Digital Trends and Takeaways – September 2017

This Special Edition looks at trends that will affect your 2-year plans.

From the Thought Leadership Team at USDM Digital®                   


This Special Edition looks at trends that will affect your 2-Year plans.

What’s in Your Budget?

Strategic leaders rely on a future-focused plan to make informed decisions today.  Some companies we work with have 20-year plans that we help devise. However, looking forward to at least the next 24 months is mandatory in your digital transformation. We are often asked, ‘What’s the next big thing I need to plan for?’  Below are some key trends that will become increasingly dominant and expected by your prospects and customers.  Be prepared. Not disrupted.”  – Leah Woolford, CEO USDM Holdings, Inc.

TRENDUtilizing data management, analytics, and implementation in production, services, and marketing is a game-changing differentiator.  Data is the new GOLD standard.  Data can inform and allow response to real-time events and produce predictive analytics which increase business margins.  Companies using Predictive Analytics experience 73% higher sales than companies that have never tried it.

USDM Digital® Take-Away:  While most large corporations already implement data analytics, smaller organizations can benefit from utilizing affordable analytics software and easy to understand dashboards to competitively guide them. The costs have dropped and widened the competitive field, but there are multiple solutions, and selecting the right one is key.  This is a critical budget item and consultants can help customize what’s the best solution for you. Data-driven marketing is top of mind for every brand and marketer. Insights help drive better choices and more sales conversions. Performance measurement is key.

TREND More people use Smartphones than reading newspaper or magazines. Mobile usage, habits, and activities are now a dominant way of life. Customer Engagement strategy is key to leveraging mobile customers.

  • 125 Million U.S. consumers own smartphones
  • 50 million U.S. Consumers own tablets
  • 8 in 10 US Smartphone users shop on their phone
  • 62% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last 6 months
  • 84 percent of Millennials, aka those between 18-29, would rather give up alcohol for one month than their smartphone for a week; 40 percent of millennials would rather lose their car than their phone
  • App use, search and social are the most popular activities of US smartphone users
  • Voice applications in smartphones allow verbal typing, texting, and searching
  • Statistics show that 40% of users will go to the competitor after a bad mobile experience, yet an alarming 84% have had trouble completing a mobile transaction.

USDM Digital® Take-Away:  The insistent and pervasive use of mobile devices demands that all your content must be designed for “mobile first” readiness, not just compatible with mobile platforms and responsive to mobile search.

TRENDVoice-Controlled Digital Assistants (AI) and Voice Search.  Last year, Google reported that 20% of mobile searches were voice-based and expected to increase this year.  Now, as Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana are all competing to be your home and office “Digital Assistant” — also called “A.I.s,” for artificial intelligence, Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Satya Nadella of Microsoft, in a rare partnership, have agreed to allow Alexa and Cortana communicate with each other.  We are at the dawn of Artificial Intelligence coming to the masses.

USDM Digital® Take-Away:  AI/Digital Assistants and other innovations like VR and AR (see next item) will create significant disruptions and opportunities and their progress should be monitored.  Knowing what will need your team’s attention and budget in the next 2 years helps underscore where you need to be spending now.  Don’t delay implementing budgets now for Smart Data Analytics and Mobile-first content delivery and e-commerce.  These need immediate attention to stay competitive.

TRENDVirtual reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and wearable devices will provide new levels of utility that will drive mass adoption and disruption.  Although slow to date, adoption is expected to ramp up significantly in the coming year as developers create a wide range of new experiences for these devices that will fundamentally change the way many of us do work.

Augmented Reality superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, providing a composite view. (Applications/use cases: travel, military, medical, education, architecture/construction, maintenance, field technicians, repairs, navigation, e-commerce, and more).

Virtual Reality, a computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way, immerses the user in another place. (Applications: tourism and travel industry, architecture, interior design, auto sales, education and training, and more).  The new tenth anniversary Apple iPhone, debuting in September, will feature VR.

USDM Digital® Take-Away:  These are not simply entertainment devices, but important technology tools that increasingly add an unprecedented layer of information to our everyday activities. Business and consumer applications are so empowering that consumers will drive adoption to a “demand stage.”  Enterprise sales will also be a driver for both AR and, to a lesser extent, VR. Consumer VR apps and usage is expected to dramatically expand.   Businesses that don’t respond to consumer demand and keep up by providing VR content could become the victims of disruption by those that do.

TRENDTravel industry digital ad spending is projected to be $6.78 Billion in 2017 and continue double-digit annual growth through 2020 to $9.25 Billion.  Other industries are following with similar budget shifts from traditional, offline advertising to multiple channels of digital advertising – because that’s where the customers are.

USDM Digital® Take-Away:  This year’s budget reviews warrant serious examination of where your advertising dollars are being spent in 2018-2019.  Branding, content consumption, and audience behavior have all evolved.  Additionally, the impact of social networks and mobile on search results has significantly impacted the marketplace and advertising strategies.  Budgets and strategies from 2017 are no longer adequate to meet the opportunities and threats just ahead.

Change is the New Normal.  And, that’s good news for those who act.

If we may assist you to identify opportunity gaps, recommend programs to maximize ROI and create appropriate budgets for your company, give us a call (Toll-Free: 800.208.8661).  It’s all about your current state vs. future state; where you are today and your vision of where you want to go.

We help you close the gaps and devise the winning strategy. Our Digital Gap Analysis® uncovers your missed opportunities. Our Digital Strategy Playbook® leverages competitive market intelligence and business insights to build your strategic marketing plan. You are the great coach with the vision and every great coach needs a playbook. Visit our website at or contact us. We know business and we are easy to talk to.


Public and private sector brands trust USDM Digital® to provide current and future insights, develop digital strategy for business, execute digital marketing and advertising, improve customer engagement, and deliver performance that measurably IMPACTS their business.  Visit us at 

Why Engage USDM Digital®?

USDM Digital® has applied digital strategies to business practices for more than 20 years. The company can identify, reach, engage and motivate target customers in a highly competitive marketplace to drive conversions. Performance measurement and value creation are a focus of every USDM Digital® program.


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