This article was originally posted on Marketing Magazine
With the holidays over, this is the time to reflect and fine-tune strategies for the year ahead. 2018 was a whirlwind of changes, and it continues to be a challenge differentiating your brand and maintaining trust in a world where everyone is vying for attention. The more you can stay ahead of the curve, the better equipped you will be to adapt to those changes as they occur. So what should advertisers and marketers start taking note of?
Ad Technology: Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is completely reshaping advertising as we know it, and is now a standard part of an advertising company’s repertoire. So how’s AI going to be different in 2019? For the past couple of years, it has been widely considered a transformative technology on the verge of disrupting every major industry; however, it hasn’t yet been implemented broadly enough to unlock its true value.
That’s all going to change. AI is expected to be widely adopted across the digital ad landscape in 2019, from being the basis for cutting-edge AI-based ad targeting solutions, to building personalized consumer experiences on a daily basis. Advertisers are even using AI in the production process: a recent survey found that almost two-thirds of enterprise marketers expect to use AI in their content marketing strategy this year, mostly to better understand their customers, drive productive and create personalized message
Sound of success
With colourful banner ads and video content competing for eyeballs, it can be easy for advertisers to forget about the power of audio. But as we enter 2019, this programmatic opportunity is becoming harder to ignore. In fact, audio takes up the largest proportion of mobile phone usage, with the average consumer listening for 52 minutes every day. Driven by growing mobile device ownership – and compounded by the rise in streaming radio, podcasts, audiobooks and voice assistants – digital audio is here to stay.
Spotify was an early-mover in offering programmatic audio, and other streaming services are following suit. Growing adoption rates among voice-activated smart home speakers and subscription services lend further momentum to this trend, and as these technologies evolve, so do the opportunities for brands to connect with audiences in new and exciting ways.
This year, digital audio is expected to reach marketplace maturity as an ad medium. If advertisers want to tap into today’s key trends and reach audiences more effectively, they need to consider programmatic audio as part of any well-rounded campaign.
The explosive growth of eCommerce
According to an eMarketer study, the ecommerce sector is estimated to experience double-digit growth until 2021, with sales expected to exceed $4 trillion by 2010. Few industries can boast such an illustrious future, and businesses need to initiate innovative changes to take advantage of the ecommerce boom, or risk falling behind.
In particular, expanding middle class populations, extensive mobile and internet penetration as well as improving logistics and infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific has led to it becoming the world’s largest retail ecommerce market, with sales expected to reach $2.725 trillion by 2020.
A surge in video content, personalized ads, advanced filtering and immersive digital experiences are just a few of the changes in ecommerce that will affect the advertising industry over the next few years. The potential here is massive, and if implemented correctly, can completely change how users interact with advertisements altogether.
Everything is now on-the-go (OTG)
Less than 50 years ago, mobile phones didn’t exist. But today, it’s near impossible to imagine life without one. In fact, an estimated 84% of people can’t go a single day without their phones! We use them on a daily basis for communicating, navigating and even shopping, dubbed mCommerce.
The Asia Pacific region is leading the drive for mCommerce, with India, Thailand and Indonesia having the highest mobile wallet adoption rates. Mobile payments in China alone dwarfed those in the U.S. by more than 25,000% over a recent 10-month period, with USD 12.8 trillion changing hands in China compared to only USD 49.3 billion in the U.S. The rate of adoption across sectors such as retail, financial and on-demand services –from food delivery to ride sharing – has played a crucial role in this rapid growth.
Before, it was mobile phones that drove more online screen time. But now the human behaviour of doing everything while on the go is driving mobile phones sales.
Less ads, more storytelling
A 2015 report by Nielsen found that respondents trusted recommendations from people they know the most. This was followed by branded websites, editorial content, such as newspaper articles, and consumer opinions posted online. By comparison, obvious advertisements trailed behind in the list of advertising format that people trusted.
Read the rest of the article on Marketing Magazine