Duopoly dominance is set to continue, but challenges lie ahead in 2018 as marketers look to explore beyond.
2018 is going to see further innovation across tech from new ad formats and tech targeting continued concerns over transparency and brand safety, to more data collection and regulation of such data processes (e.g. GDPR and ePrivacy). December 2017 gave us a taste of what to expect.
Duopoly ramp up Messaging and Travel
Messaging will be a key medium in 2018 with the rise of chatbots and the rolling out of monetisation strategies for the likes of Messenger and Whatsapp. In late November/early December Facebook began testing “Messenger Broadcast” — a self-serve mass-messaging interface that lets businesses send marketing messages to users. In addition to that, Click-to-Whatsapp ads began to appear on Facebook (see below), whilst Google’s recent launch of Chatbase — a chatbot analytics platform — shows their ambition to impact the space too.
Travel could also be a key space for the duopoly going into 2018. Facebook wants to improve traveller intent recognition in order to challenge Google in the space, with the launch of Dynamic Ads for Travel earlier in the year another indicator. However; Google’s own revamped mobile features for hotels launched recently underline its own ambitions with instant booking, loyalty rates pop-ups, and mobile-only rates; as well as the addition of price tracking & deals to Google Flights, Google Trips and hotel search.
Google also began rolling out the mobile first search index making optimising for mobile critical in the coming year.
Opportunities for the Nonduopoly bunch
Its not all duopoly dominance heading into 2018 — Oath, Amazon and Snap all hold ambitions of stealing some of the pie.
Whilst Oath shed approx 4% of its staff recently, its been working hard on integrations such as the integrated AOL and Yahoo capabilities into its end-to-end content marketing solution RYOT Studio bringing together data, distribution, and premium publishing to match brands with publishers. There’s also new formats to be tested going into 2018 as Oath announced 4 new ad formats including AR, native full-screen canvas ads, coupon saving functions that enable brands to send notifications, and real-time media creative options.
Above: Oath’s deal seeking functions that allow users to save coupons for later, whilst brands can provide additional offers in the future via lock-screen notifications.
News of the other contenders:
- With Snapchat looking for an International Strategy Manager in China 2018 could see a huge effort to expand its ad products there. Its likely the amount of ad products will rise as Snap Accelerate opens Globally to boost ad revenue.
- Some predict Amazon’s ad revenue could grow by $800m next year with Omnicom, Publicis, and WPP all raising their spend with Amazon in 2018.
- Bing launched new AI-powered search features including “intelligent answers” that summarise & compare multiple sources, “intelligent images” to make any image in search shoppable, and “conversational search” to help people refine their search.
Best known as the tech behind cryptocurrencies, there are suggestions that Blockchain could soon disrupt digital advertising to resolve, among other things, transparency issues (see here). December saw TMG launch TRUTH — the first media agency to utilise blockchain smart contract tech thereby providing 100% transparency ensuring best practice and complete GDPR compliance.
Predictions galore for 2018
Here are a few highlights of tech predictions we’ve seen for 2018:
- CX, data and AI are marketing priorities in 2018 for brands and agencies whether its turning data into insights, data management in general, or feeding it into CX. GDPR is obviously the biggest challenge with many companies still feeling unready for the changes which could cause chaos.
- Techcrunch’s 10 predictions for digital media reveal a number of insights. OTT will be a key media battle that is likely to be won by Netflix but will continue to give rise to OTT ad distribution. Increasing OTT and Connected TV viewing could fuel the programmatic TV opportunities. New media channels and devices (e.g. VR, AR, Voice) will continue to gain traction, which will lead to new ad models too.
- 5 Digital Ad trends including the differing regulatory paths in US and EU (e.g. GDPR, ePrivacy and net neutrality); continued duopoly dominance but opportunities for Amazon, ISPs (such as Verizon) and others; and first-party data ownership demands.
- 15 digital predictions for 2018 outlines big investments in DMPs by brands, marketplace optimisation, visual search and voice search among their key 2018 predictions.
Other things to check out
- Worldwide Internet penetration continues to grow as this year will see 3.65bn internet users (48.8% of population) growing to 4.13bn (53.6%) by 2021. With most of the growth coming from emerging markets, the internet population is becoming increasingly mobile e.g. nearly 80% of internet users worldwide will use a mobile to access the internet this year.
- According to Accenture the price of personalisation failure was $756bn in the US this year as consumers ditched companies because of poor personalisation and lack of trust. Globally, the value was $2.5tn as concerns around personal data privacy.
- The South East Asian economy is growing fast with the 3rd largest region for internet users as the internet economy reaches $50bn this year rising to approx $200bn by 2025.