Digital advertising, at its root, is no different than any other advertising. The location and the ability to customize (target) simply changes. Ultimately, advertising is about reaching the right person, at the right time, on the right channel, with the right message. That message should relate to that consumers current situation and wants and needs, regardless of where Maslow’s hierarchy may position those needs.
I believe that in the future, digital advertising will be assisted by three main advancements in technology. Some may argue that these advancements constitute an invasion of privacy. While this may be a legitimate concern, the popularity of TikTok, known to provide private end user data to China, and the absolute willingness that people have to join the platform, seems to indicate that individual concerns of privacy are waning, quickly. (Baker-White, 2022)
Augmented Reality Headsets
In contrast with Virtual Reality, which creates and immersive experience, blocking out the view of the real world around the user, Augmented Reality takes the world we see, and provides digital overlays of information that we can see, while not impeding our site. The dystopian Total Recall presented a world where advertising was everywhere in a city, in 3D and even personalized form. Unlike this fantasy movie, AR of today and the foreseeable future will be based on wearing some form of glasses, providing projection of imagery and possible audio information to the wearer. Google Glasses of the past, and Apple’s new Apple AR Glasses (to be released in 2025), show promise in providing us personalized, meaningful experiences as consumers that benefit both the advertiser and the purchaser. Ventana Research released a study in 2022 stating: “AR-enabled visualization of vehicles, equipment, furniture and appliances means buyers can examine hidden features or operate and evaluate the product with unprecedented autonomy.” (Ventana Research, 2022) This Try-before-Buy experience, like that of Home Depot and Wayfair, where products can be placed in your space using a mobile device camera, will explode when adapted to normal sight (through the glasses) where you are immersed into the experience, not just looking through your mobile screen.
The level of personalization in digital advertising becomes more and more important, as we view mass marketing efforts as noise. Audience of one printed direct mail pieces, that are unique to us as consumers, do far better than the traditional “spray and pray” of mass email/direct mail marketing. Similarly, digital advertising experiences will unlock enormous benefits in marketing, using AR. According to Forbes, “Programmatic advertising, messaging and marketing (using AR) at the individual level is one of marketing’s ‘holy grails.'” (Forbes Expert Panel, 2021)
Machine Learning, Big Data and AI
As we collect more data, such as not only your search history, but what you said in front of Alexa or Siri, what you watched on your Smart TV and even where you went with your geo-tracing smart phone, the best marketers will focus on personalization of the digital experience. What you like and when you like it requires AI at best, and machine learning at minimum. Taking such large troves of data, and turning it into meaningful digital ad experiences, requires scale. Programming which offers, digital assets (images, copy, fonts and even colors) and channels are needed to present an idea to a targeted consumer requires Big Data and great programming. Some have predicted that by 2025, more than “150 trillion GB of data will need analysis….It’s safe to say that very soon all marketing efforts will need to invest in online software specifically geared toward handling big data” (Simpson, 2020)
Artificial Intelligence takes the target marketing based on analyzing data to a new level – prediction. Predicting consumer patterns and needs based on analysis now leverages the human psyche in an ominous way. According to one marketing data analytics expert, “Artificial Intelligence drives computers to draw predictive patterns, generate accurate advertising campaigns, and formulate responsive feedback mechanisms…From advertising to sales, AI has taken the field of target marketing multiple notches higher and will continue to do so.” (Rawat, 2021)
Voice-Search Based Content Strategies
According to Gartner, over 30% of ALL browsing sessions included voice search at the end of 2020. (Poperechnaya, 2021). At issue, and the need for a tech strategy to address it, is the fact that search logic, when using spoken word language, requires a more simple framing of content that matches the search criteria.
Content for a voice based search needs to be conversational in nature, rather than keyword driven. As most voice searches are full sentences, the matching of that full sentence, as much as possible, is critical to getting a specific search hit (advertisement or website) in front of the searcher. (Brenner, 2018) This creates a challenge to marketers who have been comfortable with AdWords buys that focus on phrases or keywords, instead leading to true content management across all digital platforms.
Baker-White, E. (2022, June 17). US TikTok User Data Has Been Repeatedly Accessed From China, Leaked Audio Shows. BuzzFeed News; BuzzFeed News. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/emilybakerwhite/tiktok-tapes-us-user-data-china-bytedance-access
Ventana Research. (2022). Augmented Reality is Changing Marketing and Sales Supercharging Sales through Digital Innovation. (n.d.). https://www.ptc.com/-/media/Files/PDFs/Augmented-Reality/Ventana_Research_White_Paper_PTC_Augmented_Reality_is_Changing_Marketing_and_Sales_2022.pdf
Forbes Expert Panel. (2021, August 31). Council Post: 11 Ways VR And AR Stand To Impact Advertising, Marketing And PR. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2021/08/31/11-ways-vr-and-ar-stand-to-impact-advertising-marketing-and-pr/?sh=118090635201
Simpson, J. (2020, January 17). Council Post: The Past, Present And Future Of Big Data In Marketing. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2020/01/17/the-past-present-and-future-of-big-data-in-marketing/?sh=13fcda695da9
Rawat, S. (2021). Target Marketing using AI: Strategies and Benefits | Analytics Steps. AnalyticsSteps. https://www.analyticssteps.com/blogs/target-marketing-using-ai-strategies-and-benefits
Poperechnaya, A. (2021, September 3). Marketing Technology Trends in 2022. Sloboda Studio. https://sloboda-studio.com/blog/marketing-tech-trends/
Brenner, M. (2018, September 10). How Voice Search Is Impacting Content Marketing? – Marketing Insider Group. Marketing Insider Group. https://marketinginsidergroup.com/content-marketing/how-voice-search-impact-content-marketing/