Well, its been a wild year with Bitcoin on a rampage, politics in turmoil, robots doing backflips and of course the marketing world is in a frenzy to catch lightning in a bottle.

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So, being in marketing on the digital side for the past 15 years, I thought it would be appropriate to throw my hat into the ring with what I think is going to dominate 2018. What’s a brand gonna do?

  1. Bots and AI: Next year you are going to hear about autonomous vehicles being used in vary interesting ways. But, perhaps more accessible, you will hear about ways in which you will be able to interact with them. Bots (the robot kind) and bots (the chatty kind) will also start to roll out in meaningful ways. From customer service to physical assistance and media production to the way in which software is written and the Internet is delivered and what jobs are available. …

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Hmmm, Hotel California you say?

Virtual / Augmented reality are poised to grow in nearly every industry in the near term. Some predicitons have global revenue for the “virtual” market at $13.9 billion THIS YEAR. Sector experts expect this market to blow up over the next few years, reaching $143.3 billion in 2020. So, how does tourism get involved?

Armchair tourism is a potential customers first activity. What is the destination like? What are the people like? What does the food look like? People want to know what they are going to get in the real world and are increasingly dependent one what the virtual world can show them. …


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Do NOT avert your eyes

Virtual reality has gone from bleeding edge technology to real world solutions for brands and agencies, in their quest to engage target audiences and make best use of “content.” By 2020, virtual reality is anticipated to grow into a $30 billion market. Many brands are just now venturing into the space, creating VR experiences to fulfill marketing, training, and product initiatives.

But what is VR?

Virtual reality, in simplest terms, empowers the audience to experience an event, location, or activity as if they’re there and watching, or even involved. This is called immersive presence. While viewing a virtual reality experience, a person can look around in first-person, seeing, hearing, and in some cases, interacting with the environment around them. …


Brand Communications in the Currently Charged & Polarizing Climate

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Image: GHNASSIA/SIPA/REX Shutterstock

Public Relations fundamentally changed in the past 5 years and the recent change in the White House has further identified the need for brands to pay close attention to the news cycle, the voice of people and the behavior of its management & employees.

The demand from the consumer has changed and the rise of channel verticals has further compicated an ever-fragmented audience.

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Thought Leadership, Quality, Truth and Sticky Content Rule

In fact, a study from Launchleap reveals that “millennials” (a very fragmented age group) aren’t listening to advertising, but are increasingly reliant on their network and their own due diligence to make consumer decisions.

People are very different. Even in defined groups such as Millennials, Generation X, Gen Z, Boomers and whatever comes next, the fragmentation is yuge. …


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Travel Industry: 2017 Digital Trends To Watch

The travel industry is going to be a hot topic for marketers in 2017. Want proof? Ok, Warren Buffet just divested his entire Walmart stock portfolio to invest more heavily in travel (and banking). He is a smart guy, arguably smarter than myself or any of my peers.

So, if you don’t have time to read this post, the long and short of Travel Trends this year are: Personalization, Interactive/Immersive content, Data lead efforts via social and mobile and Platform ownership.

I truly believe that if content is king, the platform your brand owns is the kingdom and the experience is the queen. …


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Connected media and the Internet of things have fundamentally changed the way we see and hear our world. It no longer takes 6 months or more in a Prairie Schooner to reach your new home. We take for granted that a short hop (under 10 hours) on an airplane will deliver us to just about anywhere in the world. In 2 days you can literally be on the opposite side of the planet from where you sit right now. But that seems slow.

The Internet has made all that seem slow. Imagine that, we now consider anything less than instant to pose a great dilemma in effort = value. …


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Original Art from Juarez Ricci

For the past 15+ years, I have been on the forefront of digital transformation. Let me tell you, it’s good, bad and ugly and takes a strong will to swim against the current of inertia. The brand wants results, the team wants innovation, the agency wants shiny objects, the industry wants leadership and everyone wants the gold.

Too many organizations want the CDO to either “fix” their social media efforts, or bring more black hat mysticism to the new business pitch in the hopes some client will say, “I want some of that.” …


6 Uses for Sector-Based Journalism Within Your Brand

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Your brand has the ability to answer an audiences questions

The Internet’s unprecedented emergence as a communications tool has brought with it many opportunities — and challenges — for large consumer products companies. App based engagement, geolocation, bots and Digital conversations number in the millions, daily. The exponential rise of these interactions between the brand and its consumer, news media, regulators, consumer protection organizations and brand extension partners creates a complex multi-dimensional and often dialog that’s hard to distill with even the most advanced social media monitoring tools.

One solution to this challenge is for a company to “own” a sector specific to its brand category. …


What do brands need to think about during this Fundraising Season?

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#GivingTuesday is a weekly opportunity for fundraising efforts

—According to USA Today, about 34% of all charitable giving is done in the last three months of the year and a top reason people give to charity is simply because they’re asked. So what can go wrong? What makes a donor feel special?

  1. A brand needs to develop the message. In a cluttered fundraising arena, if you aren’t clear in your mission, you will risk being another voice in the chaos, with your hand out. To do this correctly, the brand should affirm its POV on its core issue, and then analyze the relevant channels in which this conversation/content is occuring. This should happen many months prior to attempting to ask for help, but rather, think first about entering the conversation as a truly concerned, leader in the space. Garner respect. …

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Turning your iPhone into an 8mm camera just got real

The iPhone is less about 1987's reaching out and touching someone and is now more like having a mini production studio in your pocket. The main problem with the imaging abilities are really centered around the fact that it just isn’t designed to be a camera. Smartphones in general are really still being designed around the phone and the internet, not the camera. This is precisely why aftermarket “wrappers” like Cinebody are going to be the must have gadgets to turn your phone into much much more.

The Cinebody is a very, VERY, simple design, reminding people of a certain age of their dads super 8mm, but now, the modern spin gives you the ability to shoot 4K video on your iPhone with some of the functionality typically only seen with more professional cameras. …

About

Tracy Shea

brand strategist, digital pioneer. big picture thinker, content creator, creative enabler. I am comprised mostly of water, likely non-potable.

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