Voice search (such as Apple Siri) and voice assistants (such as Amazon ECHO “Alexa”) are on the rise, and it’s been predicted that by the end of 2020, 50% of interactions with technology will be via “conversations” with them.

From the latest in VR to imaginative Social Engagement approaches, here are Ben Putman’s Top Five Digital Marketing takeaways for 2017.

Med Ad News asked industry experts what they thought DTC communications might look like in five years. This is what they told us.

How we used VR and AR to create connections between physicians and patients.

Lurking behind all the sound and fury in the political realm, 2017 is bringing new opportunities to marketers that have nothing at all to do with orange hair. A whole generation of technologies are growing to maturity together – predictive targeting, virtual reality, behavioral science, interactive video, big data, and more – all of which are transforming the ways in which brands can communicate with their audiences. But of course politics will matter too in this Year One of the Trump administration, as the continuing debate over drug pricing and the impact of the new president’s policies on the pharma industry remain very much up in the ai

Bringing its brand name to life, Fingerpaint – a marketing innovation agency as well as founding partner and sponsor of Cannes Lions Health – unveiled the first-ever Virtual Reality (VR) Fingerpaint Studio at the Cannes Lions Health Festival. Fingerpaint also launched the agency’s new Hands-On Brands movement in Cannes.

Last year, when I left Cannes Lions Health, I wondered when the technology explosion would truly begin to trickle down into the hands of the average patient in the waiting room. I left the 2016 festival feeling the same way.

Rich Levy, Chief Creative Officer of FCB Health and jury member of Pharma Lions 2016, offers Five Trends from Lions Health.

Recurring themes explored at Lions Health this year included empathy. The term was tossed around in all sorts of contexts – health bias, gaps in care, disease stigma, aging. For the most part, it was centered on better understanding between the health industry and people in health crisis. For me, as a creative leader and armchair strategist, empathy is most powerful in connecting ideas to audiences.

Although SXSW 2016 lacked a major platform launch, it did further the tech discussion in key areas.