AI, virtual reality, social video to impact marketing in 2017: Warc report

ToolKit 2017, a report produced in association with Deloitte Digital, identifies six trends which marketers will look at in the coming year


Experts state that Artificial intelligence is likely to have a major impact on the marketing industry as data mining and analysis may be done faster, quicker and better using AI.
Experts state that Artificial intelligence is likely to have a major impact on the marketing industry as data mining and analysis may be done faster, quicker and better using AI.

Mumbai: Artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) are likely to have a major impact on marketing in 2017, according to a report by Warc, the global marketing intelligence service.

The report, ToolKit 2017, is an annual scrutiny of forthcoming challenges that marketers around the world are likely to face. Produced in association with Deloitte Digital, the report identifies six trends which marketers will look at in the coming year.

“We’ve reviewed the best of Warc’s content over the past year—the latest ideas, research and examples. The result is a comprehensive guide to current thinking and the implications for marketers going forward into 2017,” said David Tiltman, head of content at Warc.

Experts state that AI is likely to have a major impact on the marketing industry as data mining and analysis, which is normally done manually, may be done faster, quicker and better using AI, especially in key areas such as insight generation, chatbots, personal assistants and optimisation of media buying. While the technology is still emerging, one study found that 55% of global chief marketing officers expect AI to have a greater impact on marketing and communications than social media.

VR and augmented reality (AR) are expected to emerge as good options for marketers looking to reach young consumers who increasingly opt out of receiving marketing messages. Brand experiences such as VR and AR that cut through the clutter are increasingly becoming valuable for companies. After years of promise, VR is becoming a viable mainstream marketing tool which focuses on experience and emotional engagement. To be sure, experts maintain that in the wake of Pokémon Go, there are a number of emerging opportunities in AR, particularly around product trial and utility.

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According to the report, social video is experiencing massive growth as a content marketing format and is turning social platforms into broadcast media. Brands are finding success with approaches that prioritize quality over quantity, consider emotional and social motivations for content engagement, and focus on a three-second window of opportunity to grab consumers’ attention. A growing number of brands are also experimenting with live video for content that is exclusive, newsworthy or requires live audience involvement. However, while the growth seems promising, video measurement will continue to be a major challenge for marketers in the forthcoming year.

E-commerce, as per the report, is creating a massive direct-to-consumer opportunity, allowing low-cost start-ups to disrupt established business models with customer-centric, online businesses. Innovative apps, subscription services and engaging branded social platforms have encouraged impulse purchases and trials with seamless transactions and personalised experiences. However, the challenge for established brands is to respond to these new models as they look to increase direct-to-consumer opportunities.

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