What does the future of digital marketing look like? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Claire Perez, Director of Strategic Account Management at Wpromote, on Quora:

What does the future of digital marketing look like?

Devices

The major shift over the past 5 or more years was to a mobile-first way of thinking. This is all underpinned by the concurrent pull towards convenience: BOPUS (Buy Online Pick Up in Store); free shipping; and other time-saving value adds. I doubt this trend is slowing any time soon, but the new player in the game here is the smart speaker, and that has the ability to shake things up considerably. Marketers will have to think "out loud" to see how they are matching to and being perceived over a Google home or Alexa, not just how they appear in the SERPs. Consumers will likely use these speakers in tandem with their smartphones to get more detail as needed, so the interplay between the two will be an important consideration.

Automation

As platforms get smarter and data keeps accumulating, automation will play a more pivotal role in marketing campaigns. That doesn't mean the marketer is obsolete - but their focus will change. The inputs to a platform and the strategy behind the automation will be key driver. The heavy-lifting will be automated, but where automation can pick a winner between A and B, a marketer is needed to devise solution C to continually improve. Much like any technology, the automation should just make us more efficient and free up time to do other fun marketing things!

Data as a personal commodity

Full transparency - this is not my idea - I heard Nathan Latka (https://getlatka.com/) discuss it at the Recurring Revenue Conference in April 2018, but I thought it was brilliant. Essentially, as marketing moves towards data-driven and programmatic targeting, information at the individual level has an intrinsic value, so this data could easily become a commodity for each of us. Cutting out the middleman when buying lists of audiences, individuals could monetize themselves through a central database, deciding who to share our own data with for a nominal fee each time. Instead of buying large email lists from third parties, buy it from me directly along with other pertinent information that I choose to share. Clearly, this is a way off at the moment and I certainly haven't considered the numerous issues it gives rise to, but in seeking to balance privacy with customized messaging, it could be a potential solution in the future.

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Published on: Oct 8, 2018