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5 digital marketing trends in 2018 (broadcast on Latvijas Radio 4)

On the 24th of January,’s Head of Digital Department Dr. Sergejs Volvenkins visited Latvijas Radio 4, where he gave listeners an insight into digital marketing trends to expect in 2018.

Dr. Sergey Volvenkin -

A recording of the radio broadcast can be heard on the Latvijas Radio website here.

Dr. Sergejs Volvenkins mentioned 5 trends to expect in digital marketing in 2018.

# 1 New General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The current data protection regulation in force in the European Union is 20 years old (from 1995), and 2018 is when the new data protection regulation will come into force in all EU member states.

The new rules demand much stricter requirements regarding user data protection. As part of one significant change, an important element is a requirement for website owners to inform each visitor to their website about how their personal data could be used (if such data is collected and used) and must also give users the opportunity to forbid the use of this data.

To ensure that, business owners take the new requirements seriously, a strict penalty mechanism is being introduced. The maximum fine can reach up to €20 million or 4% of turnover.

The new regulation could mean several updates and changes. More detailed information can be found here.

The new regulation comes into effect on 25.05.2018.

#2 Thanks to Machine Learning, advertising content seen by the user should be much more relevant

Thanks to giants like Google and Microsoft, Machine Learning (or ML) algorithms are now open source, giving a notable boost to development in this area.

To give you an idea of the possibilities of ML, we will give you a simple example.

A user will enter your website (online store) and, based on the user’s behavior, the system (ML) will understand what type of products the user is interested in as well as the likelihood that this user is a warm customer, ready to purchase a product. Afterwards, the system will show relevant Remarketing ads, adapting the website content shown to the user on their repeat visit (banners, offers, product descriptions, etc.) by itself.

Warm visitors with a high readiness to buy can be divided into, for example – affluence levels (segments.) If one user’s behavior shows to be not sensitive to price, then the system (ML) will show the content on the website (product descriptions etc.) which is relevant directly to them – more expensive products and specific brands first, prices without discounts, emphasizing the quality of a particular product, extended warranties, etc.

Meanwhile, if the behavior of another user shows that price is one of their most important criteria, the system (ML) will take this into account, adapting advertisements and website content to that specific user. For example, by showing cheaper products first, emphasizing discounts, etc.

Thanks to Machine Learning, dividing users into groups (segments) and adapting content to each group will no longer require such significant programming resources and will imply on many online shops. New technology is becoming more accessible, creating the opportunity to achieve higher advertising effectiveness, to not be so intrusive with irrelevant offers and to show precisely the advertising and website content that the user wants to see.

The example above could also be applied without Machine Learning. The only potential problem is that there could be countless user groups (segments), with programmers needing to foresee all possible outcomes and relevant content for each outcome. This is financially inefficient due to a large amount of work involved, meaning that, currently, many business owners worldwide use extremely limited relevant content options.

Machine Learning takes some programmers’ functions under its wing and does what people cannot. As a result, advertisements and website content will be more relevant and the probability of a sale will increase. Many online shops worldwide already use opportunities provided by Machine Learning.

It should be said that Machine Learning can only work correctly with large amounts of data (high online shop visitor numbers.)

If you want to find out more about Machine Learning opportunities, contact the team of experts at

#3 Growth in the popularity of Ad Blockers

Irrelevant and intrusive advertisements cause big losses to internet giants like Google and Facebook. More and more users are using Ad Blockers to avoid internet advertisements. Some experts estimate that over 100 million such blockers will be downloaded in 2020. In 2016, 44 million Ad Blockers were downloaded.

Both Google and Facebook are actively fighting Ad Blocker functions, but advertisers are identifying this problem and looking for other ways to reach their audience. One of these is the use of Influencer Marketing, and this is the next 2018 trend.

#4 Continued rapid increase in Influencer Marketing

The number of bloggers continues to grow quickly, and it wouldn’t be surprising if employers starting advertising vacancies for blogging jobs in 2018.

Many businesses have been using Influencer Marketing for quite a while because it has already proved its effectiveness. Statistics convincingly show that people trust expert opinions or celebrities more than advertisements.

Impact of Influencer Marketings - case

Right now the number of followers on the YouTube and Facebook accounts of many influencers are more than the circulation of many magazines and newspapers, so it’s no surprise that businesses are so actively trying to use this effective channel.

#5 Increased use of Augmented Reality

Business owners are always looking for new effective ways of presenting and offering their product on the internet. Augmented Reality is a great way to do this.

For example, when buying a piece of furniture, you want to see how it would look in the room. Currently, this is difficult – you need a designer to visualize the idea, and you have to pay for this service. Or you can’t do this and simply believe that the item will go with the rest of the room. Several companies worldwide already offer an innovative solution which is swiftly growing in popularity: thanks to augmented reality, some furniture companies offer the opportunity to insert this item into the relevant room before purchasing. All you need is to switch on your mobile phone camera and point it at the place where you want to put the new piece of furniture.

Thanks to the advantages of augmented reality, more and more businesses around the world are starting to use the opportunities it brings.

The game Pokemon Go is an example of augmented reality.

We were able to talk about these five digital marketing trends on-air during the time we were given, but there are still even more trends to come. Many interesting and exciting things await us in 2018. Follow the blog for updates! ☺

And if you want to increase the effectiveness of your digital marketing, we would be happy to help. (