From CES to the Big Game to the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting that ends today, marketers are buzzing about what needs to change in 2018 to improve digital ad effectiveness and how the industry as a whole can deliver on these needs. Here are five trends that I believe have risen to the top and demand attention.
The Future Is Mobile Ad Format Innovation
Last year, P&G’s Marc Pritchard called for “the next generation of digital ads” to optimize ad spend and drive greater consumer traction. He’s right.
The future of brands will be built on mobile in 2018. For advertisers, new formats present some of the most exciting mobile marketing opportunities in recent years. They enable audiences to step into a fully branded world and get a new kind of utility out of their phones. Once there, consumers can interact and literally be surrounded by a brand. The unprecedented level of interactivity is uniquely appealing to consumers and advertisers, alike. In fact, some of our recent insights show that 68 percent of consumers have watched a VR video. And mobile is poised to drive the rise of immersive video, full-screen native ads, and other mobile formats that drive utility — and accelerate their adoption. Mobile is making hardware cheaper and VR content even more accessible than ever. For these reasons, expect more brands to leverage immersive mobile formats for their campaigns in the year ahead.
Content Marketing Will Boom
Get ready for content marketing to take center stage. We’ve talked about brands as publishers for years, but the focus is now on high-quality content that’s delivered in the latest formats, including video and AR. Plus, the emphasis will be on making this brand storytelling come to life on mobile devices, in a way that puts the consumer first.
Brands like Jack Daniels and Sleep Number have capitalized on the opportunity, and it’s clear that content marketing has become a key tool for all verticals.
Brands and Agencies Want More From Their Vendors
Advertisers want more from technology platforms.
Today, it’s not enough to just activate data or to provide distribution and scale. Buy-side platforms have to do more. Providing access to brand-safe, premium content is increasingly key.
You can’t just be the pipes today. The Holy Grail is now content, data and distribution. If you’re a brand-builder, an advertiser or an agency, you need all three to be successful. This year, I believe the platforms that deliver against these needs will win market share.
Data Quality and Diversity Over Volume
In advertising, the era of Big Data needs a makeover.
But more than the data volume, it’s the quality and diversity of data signals that we’re receiving. This is what matters the most for marketers. We’re getting data from content consumption, from mobile devices — a million apps, 2 billion handsets worldwide — search data, and more. And then, with Verizon, there are opportunities to blend carrier data into the mix.
As an industry, 2018 needs to be the year we put Big Data to bed and focus on signals and sources.
Trust Is the Kingmaker in 2018
Trust in the digital ecosystem is lower than it should be. Brand safety woes around the duopoly have left a lot of advertisers and agencies skeptical and concerned. So, next year, the focus needs to be on rebuilding faith and confidence.
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