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· Aitarget,Web Summit,Marketing

Building on our previous feature highlighting the technological trends to emerge from Web Summit 2017 (the flagship event for the digital world), our team uncover the marketing trends which will lay the foundations of social media advertising for the next several years.

Daria Vladimirova, Account Manager at Aitarget, mostly visited the marketing events

"Although it can’t be said that any revelations were made in marketing - as most news, key points of industry research and trends have been juggled by experts, professionals, and media - an event like this helps put all those notions together to form a more complete image of what is to come.”

"One of the key points noted is that conversations between people and businesses will keep migrating towards messaging platforms. In this day and age, less and less people like to call businesses as it isn’t the most efficient means. Instead of waiting on hold and navigating through a call menu, a person can simply text a business the same way they text any other person and quickly receive an answer back.”

"Chatbots have significantly simplified the process of reaching out to businesses for consumers and made existent conversations more efficient. A bot can handle parts, and when the dialogue goes into a territory where the bot is unable to provide answers, a human takes over the program. These combined conversation experiences are really taking off now, being widely used in Asia. But Europe and the US are not far behind.”

The ultimate advertising goal of Facebook and Messenger in particular, announced at the end of November, is to empower people and businesses to build better and closer relationships globally. A journey between seeing an ad and acting on it has to be short and seamless. In particular, payment options must be available within Facebook platforms to complete a purchase with one click. According to Stan Chudnovsky, Facebook Messenger VP, we should expect Facebook’s partnership with PayPal, Amex, Visa, and MasterCard very soon.

The Messenger Chat Plugins released in November support the shift towards more personal relationships between a business and a customer. It allows businesses to put a Messenger button on their websites and communicate with website visitors through their Facebook account, substituting the “800” customer service phone number.

For Andrei Babii, Head of Performance Team at Aitarget, the on-stage interview with Michael Kassan, a founder and CEO of Medialink, was particularly noteworthy

"Answering a question from Steven Bertoni from Forbes Media about the world's greatest marketer, Mr Kassan named Donald Trump. ‘Trump went direct to the consumer and he campaigned on just three things people really cared about. That was how an election was won,’ he said. ‘I take this as an analogy for marketing campaigns, full stop.’”

"Brad Parscale from Giles-Parscale, President Trump’s Digital Media Director during the 2016 Election Campaign, was at the Web Summit. He talked about big money, Facebook ads, and AI.”

"Trump’s campaign spent $300M on digital marketing in just 90 days. His team focused on translating data to content, and their goal was to take huge volumes of data, analyse them, and come up with the best - targeted - way to address voters of each state.”

"The team learned from their data analysis that people have human needs – and they like when these needs are addressed. At the next step, they took relevant phrases from real Trump’s speeches and adapted them to specific audiences. They focused on emotions and ‘real issues’ of not-addressed-before Americans.”

"The main idea of the campaign was the ultimate personalisation, and we all know where it ended. As Mr Pascale said, in Trump’s campaign ‘data drove content production, not foreign actors’.”

Another encyclopedic talk of the Summit was the panel discussion “Marketing in 2018: What to expect?”, with three “legends of the advertising industry”, as Lara O'Reilly, a reporter from Wall Street Journal called her guests.

Susan Credle, Global Chief Creative Officer at FCB Global, made the point that “in the nearest future advertisers should switch to the idea that marketing in advertising is not a short-term individual tactic that drives the economy through brands, but it’s actually a longer-term vision.”

John Hegarty, Co-Founder & Creative Director at BBH & Whalar, expanded on Susan’s view, saying that “the industry over the last 15 years has been confused between promotion and persuasion”. He stressed that persuasion is fundamental before you can promote. The principle that you can’t succeed without understanding the basics of brand building remains unchanged, even though modern practices are different. Brands need to build values and sustain them.

The persuasion-before-promotion strategy is also based on personal relationships between brands and people. Whereas for business products and services the focus is on what they do, for brands such relationships should be emotional. They must be trustworthy, supportive, entertaining, and always around when you need them, like your best friend.

Bob Greenberg, Chairman & CEO at R/GA, pointed out that the next generation of the most interesting creatives will be social-first. He claimed, “It is critical to understand how to create innovative communications using social media”.

In an effort to give more data to marketers, the most popular social media platform is allegedly working on an extension of Facebook's Audience Insights API that will let brands study people's posts and comments. Advertisers would be able to target people discussing the same topics using highly tailored messaging, but more importantly this information would become an unparalleled source for research of what users want, when is a proper moment to offer it, and how they react to a product. Brands could use public feedback to refine their media strategy.

The message about establishing long-term close relationships is crystal clear. However, such a marketing approach opens up privacy concerns. In our next and final feature about the grand digital world trends of the present and future we will investigate the “intrusiveness” of social media and sensitive topics that should be used or avoided while in pursuit of high-quality engagement.

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