Eight Predictions for 2018

cuebiqIt is that time of year again.  As we close out 2017 and look towards the new year, what trends will emerge and take center stage in 2018?  Here are my top 8 for ’18.

Direct Mail & OOH (Out of Home) Get Reinvented

What is old is new again thanks to digital signals and the growing popularity of identity graphs, that can link devices and signals to individuals and/or households. New and existing providers are breathing new life into these channels with innovative solutions that allow marketers to retarget consumers off a product view on a website or billboards.  In 2018, marketers will move from experimentation to full-on exploitation as these initiatives become more ingrained in their omni-channel campaign initiatives.

Addressable TV Continues to Emerge

While TV is still considered the cornerstone of any effective advertising strategy due to its broad reach and powerful imagery, it is also rapidly evolving.  The rise and proliferation of technology, data, and shifting consumer behaviors — including cord cutting — is ushering in a new era in TV that is impacting everything from planning to measurement.  In 2018, marketers and their agencies will increasingly look to harness the power of audience data for one-to-one targeting while turning to new and innovative technologies and data solutions to measure the effectiveness of their efforts.  With more than 70 billion dollars spent within the medium, marketing will be less about the program and more about the person, allowing brands to deliver more effective and intelligent interactions with relevant prospects and customers.  Additionally, new advancements, including using mobile signals, will enable brands and their agencies to move beyond the limitations of antiquated panels and measure online and offline behaviors across their targeted linear, OTT and advanced/smart TV efforts.

Omni-channel Orchestration & ROI

The evolution of traditional channels like Direct Mail, OOH and TV into the digital economy combined with the growing sophistication of identity graphs connecting individuals/households to their multi-channel signals and devices will fuel more omni-channel orchestration and measurement in 2018.  As these capabilities become more integrated across all marketing efforts, understanding the incremental lift associated with combining various channel efforts will grow in importance.  Additionally, marketers and their agencies will increasingly push to measure any impression (regardless of channel) and its impact on brand, store and revenue lift – omni-channel ROI!

Read More: Are You GDPR Ready?

Location Intelligence

While there is little doubt digital marketing continues to grab more of the hearts, minds and budgets of marketers, more than 92% of purchasing still happens offline.  As a result, marketers will increasingly look to leverage mobile signals to better understand the offline behaviors of both known and unknown users including their customer journey. Insights gathered from real-world movements — including visits, dwell time and competitive visits — will allow marketers to better understand and segment users in new and relevant ways.

AI/Machine Learning

AI and machine learning have been the buzzwords of marketing with little application.  However, the experimentation of 2017 evolves to robust testing in earnest for 2018 as marketers look to leverage AI and machine learning off big data collected from omni-channel marketing efforts. The combination of digital and real-world data including movements, insight and purchase data and patterns will form the foundation for early marketing driven AI/machine learning experiments and “sense and respond marketing.”

The Emergence of The Voice UI

The success of Amazon Echo, Google Home and other voice-activated UIs, combined with big data, opens up new and exciting opportunities.  This will include overlaying layers of access to the data via voice UI’s.  New applications will emerge to support business and marketing use cases ranging from monitoring meetings and follow-up to activating audiences via voice commands tied to omni-channel marketing execution capabilities.


The explosion of connected devices continues, ranging from smart watches to nearly everything for our homes including security, appliances, heating/cooling, intelligent assistants and more.  According to Gartner research, there is more than 6.4 billion connected devices in use worldwide and more than 5.5 million new things are getting connected each and every day and that is just the beginning.  By 2020, it’s estimated that 20.8 billion devices will be connected worldwide providing consumers and marketers more and more data and insights to leverage and potentially act upon be it your health, interests or needs.  But big data in and of itself will not be enough – marketers will increasingly move to build systems and processes to create “smart data.”  Smart data will form the foundation for modern marketing allowing us to make better decisions across a variety of issues affecting our lives.


IOT and more and more data, “Big Data,” raises big brother concerns.  New legislations including GDPR going into effect in May 2018 and data breaches like the one that occurred at Equifax, accelerates concerns over privacy and data access.  As a result, consumers will become more educated and marketers will increase the scrutiny assuring providers are upholding the core tents of privacy including notice, choice and access.

Recommended Read: The Coming of New Marketing Mix with GDPR: Automated Consent Management for Websites

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