The Soda Academy
"“It’s not a single point of inflection, it’s the age of inflection.”"

Introduction to the 2017-2018 Digital Outlook Study

Given the tumultuous shifts we’ve experienced over the past decade, it’s hard to believe the digital marketing industry is approaching another major inflection point. Change, indeed, is the only constant and the ride ahead appears to be a wild one. 

And while optimism abounds, The 2017-18 Global Digital Outlook Study from SoDA and Forrester finds agency leaders and brand marketers settling into these cycles of continuous change — fragmentation in the digital agency business, growth of in-house digital capabilities, dueling demands to elevate both data and design, the collision of what it means for marketers to innovate and a convergence of technologies creating entirely new customer interaction possibilities - frictionless and ubiquitous on one end (voice interfaces powered by AI in the cloud) and deeply immersive on the other (VR, robotics and the blurring interplay between real and virtual experiences).

Inflection, the theme for this year’s SoDA Report, signals a period of accelerated change and the increasing importance for marketers and agency leaders to decipher nuanced signals amid a decidedly complex market conversation. As Michael Lebowitz, Founder and CEO of Big Spaceship and Guest Editor for this year’s report puts it, “It’s not a single point of inflection, it’s the age of inflection.”

Our findings in the Global Digital Outlook Study certainly support this idea and we see, for the first time in a decade, both agency leaders and brand marketers beginning to question (and redefine) what it means to be digital.