparency Report and have together with Trust Project implemented steps to weed out fake news. Facebook has announced ‘ad transparency’ wherein users can view all ads associated with a business page they are visiting.
Augmented reality becomes crucial to retail: With Google, Facebook and Apple continuing to support/integrate AR solutions, businesses especially retail will exploit this feature. AR market is expected to reach $61.3 Billion by 2023.
AI gets personal: With deeper understanding of the consumers and target audience, brands will be able to deliver more personalised messaging.
Brand ‘bypass’: Voice search is expected to be 50% of all searches by 2020. A smart device can act on a simple ‘order shampoo’ command from the user and choose the brand based on past purchase history. This means brands will have to invest more in deeper emotional connections with consumers to avoid ‘brand bypass’.
Regulation: Be it GDPR (Euro-centric) or abandoning ‘net neutrality’ (US-centric) – these will have implications across markets. Personalisation will become harder to achieve with consumers protecting their data and brands will need to produce quality and relevant content to have consumers invest their time and money.
Un-stereotyping: Brands will have to consciously portray genders and races in their stories/content without traces of stereotyping. Consumers are becoming more vocal and penalising brands that are being insensitive to such issues.
Brave brands: More brands will take bolder steps – whether to stay out of major sponsorships (like McDonalds from Olympics) or major communication channels like Television. Instead they will invest more behind understanding their consumers and target audience better and serving messages through most relevant channels.
Virtual reality: This technology will continue to tempt brands, but the success will depend on the adoption rate by the broader audience.
Blockchain: This could become the most viable solution to fight ad fraud.
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Vipul Jadhav is the director of client services at Centric DXB. He provides both strategic and tactical leadership across multimillion dirham engagements while keeping up-to-date on daily project activities. Aspiring clients can reach him on email@example.com