This Time, It's Personal – 5 Digital Trends Shaping 2018
If Alexa is reading this blog post to you, you already know 2018 has seen a big shift in how businesses and consumers interact with the internet.
Yes, the Amazon Echo and its contemporaries have been around longer than the past five months, but their use has expanded rapidly after huge sales during the holiday season.
But the expansion of the Internet of Things is just one of the trends driving how we interact with the digital world. What about the cloud? Privacy? Personalization?
Here are the top five digital trends that are shaping 2018 (so far):
1. Design is King
Long gone are the old 90s websites with low-resolution graphics, difficult navigation, and limited color palettes. These days consumers expect more from their user experience, and businesses are delivering.
In their annual Digital Trends Report, Adobe says companies that describe themselves as "design-driven" are 69% more likely to exceed their business goals by a wide margin, and most respondents agreed design-driven companies outperform their competitors.
2. Our Heads (and everything else) Are in the Cloud
Seamlessly integrating technology into our lives is not as easy as Google and Amazon make it seem, but cloud-based technology is making that integration easier. Alexa plays us music, reads the news, orders more swag from Amazon, and generally runs our lives in part because of access to the cloud and the wealth of data stored there.
In that same Digital Trends report, Adobe found top-performing companies were almost three times more likely to have invested in cloud-based technology as their less successful peers.
3. Your Trust is a Commodity
To an extent, this has always been true. Your grandparents wouldn't have bought Ajax cleaner in 1955 if they didn’t trust that it would remove tough stains from their tile and toilet.
But the value of your trust has shot up over the past few months after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. If you haven't been keeping up, Facebook took a major hit this year with revelations that Cambridge Analytica mined private data from the site without permission from users. Since the story broke, there has been increased scrutiny over how the data you share with websites gets (or doesn't get) shared with others.
Forbes even posted a whole article about the challenges around companies maintaining trust on social media.
4. The Internet of Things is Expanding
If you're not super hip to the latest digital lingo, the Internet of Things (IoT) is the concept of physical objects like your vacuum cleaner, refrigerator, car, or thermostat being connected to the internet and controllable digitally via computer.
The IoT industry is blowing up. In 2017, IoT was a $170 billion industry. That's expected to balloon to $561 billion by 2022.
5. Everything is Getting Personalized
You know why Facebook keeps showing you ads for dating websites, right? It's because you list your relationship status as single, you use the platform to talk about your dating life, and when you leave Facebook, you RSVP'd to a singles mixer.
Companies thrive on personalization. Research from marketing juggernaut Epsilon shows customers are 80% more likely to engage with a business if they offer a personalized experience. If you haven't seen ads online that seem tailored to you, look again.
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