Advertising geeks from across the nation unite annually at "Advertising Week" to hear industry experts share opinions on the current state of advertising and predictions for the future. As the 2014 conference comes to a close, four key trends have bubbled to the surface -- trends you'll want to keep in mind as you craft your 2015 marketing strategy.
Trend No. 1: Native advertising, which is the practice of embedding brand ads seamlessly into the newsfeeds of social media users, continues to be a hot topic due to the significantly stronger performance of these ads compared to traditional banner ads. Despite taking a beating from the media due to user feedback about the ads interfering with the online experience, native ads continue to gain momentum. The key for brands is to utilize this premium advertising space to engage users about content that is relevant to them in that moment. One way to do that is to focus on storytelling, versus overtly promotional content.
Trend No. 2: Programmatic marketing continues to evolve. The many ways consumers can interact with a brand have created serious audience fragmentation. Gone are the days when you can simply run a series of TV spots to reach the lion's share of your target audience. It's made the science of marketing much more complex, but in the process has allowed us to reach a more highly targeted audience with less waste -- consumers not in our target market who you're paying to see your ad inadvertently.
Programmatic marketing recognizes the consumer as he moves between each channel, capturing data along the way. If John Smith visits a brand's website, clicks on one of its email campaigns, accesses its mobile app, and visits its Facebook page, technology platforms exist to connect all of this data together to inform the marketer that it's time to deliver X offer, or Y advertisement, or Z content at each optimum point along John's path. The results can be astounding due to the highly customized nature of the content/ad delivered -- relevant to each consumer at that particular point in their brand engagement lifecycle.
Trend No. 3: Consumers are increasingly spending more of their online time on smart phones, tablets and even wearable devices as marketers work diligently to figure out how to monetize all that mobile Internet time. No longer a marketing afterthought, mobile now matters more than the desktop experience. If your website isn't mobile optimized, there's no time to wait.
Trend No. 4: Marketers continue to shift dollars away from TV to digital video, making the future of video a hot conference topic. In fact, Mashable reports "time spent watching digital video has more than doubled since 2012."
Developing a strong-performing marketing strategy is all about pulling the right marketing levers versus every lever. Are native, programmatic, mobile and video the right levers for your brand?
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