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Career advice

5 Futuristic Digital Trends and How to Master Them

5 Futuristic Digital Trends and How to Master Them


Stephanie O'Brien

April 11, 2017

Career advice

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What’s coming?

It’s something we get asked a lot.

Jason Davey (above), Head of Digital for Ogilvy Australia caught up with us after recently attending Music, Film and Interactive Festival, South By South West (SXSW). SXSW is a future focused festival tackling the major trends impacting the interactive arena; not only specific to marketing but all areas of interactive that will ultimately impact marketing in the future.  

Here’s his pick of the best:

Artificial Intelligence

“Artificial Intelligence seems to be permeating everything in the interactive space” Jason advised. “Whether it is devices, marketing platforms or new technologies, it came up as a subject across many of the discussions”.

One compelling example was given by Microsoft’s Head of Research on the topic of Artificial Intelligence and the advanced capabilities now available.

The talk was about a product that allows you to connect an AI platform to video cameras; the product is able to read video footage including the number of people; the direction they’re moving; even their sentiment..

For brands and marketers, the ability to feed in live camera feeds and predict the level of demand for a particular product or service based on foot traffic, demographics and age, as well as day-part targeting means that brands can adopt a more fluid offering that changes throughout the day, according to this information.

Blockchain technology

Blockchain technology is commonly discussed through the application of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

Beyond cryptocurrencies, the technology is really a distributed trust network. The introduction of this technology would mean that customers and brands can start to have more direct and trusted relationship without anyone in between.

When asked if this would then cut out all middlemen Jason suggested, “It’s not going to happen overnight but the potential for Blockchain to disrupt the disruptors is definitely on the horizon and something to watch”.

Source: Supplied

Convergence of all technology

The main theme at this years SXSW, Jason offered, was the convergence between Smart Devices, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence and Robots.

“In previous years convergence has been a concept but we’re really seeing big strides toward convergence occurring now; with convergence between media channels, customer experiences, online and offline and the convergence of different technologies to create new capabilities”.

Given Jason’s 23 years in the industry, I couldn’t let him get away without asking if he had any interesting predictions of his own.

Virtual Personal Assistants

“With the explosion of information available to people over time” Jason believed “we would be curating and crafting our own kind of AI-powered personal assistants that grow and evolve with us throughout life and help navigate all the choices that are available to us through improved access to information”.

A prediction that is really coming into existence now with the creation of personal assistants like Google Assistant.

It’s an interesting space and Jason believes it will create requirements for different skillsets, like User Experience professionals needing to embrace conversation as part of the interface.  

Banks will Merge with Telco’s

Moving into more far-flung predictions, Jason believes that at some point in the future a bank and a telco will merge.

Thinking about mobile payments and how that is unlocking future commerce, Jason feels it just makes sense. Consumers can then “combine their transaction preferences with their location” and bring those capabilities closer together. So you can get look-a-like  benchmarking of your purchases and a frictionless experience between managing your money and access to purchases” says Jason. “Why do we need to carry a wallet, cards, cash and a smartphone?”

Use your Networks

Jason’s trick is to set up his professional networks with people who inspire him or are industry leaders on their own topics.

Looking at who he follows on LinkedIn, Jason sets up his professional newsfeeds to cover a variety of different topics so that he can look at what’s impacting different industries.

Thus setting up his feed to tap into what his network is tapping into.

“You will find the important news will come to you once you have set up those networks”.

“In this industry, the moment you get too busy to read the news, you start to get behind” adds Jason.

Blend Skills

To give staff an edge and to offer better solutions to their clients, Ogilvy introduced an initiative called +1’s where, through training and mentorship, everyone is encouraged to develop an additional skill to complement their core skillset.

“I think it is becoming increasingly important”, says Jason, “for all professionals to have a blend of skills”.

“Every business is being asked to do more with less, therefore we need the ability to share resources across different types of briefs and make sure we’re as efficient as possible”.

Know your Influence

It is important to understand your core discipline with a level of depth but be really clear on how that discipline fits into the overall picture, and have a collaborative attitude.

In integrated communications it is not about individual specialists who only do their part well, it is how that team comes together.

“Just like in team sports; individual experts aren’t going to make the team win, it is how the team pulls together” suggests Jason.

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