Cyberspace is increasingly merging with more channels, providing an overlay on our current reality as the digital world stretches beyond televisions, smartphones and other ubiquitous screens.

It may seem like something out of a sci-fi movie, but over 4 000 people living in Sweden are currently considered as 'cyborgs'. They are classified as such due to the near field communication microchips (the type found on bank cards) being implanted in their hands. This means that they no longer need passcodes, physical banks or loyalty cards. They don't even have to physically sign documents.

Closer to home, more than 51% of South African business leaders who were interviewed said that they expect to travel in self-driving cars by 2030, and 59% say they welcome the idea of people partnering with machines or robots in order to enhance human capability. This is according to Dell's Future of Connected Living study, which was conducted by the Institute for the Future and market research firm Vanson Bourne.

If this is the trajectory of technology that is aimed at niche markets, we can expect that developments in social media and marketing technology will see even bigger changes in the years to come.

As AI and machine learning become a more integrated part of our everyday lives, the emergence of collaboration between humans and AI will certainly result in higher productivity and efficiency. This type of technology will never replace the human element but will free people up to work more efficiently — creating time for even more creative thinking and growth.

The dream is for agencies and marketers to determine what niche platforms they may require and to begin experimenting with and developing them, building something that will be a perfect fit and will help their businesses operate more efficiently.

By experimenting with revolutionary new dynamic advertising formats, we can help our clients promote thousands of their products and services faster and more efficiently than ever before — all while testing and learning. 

For digital marketers, this type of development relates to customer experience, content creation platforms and media management tools. But to become a part of this future, there are crucial hurdles to address. These include data silos, data privacy and algorithmic inequality.

Marketers can also look forward to using extended reality (XR) and immersive media for their future campaigns. XR combines real and virtual environments and human-machine interactions through technology and wearables.

It merges body movements and the sense of touch to generate unparalleled media experiences that engage all the senses. As we enter a new decade, we look forward to exploring the many possibilities for finding new business solutions offered by technology and the arrival of 5G mobile data networks.

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