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2017: The year identity changed everything
Columnist Mike Sands takes a look back at this year's notable events in digital advertising and examines the underlying theme of identity that's transforming brands.
This year was a tumultuous one for brands across the board. Newsfeeds were dominated by Amazon, on pace to become the first trillion-dollar company any day now. The Facebook-Google duopoly grew even more powerful, raking in half of global ad revenues this year, and more than 60 percent in the US, according to eMarketer’s digital ad forecast. And the explosive growth of newer, smaller, more innovative companies that have forever transformed consumer behavior put the old guard on high alert.
In other words, identity really shook things up in 2017.
You see, inherent in brand success today is the ability to literally know you — not you as a demographic segment with 10,000 attributes, but you as someone a brand recognizes on a 1:1 basis within its ecosystem. This is how Facebook propelled “people-based” into the marketing mainstream. It’s how “Google” became everyday vernacular for finding answers. It’s how Amazon legitimized “customer obsession” as a business strategy. Moving forward, it’s how brands must evolve to survive.
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