I wanted to take the time to challenge what we have learnt of the digital landscape in 2017 and what this may spell for the upcoming year.
Google released a video on Google trends about “This year more then ever we are asking how”. I think that we can see this being influenced by two major changes to the net and I wanted to go into my thoughts on why.
1st and probably most significantly we have seen an increased push on constant and regular updates affecting search engine optimization. This was in place a while back, but with any major change to how companies need to be working on their websites, the trickle takes time to come through. This has led to the rise of the company blog, lots of companies are seeing this as a successful way of keeping their website current. The overall result of this has been to increase content creation on the net and provided us with more and more answers. As this continues to increase the only natural reaction would be for the general public to ask more and more questions from a place they trust that has successfully answered questions for them in the past.
I also believe the public has grown a bad habit of asking more weighted questions. I call this the “autism phenomenon” (I will be doing more research on this in 2018). The reason for the name is simple, people are starting to ask questions looking for the answer that suits them “Is there any evidence that vaccines can cause autism?” or “how can vaccines cause autism?” Questions are being asked in a way to get a specific answer. Google aims to put the most relevant information in front of that person as fast as possible. So the biased answer to the biased question is being shown, leaving people in their own bubble with similar minded people reinforcing this thinking. We, the digital marketers, need to take some responsibility for this. As we are having some effect on informing people. I believe we have had more of a profound effect on the increase of rebellious voting in elections across the western world than anyone has realized just yet. (Keep tuned in for an article going into this in more detail)
2nd and more widely recognized we have seen the growth of voice search. Siri and Alexa have become household names now as digital personal assistants. Over years and years of Googling (and no more Ask Jeeves) we have changed the way we type search queries from “how to cook chicken katsu curry” to “chicken katsu recipe”, but we never changed the way we talked. So now with the rise of voice search, we are starting to see things reverting back to how we searched when search engines were new. We may not be asking more questions, but we are writing them more in a question format.
Let us quickly take a look at other major winners of 2017.
The growth of A.I. has been coming on by leaps and bounds over the last few years. We see major tech companies racing to be the first ones to land a working AI, with visions for it to change the world. We should not take it off our digital radars as it is powering new ways for us to work.
Bitcoin, Monzo, Despacito, Uber and of course the fidget spinner, to mention just a few of the major world wonders we have seen take off this year (Some of these, of course, didn’t start of this year, but they really found their stride this year). This spells, in even more certainty, that the time of Proctor and Gamble creating average products and dominating the marketing as now impossible. Good products are selling themselves and grabbing worldwide attention, keeping up with demand is becoming a major issue for these great products. I am also starting to see the country lines blur when it comes to products, going international is becoming easier and easier.
We are for the first time starting to see a global giant of the social media world starting to just stumble a bit, Twitter. Does this spell anything for the next year?
Donald Trump is slowly creating his own demise. We are looking at a real need for a 3rd party to verify info out there. Someone will figure out a way to fill this slot as AI, becomes more and more strong.
This isn’t going to be a Phenomenon anymore, it will become the new normal. Savvy CEO’s will recognise the need to become viral or risk your great idea being stolen by someone with a better marketing budget.
Yep, I’m Calling it now and going against the trend. Facebook and Twitter will all come under fire next year. Twitter will continue its decline. Facebook will have its user numbers exposed as inflated by fake or bot user. I can see 2018 being a very difficult year for social media having to face new challenges to the way they work.
Helpful A.I. has been coming out this year, but we will also see a rapid expansion of fraudulent and clever negative bots. As A.I. expands we have not been faced with the challenge of A.I. being used in a negative way on a global scale just yet. This may be a challenge late 2018.
There will be a need for digital marketers to change their keywords list to include, how, where, what, etc. We already should be aware that this was going to happen. However, I believe that we will see a shift in 2018 for digital marketing strategy, to start creating a stronger more in-depth performance marketing strategy to capture people further up the funnel.
2018 will have many discussions around attribution modelling and I can see the final death of last click modelling coming. RIP.
Thank you for reading.
Merry Christmas and Good Luck Next Year.