In recent years, the global advertising market has witnessed a shift from traditional mediums to consumer data from connected devices and are using this to tailor ads to meet a prospective customer’s likes and interests.
However, advertising and marketing professionals are always looking towards the future and the next big trend. In today’s blog, we are going to work our way through five predictions for the future of advertising.
1. Mobile Advertising
Mobile advertising was one of the key areas highlighted in Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report back in June. The renowned internet analyst’s presentation showed that mobile was far outpacing desktop-based ad revenue.
Internet advertising revenue reached $60 billion in 2015, with mobile ad revenue growing by more than 66 percent. Consumers are now spending about 25 percent of their time on mobile devices, and it has led to dramatic increases in online advertising.
For example, social media giant Facebook’s ad revenue has grown 59% between 2014 and 2015. The report stresses the importance of targeted ads, and says advertisers need to find a way to be more entertaining and less invasive. As we make our way down our lists, we will see that they are certainly making a concerted effort to do just this.
A brand’s success with mobile advertising will likely be determined by a few select apps. Daily smartphone use is dominated by messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp and WeChat.
There is already a host of companies using Facebook’s chatbots to communicate with customers. Icelandair, Shopify and even the White House are using the functionality. Chinese messaging app WeChat already has more than 10 million official accounts, including banks, hotels and even celebrities that are registered to interact with users through chatbots.
The bots offer numerous advantages. They allow consumers to transact with businesses, book a flight or order a meal. Chatbots can be programmed to track purchasing patterns and monitor data from consumers. This provides companies with valuable information on products that need to be marketed more, less or redeveloped altogether.
3. Virtual Reality
Virtual reality has finally made its way into the commercial space. With Sony, Samsung and others releasing headsets this year, advertisers can now target customers with completely immersive virtual reality experiences.
Virtual reality could be revolutionary for the ad industry. Keeping consumers’ attention has always been a key challenge for advertisers. With VR headsets, brands could sponsor virtual experiences that people have actually sought out.
There are already several examples of this. Last Christmas, Coca Cola created a virtual reality sleigh ride. Volvo created an app to support the launch of their XC90 SUV, putting the user in the cockpit during a drive through the country.
4. Smart Billboards
Advertisers are using smart billboards with big data analytic tools that draw information from social media and other areas to adjust ads. For example, smart data storage company Cloudian have teamed up with advertising agency Dentsu to launch smart billboards in Japan.
The billboards identify the make and model of vehicles that are driving by, and use the information to display targeted ads to the drivers and passengers of these vehicles.
A camera located on the billboard identifies the oncoming vehicles. The billboard will then present an advertisement corresponding to the vehicle for around 5 seconds. The vehicle recognition system was tested by Cloudian and Dentsu earlier this year, and it correctly identified the make and model of vehicles in traffic at a 94 percent success rate.
Beacons are being used to tap into the personalised behavioural patterns of users. Beacons use Bluetooth to seek out and send relevant messages to shoppers' smartphones as they pass by.
The tiny devices are used to send useful information or product offers that people can act upon instantly. It can be anything from a welcome message to news about a promotion. Retailers are increasingly trying to engage with customers by communicating with them via their apps, location and social media.
We are still in the early days of technologies like chatbots and virtual reality, but the potential is there. It will be interesting to see how brands invest their time and effort into taking advantage of the endless opportunities they present.
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