Time never stands still when it comes to technology, and the coming year will be no exception.

As AI and machine learning create advanced gadgets that can surpass the human brain in aggregating and interpreting information, we can expect businesses to become better-informed and more effective in many of their strategies.

Here are the 3 top predictions AdTech gurus are raving about in 2018:

  1. Fewer interruptive ads.

    As consumers continue to lose patience with highly invasive promotional ads, they’re turning to alternatives such as ad blockers and ad-free on-demand media services. As such, businesses will continue to focus on native and organic advertising that offers some kind of informational or entertainment value to the viewer. That doesn’t mean traditional ad sponsorships will go away; instead, we may see more comprehensive brand awareness campaigns that get their points across in more subtle ways.

  2. Personalization as a competitive differentiator.

    As another side effect of customer disenchantment with seemingly irrelevant ads, marketers will continue to have better success leveraging customer data to create highly personalized ads strategically aimed at specific wants, needs and preferences. In fact, Accenture recently found 65 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase in store or online from a retailer that sends them relevant and personalized promotions. “By understanding what your customers like, what they enjoy and what they spend money on, you can unlock the ability to deliver personalized recommendations that don’t even feel like advertisements,” advises VentureBeat.com. “Relevance allows you to position yourself as an assistant, an invaluable asset to their browsing and shopping life, rather than an interruption.” All this means, however, that marketers must closely vet the sources and quality of their data to avoid wasting time and money in useless campaigns. They must also find options to request and use customer data in ways that don’t seem creepy or just too invasive.

  3. More spending by CMOs.

    As MarTech becomes increasingly vital to business functions, Gartner reports that 67 percent of CMOs worldwide plan to boost their spending in digital advertising this year. “Despite budgetary pressures, innovation remains a spend priority for CMOs,” the researcher states. “Almost one-quarter of CMOs now have fixed annual innovation budgets, and 10 percent of the CMO’s budget is earmarked for innovation. Innovation needs to pay its way in the long term and ultimately contribute to business goals and profitability.”

As the utilization of technology allows advertisers to apply more finely tuned strategy, many expect competition to double down this year. And not everyone in AdTech will come out a winner.

“(This) will be a rough ride for most, and it will end with fewer players than we had in 2017,” predicts Abhay Singhal on MarketingProfs.com. “The fittest will win at the expense of their rivals, but to survive they must adapt and have the ability to turn investments into innovations.”

Stay tuned for more on these predictions and how they're playing out as the year unfolds.