Missed out on Web Summit this year? Bynder had a front-row seat to the world-famous tech conference in Portugal, where the industry’s biggest movers and shakers came together to share the tech trends of tomorrow. Yet in today’s times, technology is making its mark on all aspects of life and business–including marketing. Discover the top trends we noticed this year that will help you set your organization up for martech-driven success in 2018.

To bot or not to bot?

One-to-one messaging is the way forward for engaging your fans as an artist. Success happens at the speed of communication—Ryan Leslie at Web Summit

The same could be said for marketing. Every marketer dreams of having a one-to-one conversation with their customers, and that dream is much more of a reality with recent advances in chatbot technology and machine learning. Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot, has no doubts about the impending rise of the bots: “In 2-3 years from now, we’ll be talking about bots the same way we talk about websites and apps.”

“As human behavior changes, consumers will want to chat with brands and startups. You’ll need to move your marketing budget from email to messaging, forms and landing pages to chat. All these shifts need to happen to match the modern buyer.”

As chatbots allow brands to have personalized conversations with customers at scale, it wouldn’t be surprising if it becomes an essential tool for brands to engage with followers in the near future.

Alexa, I choose you

Will voice-enabled tech become the new norm? Amazon’s CTO, Werner Vogel, certainly thinks so:

Implementing digital voices in everyday life is the future of technology.

Amazon’s Alexa platform could make voice the go-to user interface of the future. And it’s hard to argue with Amazon’s logic—voice is the most natural way to communicate. “In the past, interfaces were designed in a computer-centric fashion. We need to put human interfaces on our digital systems.”

Currently, 20 percent of all Google searches now stem from voice queries, and ComScore expects this to reach 50% by 2020. And with Google attributing more and more value to voice-based queries, we might just be on the brink of a brand new SEO arms race. Is your brand prepared?

Are you GDP-Ready?

Cyber criminals are stepping up their game, but worryingly company security standards are not following suit. In conversation with Reuters, Europol Chief, Robert Wainwright, said: “There is this sort of cyber criminal underworld that’s a lot bigger and smarter and adept than most people think. And, against it, we still have generally low cyber security standards.”

But it’s not just the financial sector under threat from cybercrime syndicates. Online data privacy was another hot topic at Web Summit this year. With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect across the EU in May 2018—which gives customers greater control of how their data is being used—companies will need to safeguard the personal data of all EU citizens and residents, or face a hefty fine.

From Mad Men to Math Men

If you thought safeguarding data was a daunting prospect, we will soon need to sieve through huge amounts of consumer data to create personalized ads and content—something which consumers are starting to expect. While data and creativity should always go hand in hand, there’s definitely a visible shift in marketing and creative industries towards data-driven content.

Case in point: Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Speaking on the PandaConf stage, Brad Parscale, the Digital Media Director for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, explained how the combination of the two was integral to Trump’s success:

“The art behind the Trump digital campaign was translating data into content. Understanding human behavior was key. The data showed us that there were people in America who were hurting, who wanted change, and Mr Trump had a message that resonated with their human needs.”

Luckily, thanks to an explosion of big data and customer intelligence tools, most of the heavy lifting is done for us. And it wasn’t surprising that customer experience tools were a major investment for marketers this year, and this will likely be the case in 2018.