There was a building boom for walled gardens in 2017, and that will only accelerate in 2018. Research agency Kantar Millward Brown  has released its digital marketing predictions for the coming year, and one is that marketers, increasingly stung by brand-safe environments turning out to be unsafe—will increasingly turn to walled gardens—platforms where every piece of video is premium and completely family-friendly.
“The work that walled gardens have done in 2017 to give more reassurance to advertisers and media agencies on basic hygiene will help them to accelerate share in 2018,” the report says. But while walled gardens are family-friendly, they’re notoriously data unfriendly. That’s why walled gardens in 2018 will get fitted with doors and windows, giving marketers the kinds of access they need to run and measure campaigns.
Improved validation of audiences within walled gardens will lead to stronger targeting, Millward predicts. And as consumers stream all the over-the-top (OTT) video they can, measurement tools will follow. In 2018, look for new cross-platform and media measurement abilities that will let brands target viewers no matter where they’re doing their viewing.
“Taking measurement over-the-top is arguably the only viable path toward the grand finale—an ideal world of perfect information gathered across all screens and touchpoints, delivered in real-time,” says Corey Jeffery, senior vice president of media and digital product leadership with Kantar Millward Brown. “While that’s likely to remain just the treatment of an as-yet unwritten script for the future of media research, 2018 will prove a break-out year in the integration of various forms of passive OTT media and advertising data into the measurement frameworks of tomorrow.”
The next year will also see artificial intelligence (AI) take over for algorithms. While AI will still be a work-in-progress, look for it to solve marketing challenges in new and interesting ways.
For Kantar Millward Brown’s full set of marketing and advertising predictions for 2018 , download the full report for free (registration required).