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9 radical digital disruptions about to change everything

9 radical digital disruptions about to change everything David Zaleski

The world is changing faster than any of us could have ever expected. Soon, the marketing industry will be faced with a new landscape to work with, and if you're not preparing, you might be left in your competitors' dust. These explosive, innovative changes are called "digital disruptions," and they're about to shake things up.

Here is a list of the top troublemakers that will affect marketing in the next few years. Are you prepared for what's coming?

Generation Z

Just when the industry thought it finally understood how to market to Millennials, there's a new crop of consumers rising up -- and their dollars are extremely powerful. Generation Z (kids born between the late '90s and early 2000s) has already drastically shaken up the market in social media. Snapchat, 4Chan, and Kik were all words that meant nothing just a couple of years ago. Now, they are some of the most populated internet spaces in which young teens hang out, as they move away from Facebook and Twitter. With Generation Z being the first to be raised in a multi-device mobile world, consuming habits are fundamentally different. Everything marketers thought they knew about where to reach young people is about to change.

No one knows better about how Generation Z is about to alter the landscape than T.J. Marchetti. He is the CMO of AwesomenessTV, a YouTube channel turned Nickelodeon sketch reality series geared toward young teens. He speaks with iMedia's David Zaleski about why Generation Z is about to change the game and how you can prepare.

3D printing

It seems like something out of a science fiction movie, but the world has surprisingly caught on to 3D printing quickly, and with open arms. While still young, the cost of 3D printers has fallen dramatically and the demand is high. Why? Because it allows companies to produce parts at a fraction of the cost. This means higher quality, lower priced goods that can be produced more quickly than ever before. 3D printing will fundamentally alter the manufacturing landscape.

Cloud computing

The cloud is a term we use casually, but its impact on IT and access to information has real implications. As the world stores more and more data in the cloud, the need for hardware is diminishing, and companies are able to work more globally. The cloud is also changing the way consumers store and access their own information. The day will soon come when information, documents, and files are accessible from anywhere.

The Internet of Things

With Google's acquisition of Nest Labs, and Apple making a play for the automated home, it's clear that the next frontier of connected devices will be the ones we use in our everyday lives. Already, the use of digital watermarking has connected paper, posters, and objects to the web, and it will only grow from there. Soon our appliances, furniture, and homes will be as connected to the internet as our smartphones and tablets.

Brad Berens, principle at Big Digital Idea Consulting Inc., has his pulse on future trends like few others. He speaks with iMedia on why these trends will dramatically change marketing strategies over the next few years.

Wearable technology

Perhaps no other emerging technological ecosystem has as much buzz with today's consumers as wearables. While the wearable market is still very young, it's already produced the first versions of wearable technology that will undoubtedly be improved upon to appeal to mass markets. Google Glass, Fitbit, and smart watches are all starting points for an emerging wearable revolution. Given the expansion of this field, how will marketers adapt? Mature and mainstream wearable technology is coming, and it will change your idea of what it means to market on mobile.

Don Buckley, EVP and chief marketing officer of Showtime Networks, speaks with iMedia's David Zaleski about why wearables are so exciting and present huge potential to disrupt your game.

Native advertising and content marketing at scale

Today, native advertising and content marketing are two of the most underestimated marketing forces, but all of that will soon change. The industry is learning that traditional, digital means of advertising are not creating the kind of engagement from consumers that is necessary. Banner ad blindness, click fraud, and other bot activities have made display a dubious prospect for success, and it will soon be mitigated to being completely accomplished via programmatic methods. Marketers are about to have the slate wiped clean, and they need to find new ways to engage consumers. Native presents a huge opportunity to do so. Consumers don't want to be interrupted by ads, and if they are going to be marketed to, it needs to feel natural. Native and content marketing will soon become the first tier for many brands' marketing strategies.

Rovio Entertainment's VP of brand partnerships and advertising, Michele Tobin, speaks to iMedia about why native and content will only continue to grow and take bigger bites out of the budgets that marketers annually allocate.

User-generated content blending with advertising

User-generated content (or UGC) is a major way internet users express creativity and ideas. This year at SXSW, the Social Media Advertising Consortium released a study revealing that Millennials spend 18 hours per day consuming media, and 30 percent of it is with UGC. Millennials also trust user-generated content 50 percent more than traditional media. With this huge shift in the way young people are engaging online, brands will be injecting their voices more and more. Soon, UGC and planned marketing efforts will blend, and users will work with brands to create rich content that will have natural appeal.

Jacqueline Hernandez, CMO, Hispanic enterprise and content for NBCUniversal, speaks with iMedia about why UGC and advertising will blend over the next few years.

Migration of content experiences

A shift is happening with consumer habits. Personal content experiences that used to only occur in a private atmosphere are becoming more and more public. Television is moving out of the home and onto peoples' everyday devices. Personal email is read on the sidewalk, and personal pictures are viewed on the bus. Even dating has become a public and open practice with the advent of location-based dating apps. As consumers' private experiences branch out into the public sphere, how will brands react with effective marketing? It's a change that requires major attention.

Mike Rosenberg, VP of media and mobile marketing at Paramount Pictures, speaks about this shift and why we need to prepare.

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"Angry Child Yelling,” "Row of happy teens by painted wall looking at camera," "Cartoon clouds,""modern smartwatches with watch strap in different colors,""artist brush mix color oil painting on palette,""hand presses on screen digital tablet,""Web design concept,""one house and tablet pc with a software for home automation," and "abstract red background or Christmas paper" images via Shutterstock.

David Zaleski is the Media Production Supervisor for iMedia Communications, Inc. and Comexposium USA. He graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a BA in Film & Television Production, specializing in editing, animation, and...

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