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This week, tech companies and digital enthusiasts worldwide are gathering for the annual Web Summit in Lisbon. Known as the biggest Tech Conference in the world, this event boasts speakers from ubiquitous tech brands like Google, Samsung, and Microsoft. From tech trends to marketing case studies, here are 5 things digital marketers can learn from Web Summit 2018.

1. Data protection and transparency is the responsibility of digital marketers

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 It’s no surprise that data protection is one of the hottest topics at this year’s Web Summit. In the wake of Cambridge Analytica, Facebook on trial, and the implementation of GDPR, it’s become an unavoidable subject. Data is the most valuable asset for digital marketers. But as internet users ourselves, we understand that privacy is also precious. How can advertisers use data in a consumer-conscious way without compromising results? Google VP of Product Management, Tamar Yehoshua, believes that the key to retaining customer trust is actually quite simple- transparency. As digital marketers, it’s our role to foster brand trust and create fully personalized customer journeys. As data processors, it’s our responsibility to do so responsibly. This means putting transparency and consent at the forefront of all data usage. This can be done by following GDPR regulation practices like clear opt-ins on your website, ensuring that your users are aware of your privacy and cookie policy, and allowing opportunities for users to unsubscribe from email communication.

2. Cryptocurrencies are still relevant


If we had 10 cents every time someone mentioned cryptocurrencies, well, we’d have a lot of crypto. Cryptocurrency was predicted to take off explode in 2018, but there was some unexpected friction. With some markets going as far as banning these decentralized currencies, many people are uncertain of the future of crypto, and starting to question if it’s nothing but fad. In the Web Summit panel session, Crypto’s Roller Coaster Year, leaders in the crypto community recognized that crypto didn’t quite live up to the hype they were expecting this year. However, these currencies still experienced growth, and will continue to be a relevant topic in years to come. So, political and economic implications aside, cryptocurrencies represent a huge opportunity for marketers.

Blockchain based ad networks are an attractive solution for brands and online advertisers. By using blockchain technology, these networks can allow advertisers to know exactly how many impressions their ads are having, and where. This reduces ad viewability fraud and makes performance metrics more accurate and reliable.

3. Marketers must embrace automation


It’s not a tech conference without a heavy dose of AI talk. One big takeaway from the 2018 Web Summit is that artificial Intelligence is closer to our everyday reality than we think. Marketers who are not making the shift towards automation and programmatic will quickly be lost in the past. As President of Samsung, Young Sohn, paralleled during his Web Summit speech, data is to the 21st century as oil was to the 20th century. When marketers combine data with artificial intelligence, the brand impact is huge. We can already see the potential this has with Dynamic Creative Optimization. It won’t be long until AI is permeating all facets of digital marketing.

4. The potential of VR/AR for content marketing


Successful content marketing uses storytelling to creating impactful and memorable communication with their audience. Creating a brand narrative can be done through written content, visual content, and now, even interactive content. Virtual and Augmented Reality, two other pertinent themes in this year’s Web Summit, have huge storytelling potential. With advancements in VR and AR, these content formats are becoming more accessible to brands, and more measurable for marketers. With analytics such as Click-Through-Rates becoming readily available, fully immersive brand experiences are the next stop for content marketers.

5. Web Summit case study: Never underestimate the power of brand awareness

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The Web Summit itself is a case study in one core marketing principle: brand awareness. Companies from all over the globe assemble at the world’s biggest tech event, not to drive conversions, but to have a presence. The Web Summit is a platform for companies to establish their authority in the market, reinforce their brand identity, and drive awareness at scale. If marketers can take away a common lesson from the Google, Samsung, and Microsoft pitches happening at Web Summit, it's that even the biggest brands still need to actively grow awareness and shape their identity. It is a critical phase in the conversion funnel of any brand, regardless of size.

Implementing These Trends Into Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Implementing these trends into your digital marketing strategy will give your brand at the cutting edge of 2019. Need support?

Codedesign is a digital marketing agency specializing in data-driven online sales and lead generation solutions for brands in a variety of verticals. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our digital marketing experts.

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