The ad industry is charging forward at a rapid pace and only those companies who innovate will survive. This past year, we witnessed many innovations in the advertising arena, including the launch of Facebook’s real-time bidding platform Facebook Exchange (FBX), the introduction of real-time hashtag targeting, and multiple acquisitions. Therefore, brands and agencies alike are working diligently to determine the most efficient way to take advantage of this constantly evolving industry, and navigate the proliferation of new delivery channels and ad platforms.
In this rapidly evolving marketplace, I predict the following trends to come into fruition in 2013:
Companies Providing ROI Will Become Frontrunners in the Sector
With the abundance of unstructured data across the open Web, brands have been assiduously looking to measure social metrics in an accurate way. While tweets, likes, comments and mentions, determine the general engagement a consumer has with an advertiser, brands and agencies have yet to evaluate how these interactions ultimately drive a company’s bottom line growth, failing to convert existing social metrics into actual campaign ROI. In the next year, the companies that can create technologies to connect the dots between engagement and customer acquisition will become the leaders in the advertising sector.
Vertical Social Networks on the Rise
With the massive number of users on Facebook’s platform, the social media giant is expected to start charging users for its newsfeed information, as the noise to signal ratio continues to widen. If this happens as predicted, vertical social networks with a more niche focus will gain tremendous popularity in 2013. We’ve already seen this with sites like Pinterest for digital collections and Tumblr for picture blogging.
Increased Consolidation Is Coming
The online advertising industry has become overcrowded in the last several years, and consolidation in the market is inevitable. This will become apparent as strategic acquirers attempt to differentiate their offerings to reflect the latest adtech innovations. Some of these acquirers will already have ad tech offerings that they are looking to enhance, while others will choose the acquisition route to move into the sector instead of building their platforms from scratch.
Richer Mobile Interface will Increase Online Experience
It goes without being said that mobile has been an increasingly user-friendly experience over the past few years, with the rise of the smartphone, and advertisers have been taking advantage of this popular method of online consumption. According to a study conducted, 47% of mobile users between the ages of 18-34 were recorded saying that they have clicked on a mobile advertisement in the past 3 months, with 54% of users purchasing something from their mobile device in the last 6 months. In 2013, we expect to see the next generation of mobile networks support even richer, more creative online experiences for consumers, which will in turn create more opportunities for advertisers.
The Concept of Multichannel Advertising Becomes a Reality
Towards the end of last year, Google conducted a study, which found that consumers spend their time online spread between four primary media devices including TVs, computers, tablets, and smartphones. Some of this time is combined as 77 percent of respondents use another device while watching TV, and 90 percent use multiple screens sequentially to complete one task. This behavior presents a unique opportunity for brands to implement cross-channel campaigns. In the next year, ad campaigns that cross multiple channels will become commonplace.
Apple Introduces the Rumored AppleTV
Recently it’s been reported that the world’s most popular and arguably the most innovative tech and media company is testing television designs with major Asian component suppliers. In 2013, we predict that the new Apple TV will allow for a full screen experience, and in turn will spur a new ecosystem for developers and content creators that will disrupt Hollywood.
Over the past decade we’ve seen massive changes to the digital advertising industry, and in 2013, advertising technologies will continue to push the envelope, delivering solutions to advertisers that will allow them to connect more intelligently with their consumers. It will be essential for these vendors to continuously innovate and deliver actionable insights that advertisers can use to increase their bottom line. The increased focus on mobile, acquisitions in the sector, and emergence of vertical social networks are just a few of the game-changing events that will take place in the next year.
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