The Mad Men days of personalized, years-long ad campaigns are ancient history. Advertising has gone digital, it's turned bite-sized, and it's everywhere. Too often, advertising is thoughtless, shameless, and passionless.
Is this the bleak future that advertisers and consumers should expect? Or is there light at the end of the ten-second video advertisement?
With technologies like blockchain, AI, and machine learning promising to impact advertising to varying degrees, there's plenty to consider.
Here's how the experts see the future of advertising unfolding.
1. Gerard Keeley, CEO of Vidsy
“Staying relevant in a world of mobile, social and video. Constant change is bringing lots of opportunity for both brands and creators, and companies need to provide greater creative quality and efficiency than other technology platforms or traditional agencies. Personalized ads that are seamlessly and consistently integrated into the customer experience and don't disrupt the viewer experience.”
2. P.K. Kannan Dean’s Chair in marketing science in the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland
“The future of advertising lies in technology that leads to high customer engagement with precision targeting. Videos with storytelling, augmented reality, and virtual technology with personalized targeting- that will help customers stay engaged with advertising content and provide a high return for the ad dollar.”
3. James Heller, CEO and Co-Founder of Wrapify
“As attribution is becoming a focal point of a brand’s media spend, I believe we will see more traditional media formats evolve in order to achieve measurement. Additionally, ad buying across all channels will become easier to manage without the need for an agency. Some of the world’s biggest brands are pulling more and more of their media planning in-house. Tools that allow a brand to manage spend across multiple channels will also begin to emerge. Eventually, we will look back on the way we target today as primitive, and contextual relevance will become even more detailed and defined.”
4. Kwesi Robertson, Director of Marketing at Howerton + White
“I believe the future of advertising will shift towards a more intentional, relevant targeting that will be powered not by ads (whether those are print, social or display) but compelling dynamic content. Advertising will have to enter a new era of context by not just being where potential consumers are but when and specifically with whom.”
5. Amy King, VP of Product Marketing at Pixalate
“The future of advertising is one in which advertisers aren’t forced to use drastically different solutions for all of the different channels consumers use today, such as desktop, mobile, mobile app, and internet-enabled TV. We’re getting closer and closer to this “future” becoming reality, but there are still many new standards that need to be developed and adopted, especially in newer channels such as Connected TV (CTV) and over-the-top (OTT) advertising.”
6. Dr. Michael Yuan, Co-Founder of the CyberMiles Foundation
“On the horizon are blockchain-based advertising systems that can be set up via “smart business contracts” so that ad revenues are shared automatically among “members” based on their levels of activities and engagements, or securely distributed to buyers in the form of price reductions. With cryptocurrency, members also can be rewarded by advertisers to upvote an advertisement to gain higher visibility.”
7. Matt Johnston, Founder and CEO of Guide Social
“To me, the future of advertising is immersive and personal. That's why video is the hottest thing on the planet right now. If we buy from people because we know, like, and trust them – then we want to directly interact with them as much as possible. Video is currently the best way we can do that, but in the future that will expand out to VR webinars/seminars and virtual communities. Even now with Facebook's recent changes, it's clear there is a movement towards personal touch – which makes sense in their shift to highlight groups. As these groups become more immersive through technology it will be more important than ever to create communities.”
8. Samantha Wolfe, Managing Partner at We Are Phase2
“The future of advertising is immersive, seamless, interactive experiences.
In short, it's augmented reality.”
9. Yaniv Masjedi, Chief Marketing Officer at Nextiva
“Advertising is becoming increasingly omnichannel. With every purchase now taking place across 3, 4, 5, and even more platforms, the customer experience has grown beyond a simple paper, TV, or radio advertisement. We all know the importance of re-targeting ads and email lists, and advertising activities such as these are going to become increasingly relied upon.”
10. Keith Butler Vice President, Digital Strategist at EvansHardy + Young
“The growth of smart speaker adoption is staggering: in 2018, there were an estimated 66.4 million US owners, a 39.8% increase year-over-year. Advertisers will need to gain experience with these new platforms in order to keep up with their growth and to learn how best to deliver optimal advertising creative. In addition, several considerations face advertisers in meeting this new technology: what metrics should be used to show the value of the advertising, what pricing structure is needed given the unique nature of the platform, and how best to optimize ongoing delivery.”
11. Bruce Biegel, Senior Managing Director of Winterberry Group
“Like the last five years, the future is one of change and continuous transformation in consumer expectations from brands. An expanding set of touchpoints will challenge marketers to be consistent in what way and how they deliver the brand experience. To meet these expectations, brands will need to engage consumers with personalized experiences from the initial interaction through the lifecycle of customer engagement.”
12. Janine Pollack, Director of Integrated Marketing, MNI Targeted Media
“How advertisers connect with target audiences varies, but personalization should be at the root of all campaigns, now and always. Brands that create personalized experiences through the integration of advanced digital technologies and proprietary data are those that will see revenue grow. And brands that take time to find and refine their “authentic” voice – literally and figuratively – across platforms are those that will create meaningful personalized experiences that drive engagement, loyalty and revenue.”
13. Andy Vogel, Chief Commercial Officer, AUDIENCEX
“The future of advertising includes audience buying via AI, through automated trading desks that configure advertising creative and dynamically match to specific consumer attributes, like device type and location. Delivering this future involves some combination of technology platforms and humans to increase the understanding of advertiser goals and audiences. Trading on multiple platforms and matching audiences based on attributes versus the old way of “channel” (TV, Cable, Print) is how advertising becomes more effective and efficient. The future of advertising will still require humans for the more creative, strategic and esoteric, but AI will handle media planning, audience buying, and the rest.”
14. Brett Cravatt, Co-CEO and Co-founder of Centerfield
“Despite the proliferation of advertising formats in recent years and increasingly fragmented inventory, I don't expect the challenge for marketers to change. We need to create crisp, authentic messages that resonate with consumers. Today's consumer wants to make a data-driven decision on most purchases, and winning advertising programs will recognize
where a consumer is in the buying journey and provide customized content to prompt a purchase.”
15. Chris Frantz, Head of Growth at Biteable
“The future of advertising is engaging video content, personalized and relevant to the end user. With the rapid increase in streaming hours and the increased availability of high-speed internet access, brands will need to create engaging content that is shared due to their inherent watchability. The best brands will create engaging content that doesn't just sell a brand, but a lifestyle.”
16. Kevin Tan, CEO and co-founder of Eyeota
“Advertising is getting more and more data driven. Now that advertisers are more comfortable with how the evolving marketing ecosystem works and the tools and platforms at their disposal, there is a new level of sophistication in the way they approach campaigns. Marketers are no longer relying only on brute force tactics like retargeting. Instead of taking what is known about a consumer and forcing a message across every possible channel, marketers are leveraging context and signals to communicate with consumers in the most appropriate way based on where they are in the path-to-purchase. Advertisers who continue to evolve their strategies with consumer experience and sentiment in mind (e.g. Amazon or Netflix data-based recommendations) will rise to the top.”
17. Dr. Dustin York, Director of Undergraduate and Graduate Communication at Maryville University
“The future of advertising is personalized and digitally experiential. The future will include:
Mixed reality, for example placing a Pottery Barn piece of furniture in your living room through a Facebook ad.
AI – advertisers spending less time on images and copy and more time on algorithms and machine learning that build those images and copy to target an individual’s interests and context.
- Organic placements of branded content and the use of micro-influencers and fandom.”
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