3 Ways Technology Will Continue To Disrupt Digital Marketing In 2018

Over the past two decades, and with the “technological boom” (many would argue as being equal to, if not more influential than the industrial revolution in the early 1800s), just about every industry has undergone massive change. From communication practices to streamlined manufacturing processes, all the way to society’s boomeranging back to shared economies with startups like Uber, Airbnb, etc., there isn’t a single industry that technology hasn’t disrupted — and will continue to disrupt.

Obviously, being a marketer, I have been fascinated by the implications technology has had on advertising and marketing as a whole. The most obvious shifts are regularly discussed — this move from traditional mediums like television and print over to digital, specifically mobile. But there are dozens, if not hundreds, of nuances in marketing that have changed purely in response to tech.

Take messaging, for example. There was a certain flair that came with an ad derived from Madison Avenue in the “Mad Men” days. You can hear the voice in your head if you think about it — that somewhat cheesy, overly salesy tone that almost wants you to know it’s an ad.

Compare that to today’s messaging and, essentially, the goal is for messages from brands (especially influencers) to sound like the complete opposite of that. It shouldn’t sound like an ad. Shouldn’t resemble an ad. The more the content piece doesn’t look, sound, read or resemble an ad, the better it is.

And that’s a result of technology, specifically social media.

As 2017 starts to come to a close, here are 3 disruptive aspects of marketing that are on my radar for 2018:

1. Constant automation.

If you’re a digital marketer, or a brand working with a digital marketing agency, and you’re not leveraging automation sequences, you’re way behind the curve.

According to CMO, “On average, 49% of companies are currently using marketing automation, with more than half of B2B companies (55%) adopting the technology.” And if you’re not paying attention to marketing automation as a marketer, then you should as a consumer — McKinsey cites that 45% of all activities people are paid to perform could be automated by modern technology.

Job security is a real thing.

Why I’m fascinated by automation in marketing isn’t just in follow-up sales sequences, but with interactive solutions like chatbots and AI tools. 2018 is going to be a pivotal year for these kinds of things, and by 2020 it’s not going to be uncommon for consumers to have full conversations with computers.

As an influencer marketer, I can already see this trend beginning to ramp up. One of the strategies we’ve implemented with influencers is actually creating a chatbot for them that responds to fans and followers in their brand voice — and it’s proven to be extremely effective.

2. Targeting analytics — and the insights derived from them.

A lot of marketers try to set themselves apart with the technology they build, claiming that it does something no one else can do.

We have a very robust platform here at theAmplify, called Reach, which we use to manage influencer marketing campaigns for big brands, and provide in-depth analytics both before the campaign begins (to ensure we’re working with the right influencers) and after the campaign is finished (to review performance).

Something I constantly point out to people is the value we bring to a brand is not that we can pull data nobody else can. It’s just not true. Fundamentally, other people and platforms can go get the same information we get. It might be difficult, might cost a lot of money to do so, but it’s possible.

What really sets us apart, however, is how we interpret and use that data to provide more insightful and creative solutions for clients.

A lot of marketers forget that — and I’m a believer that knowledge gap is only going to continue.

Tech is, after all, a tool. But it’s a human’s ability to use that tool to their advantage that sets one team apart from the next. And with how saturated marketing and advertising has (and will continue to) become, it’s going to be more important than ever for teams to master their tools — and not rely on them to do all the heavy lifting for them.

3. Scaling (and replacing) the conventional agency model.

Nowadays, an Ad Tech startup can come out of nowhere.

The reason conventional ad agencies used to have such a stronghold on brands was because they had scaled, they had the talent, and they had the relationships.

Now, a startup company can walk in, build a piece of technology that can literally tap into an already established (but open) social network API, and instantly have access to an audience that is ready to buy.

10 years ago, you couldn’t do that. You couldn’t go on the Internet, tap into the API of a social network, plug in and immediately receive billions of data points.

Today, a lot of those “walled gardens” willingly open their APIs because it’s a reciprocal relationship — it’s mutually beneficial for both parties.

This is one of the biggest reasons why conventional advertising agencies have been struggling to hold on — either dying off, or getting acquired by a larger parent company. They’re all forced to undercut each other on the cost of their services while competing with Ad Tech and digital-focused platforms that can provide access in ways a creative agency just can’t.

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