The Drum Awards for the Digital Industries (DADI) have introduced two new categories for 2017, Best Tech Platform and Best Use of AI/Machine Learning.
Best Tech Platform looks for the best digital platform enabling the industry and entries must demonstrate the use of their platform for overall campaign success and optimisation.
Judging the entries this year will be a panel of digital creatives, strategists and clients, all who have extensive experience in the digital industry like: chairman Phil Jones, Podge Events; Ben Blanco, Samsung Electronics UK; Matthew Candy, IBM Interactive Experience; Kate Dale, Sport England; Lee McGuffie, Virgin; Lisa de Bonis, Havas Media and many more.
Ahead of the entry deadline, Friday 21 July, The Drum asked judges what they think will be the most exciting emerging tech platform over the next 12 months.
Phil Jones, founder and organiser, Podge Events
"Lot’s of things to impress, most recently Tealium’s Universal Data Hub is a tech platform to watch over the next 12 months. Their solution provides a single approach to managing data across teams, vendors, and customer touch points in real-time.
"Not only does the platform enable organisations to keep their existing marketing technology, but it also breaks down data siloes by connecting the dots to facilitate a single customer view. This emerging technology will support marketers in the run up to the GDPR, facilitating a customer profile drawing data from all channels and devices."
Adam Boita, head of marketing, Pernod Ricard UK
"As a marketer, the one thing that keeps me awake at night is the complexity of the media landscape and brand team’s abilities to keep up. The most successful emerging tech platforms will be the ones that can help simplify this, continue to provide transparency whilst ensuring we are spending in the right area within a quality environment.
"These areas have taken off as data / tech provides the distinct possibility of being able to track the consumer journey and measure this meaningfully back to core brand equity metrics – the end goal for any modern marketer."
Lauren Rayner, head of digital, Battersea Dog and Cats Home
"I think the next 12 months will see major brands experimenting with conversational UI, using chatbots to shake up customer experiences via messenger apps such as Facebook Messenger.
"Chatbots are an exciting emerging platform for brands as they facilitate one-to-one communication and immediacy throughout the user journey - from discovery and engagement, to lead nurture, in-app purchases or conversions, and after-sales support. I think we’ll also start to see greater integration with other AI systems such as Amazon’s Alexa and with wearable tech."
John Mathers, design director, British Design Fund
"Whilst it would be easy to talk about many of the individual trends we are seeing this year, such as the growth of smart Bluetooth speakers and virtual personal assistants I think it’s the inter-connectivity between the different systems which will ultimately determine whether they succeed or fail.
"AI is the underpinning principle behind so many of the new exciting platforms and it is the growing learning about the emotion expressed in users comments and commands – and the increasing ’common sense’ approach that these devices are taking - that is the most relevant for the future.
"The most exciting future development, for me, is voice interaction with computers and applications."
Liane Grimshaw, founder and managing director, Supareal
"Artificial Intelligence (AI) powers many of the products and apps we already use day-to-day. The big players are investing heavily, and while in it’s infancy AI is improving at an alarming rate.
"AI-powered platforms such as The Grid or Boomtrain already exist — making web-design or marketing automation decisions for us — and chatbots are a hot topic too, but there’s still a lot for AI to learn.
"AI can out-think, but not yet out-learn us humans — in the next 12 months we’ll see huge improvements and that’s where it becomes truly helpful. AI isn’t just emerging, it’s exploding."
Guillaume Buat-Menard, chief technology officer, Aqueduct
"Serverless Computing is one of the most exciting tech platforms to emerge recently. Amazon Lambda currently stands out as one if not the leader in providing serverless platforms, it is easy and quick to set-up, it has flexible and competitive payment terms and is fully integrated with their echo system.
"Serverless Computing is taking off because it removes platform support, maintenance and server patching from the development cycle. It also helps reduce application development time by creating small building blocks of code rather than large code bases. The particularly exciting aspect of serverless computing is that it is the perfect vehicle for the future of web interfaces namely Chat Bots, Amazon Echo Skills or Artifical Intelligence services."
Tiffany St James, founder, Transmute
"I’m really excited about the use of AR and digital interactivity in Digital Out of Home experiences. There’s been a slow burn whilst the technology has evolved. Interactive billboards can tell your gender, age, and mood; and change content automatically depending on who is viewing the content.
"There has been great use of live data in BA’s Magic of Flying identifying real planes flying overhead; superb use of syncing with RFID to have digital dogs follow shoppers with Battersea Dogs Home brochures around Westfield and driving behaviour change for Women’s Aid ‘Look at Me’. This for me is an exciting medium that has the potential to create rich memorable experiences."
Alastair Duncan, chief strategy officer, Splash Worldwide
"Mobile behaviour is the biggest battleground. Mark 'I'm not a media company' should be President instead of Trump. Facebook Groups are great. BUT. Messenger anyone? Sometimes I open it by mistake.
"Longer term excitement: Voice interface, machine learning, Netflix, election hacking."
The DADIS are open internationally to agencies and brands who are producing great digital work. Entries for the awards close on Friday 21 July.
Sponsors for this year's event are: Shazam, Forrest Brown and Impact Radius.