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I’m at Adobe Summit in London, UK to speak at a panel. The digital marketing conference is massive with 4,000+ attendees and numerous breakout sessions.

In the audience, there are according to Adobe’s database more CTOs than CMOs, which I think is saying something of how we’re evolving as an industry. As one of Adobe’s clients put it:

“We aren’t in ‘marketing’, we’re in ‘digital’. Part of that just happens to be marketing.”

Now, when I ask my readers for their biggest challenge, many tell me they struggle with keeping up with the ever-changing world of digital.

Therefore, I want to outline some exciting new trends from the conference:

Trend I: Internet Of One

Digital marketing is changing into managing people’s experiences across multiple platforms over time. Software like Adobe’s Marketing Cloud now allows you to create individual experiences that are scalable based on user behaviours captured on cross-platforms.

Example: If you’re watching a tv-show on your iPad and you switch to your iPhone, wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to watch that exact same pre-roll commercial again?

Question(s) to discuss:

  • If a (potential) customer visits your site and has interacted with your brand before, how can you show that person a website that’s dynamically created for only that customer?
  • Even if your brand isn’t personalizing its user experience —can you afford it if your competitors adapt to this practice?

Trend II: Journey Management

Journey manager is apparently becoming quite the popular job title, which I find interesting.

Marketing and communication aren’t so much about before, during and after marketing launches — it’s more about designing a continuous and consistent customer acquisition journey that spans beyond individual touch points and platforms.

Question(s) to discuss:

  • Who’s responsible for the customer journey at your organization?
  • What would happen if you focus less on one-visit interactions and more on lifetime interactions?

Trend III: Lookalike Modelling

Software now allows you to create audiences (i.e. publics) based on lookalike modelling.

Based on your existing database, the algorithms makes assumptions about your audience and suggest similar audiences — even if they’ve never interacted with you before.

Question(s) to discuss:

  • How are you segmenting your audience today?
  • What if your competitors started to model your existing audience?

Trend IV: Anomaly Detection

In big data, many look for correlations and clues for causations, which for most of the time makes perfect sense.

However, a software can also detect anomalies. And these ‘outlier observations’ can reveal really interesting marketing opportunities for your brand.

Question(s) to discuss:

  • Are you looking for anomalies in your marketing data today?

Trend V: Data Scientists

If journey managers are becoming increasingly important, the same is true for data scientists. To manage individual experiences at scale, data must be harvested.

But machine learning can only do so much. At some point, you’ll want someone to add the human layer of analysis. Either when interpreting the data — or when deciding what questions to ask!

Question(s) to discuss:

  • What type of data sets does your organization have/need?
  • Do you possess the skill sets to extrapolate that analysis?

Trend VI: Mobile Is More

Mobile is disrupting, yes. We all know this. But we must start talking about ‘mobile’ as not only what we consume on the screens of our mobile phones, but on screens everywhere.

Because you are mobile. Some screens follow you around, whether in your pocket or on your wrist, but screens are everywhere; ranging from soft drink touch-screen vending machines to huge outdoor displays.

Question(s) to discuss:

  • Have you looked into what can be done with beacon technology?

Trend VII: Autotagging

Adobe has decades of experience in managing digital pictures. So it makes sense that they’ve developed a tool that automatically ‘understands’ what’s in a picture and tags it consistently.

For instance, if there’s a snowy landscape in the picture, the software will tag it “winter”. This technology has the potential to accelerate lots of change.

Question(s) to discuss:

  • How would it affect your channel- and content strategy if search engines suddenly began to “understand” what’s in specific images?
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PR Blogger:

As the author of Doctor Spin, Jerry's passionate about PR and strategic communications. He runs the agency Spin Factory and hosts online courses at Spin Academy. Jerry lives in Stockholm, Sweden with his wife Lisah, television news anchor and journalist, and their two-year-old son, Jack. Click here to subscribe to Jerry's posts!

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