KHWS Blog: Three Digital Trends for the 2018 Consumer

Three Digital Trends for the 2018 Consumer


As the New Year rolls on and we start to settle into 2018, we decided to take a look at what this year might pan out like for three top trending technologies, particularly within the digital marketing world:

Machine Learning

Firstly, machine learning is an ability whereby computers are able to recognise patterns within specific data sets and use said data to predict user behaviour. Ideally, consumers are presented with the right information at the right time without necessarily requesting it.

In recent years machine learning has become more present in our lives, Apple being a prime example. By recognising patterns in our daily routine, Apple Maps suggests our destination as soon as we jump in a car and provides advice on the best route. iPhoto scans the faces of those appearing regularly in our photos and creates albums of these people. Additionally, albums are automatically created full of our holiday snaps by grouping location as well as categorising based on content. For example, when I search “beach” in my photos the following shows up:

A huge benefit in applying machine learning to digital marketing is helping marketers target the right consumer and presenting the most appropriate content. Thus, adverts seem less like adverts and more useful. Google and Microsoft are adopting this within their ad placements by utilising their huge database of user behaviour, such as what we search for and where, to identify and target the most suitable audience. Gradually, the ads we see are becoming more personalised to us.

*For more on Machine Learning, read our previous blog post here.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Most of us will remember the Pokémon Go craze in 2016. This is a perfect example of AR, enhancing our view of the world by overlaying digital content in front of our eyes. Virtual reality (VR) differs as we’re removed from our current world and immersed in a new, digital world.

Snapchat does this through its ever popular filters. After connecting my Snapchat account with Bitmoji (an application that creates personalised avatars) I can watch my cartoon-self line dance and share this with friends to (possibly) enjoy.

With an estimated 178 million active daily users and 3.5 billion snaps sent daily, it’s unsurprising that companies are taking advantage of Snapchat’s vast user base to increase their brand awareness to a younger demographic through sponsorship. For example, as part of their Holiday 2017 campaign, Samsung were the first business to sponsor animated Snapchat filters. Their filter allowed users to share photos or videos of themselves pulling Christmas crackers with the company name in full view.

High-end cosmetic brand Estée Lauder is using AR to aid purchase decisions and drive online sales. Their Facebook Chatbot lets users try lipstick shades on by uploading photos of themselves and then directs them to the company’s website where they can purchase these products. Here, Estée Lauder has introduced a new way for consumers to browse, test and buy products without leaving home and braving often chaotic cosmetic departments.

Looking ahead, now that Apple and Google have integrated their respective ARKit and ARCore developer tools into their latest operating systems, it’s likely there’ll be a large influx of AR apps to download in 2018.

Quick Response (QR) Codes

Lastly, a QR code promotes interaction and engagement through mobile phones, and as mobile phones increasingly integrate themselves into our daily lives, brands are gradually using QR codes in their products to maximise their reach, simplify users’ lives and boost their credentials.

Despite originating in the mid-90s, uptake was slow due to placement mishaps and the requirement of a special app, however the latest Apple iOS has a built in QR scanner. QR codes are typically square black and white dots but this is changing. For example, users can instantly find a song on Spotify by scanning each song’s unique Spotify code via the camera icon next to the search bar.

Spotify Example

Snapchat has been credited with “making QR codes cool again” by integrating them into an app largely used by a demographic under 34 years old. Snapcodes simplify how users find friends but brands also use them within their marketing campaigns. They’re free to use and analytics are available, making them an attractive marketing method.

In 2017, Evian printed Snapcodes onto 300 million bottles, allowing users to unlock exclusive in-app content when scanned. They can also be used for lead capturing, with Gatorade requiring users to supply data in order to view content, gathering a list of engaged contact information for future campaigns.

With over eight million Snapcodes scanned daily, Snapchat have created a fun and engaging way for brands to interact with this audience and have laid the foundation for the future of the QR code.

Snap Code Exmaple

Evian Water Example