In recent years, the advertising industry has experienced often painful changes and has found it difficult to keep up with the pace of technology. What used to be dominated by TV (video format) and print, is now increasingly chaotic, and different media are used to reach the target audience. Usage of data and personalization of data to create more specific ad content has forced many agencies to get into a survival mode. The future of ad agencies and advertising as a profession lies in the ability to swim in the direction of technology while remaining creative at the same time. Of course, this is no easy task, and there are multiple ways technology is shaping the future of advertising every moment. Let us take a brief look at the future of advertising shaped by technology, and the new media you might want to consider if you are an agency looking to advertise. Here are the top trends.
Currently, location data is mostly used for marketing purposes. However, in the near future, more advertisers will look at launching campaigns specifically based on location data. GDPR may work out in favour of advertisers because many people do give permission for their location data to be used. What was earlier a grey area will now be a clear pathway to target people in specific locations and send them ads. Mobile devices will spur location-based advertising further afield and will help predict trends as well. In fact, ad strategy will begin to rely on location data more than ever before.
Digital advertising has actually caught up with TV advertising. The share of advertising budget by channel is exactly equal to each other at 41% for TV and digital ads. Print comes at a distant 10% in ad budgets. What this really tells us is, there is a paradigm shift taking place in the ad industry, where campaigns are now written by default for digital channels, and TV and print are going to become after-thoughts. What we will also witness is the convergence of digital and traditional advertising, which actually has taken place if you notice the figures. In the near future, the share of TV is likely to fall further, with a potential for print to increase.
With online advertising getting busier and more serious, creative will find more freedom to experiment in print. Online advertising has already become mainstream and is subject to decision makers’ opinions and strategy, leading to less elbow room for creative professionals. On the flip side, print will see a gradual return to creativity, and more expensive ad campaigns may actually be run via print media, simply because those who still tend to stick to print medium tend to be better educated and more affluent. In other words, digital will encourage print to become more niche, and that is not something bad.
Digital advertising is fueled by mobile users, and it is no surprise that the future of advertising will depend on how agencies tap into this medium. App usage has increased dramatically even in the last few months when we consider emerging economies like Brazil and China. In the US and Europe, much of advertising growth has taken place in the realm of mobile applications, and this is something that cannot be ignored. In-app ads and users’ geo-location together can transform the way we understand advertising today.
Much of the changes taking place in the ad industry due to technology is because of data. Data is helping ad managers to access insight that was previously impossible, and that’s leading to a greater degree of personalization. Personalization of ads is also important because digital ads rarely enter the periphery of perception of web users. Many of them have begun to use ad-blockers and to make sure that an ad reaches the intended viewer, personalizing it is very important. Without personalizing, you stand the risk of being blocked or just being ignored.
Finally, another important trend is the quality of the content. As content developed for online usage is searchable, it is very different from creating ad content for print or TV media. Advertisers will need to focus on the quality of content and ensure that they are filled with rich media in order to attract the attention of consumers. In fact, ad content will tend to become more informative and realistic than persuasive. Persuasive and creative campaigns may find better use in print media offline.
Here are some new media to consider
While mobile ads are nothing new, you might want to focus more on location-based mobile ads in the future. Consumer lifestyle is defined by mobile usage, and people move from one place to another, and they are always connected via their mobile phones. This makes location-based advertising very important and crucial to ad success. Focus on developing ad campaigns that take this into consideration. Use location data to create ad campaigns that are super specific and targeted. In fact, using predictive analytics may even help you predict when the intended target audience is going to be in a particular location.
The most important of all the new media are the applications themselves. Mobile applications present a challenging but very lucrative medium to advertise. In-app advertisements can very well race past TV ads and they come in a number of types. However, making in-app ads attractive to consumers while also being non-intrusive depends on the ad interface designer. Make sure that in-app ads focus on user interface and intuitiveness so that consumers do not feel intruded upon. App usage tends to be a private activity and the perceived intrusiveness of your ad can seriously affect your campaign.
Without a doubt, social media advertising will continue to remain the most important platform for advertisers. Ad agencies will need to offer better and more creative ways to run campaigns on specific social media tools. What works on Snapchat will not work on Instagram, and what works on Twitter will not work on Facebook. These subtle nuances need to be carefully evaluated by advertisers and ad agencies before running campaigns. Social media advertising in the future will be more personalized and hyper-local, thanks to all the data that is available at the moment.
If you thought augmented reality and virtual reality (AR and VR) are mostly limited to games and entertainment, you couldn’t be farther away from the truth. Both VR and AR make advertising interactive, giving consumers more power to interact with your marketing or advertising message. Digital advertising is already being convulsed by the advent of VR platforms as they provide a sensory and emotional connection that other platforms simply can’t. In addition, both AR and VR require the consumer to be present fully, making them a hyper-local ad solution. In-store advertising has a lot of potential in this area.
Juniper Research recently estimated that fraudsters will cause a loss of $19 billion to advertisers in 2018 alone. Use blockchain to make your advertising safe and secure. It makes your contracts smarter and ad fraud can simply be eliminated because there will always be an immutable audit trail to track. Blockchain can also be used to enhance digital ad infrastructure by letting advertisers and publishers buy and sell ads directly. Blockchain can also be used to encourage consumers to be more proactive in terms of digital ads ecosystem. While existing blockchain ad systems are not exactly scalable, the future will witness more blockchain ad solutions for both agencies and advertisers.
Advertising as an industry will have to prepare for an exciting future
The future of advertising is chaotic, just like it is today. The more we see technology race ahead, the more difficult it becomes for creative professions to keep pace with all things digital. However, this is just how the reality is, and many other professions too have to brace with similar changes. However, adtech will help the most creative to reach unsurpassed heights and the future can actually be exciting for those who are really good at what they do. Ad agencies that do not consider personalization or data will fall behind, but agencies and professionals that smartly utilize emerging technologies and media platforms will survive now and in the future.