Episode 9: What’s Next For Digital Advertising

By Jennifer Choo

KEY TAKEAWAY

Modern consumer demand has accelerated the need for digital advertisers to pivot their strategies towards a mobile-first, omnichannel, more personalized approach.  To successfully adapt, media marketers must create deeper digital connections, better tailor their ad development, and leverage new platforms and technologies while adhering to a transparent privacy-first approach.

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In our last episode of our Marketing During Covid blog series, we covered the Pivots in Data Utilization for Marketing in a Post Covid World. In this episode we will continue our conversation on the shifts in the industry by discussing the effects the pandemic has had on the media marketing world and what’s next for digital advertising.

Initially, the digital advertising industry’s future looked bleak, with many companies cutting advertising and marketing budgets in an attempt to offset potential losses in an uncertain future.

However, worldwide lockdowns did not prove to be the death of the media buy, but rather sparked an evolution in digital-mobile first strategy and the acceleration of consumer awareness of data collection and privacy.

As this became clear, digital advertisers across the industry began to pivot their strategy to meet consumer demand. In addition, new conversations around consumer data and privacy have evolved into new policy rollouts that will change the way successful marketing and advertising strategies are executed.  Agile teams are implementing strategies to ensure the success of their digital advertising initiatives while adapting and adhering to a privacy-first environment. 

Creating Deeper Digital Connections

After close to a year and a half of innovating advertising and marketing to suit a homebound consumer market, many industryleading brands have seen a need for deeper digital connections for both consumers and marketing teams alike. Many are building media ecosystems that allow for more indepth end-to-end data tracking. 

“Utilizing machine-learning and automation in user acquisition is only likely to accelerate in adoption. Many digital networks are introducting more products relying on machine-learning to best optimize companies’ user acquisition activity.”

Brands like Walmart have shifted their omnichannel efforts to link on screen impression rates to in store visits leveraging apps like Waze. Other big players in the ecommerce stratosphere like Amazon have optimized their advertising data tracking capabilities to hone in on relevant consumers for brands. Creating lookback windows for browsing history and correlating online shopping interests to their advertising clients products in a more detailed way. 
 
Efforts like this have allowed marketing and advertising teams to better hone in on their ideal customer markets. In addition, the customer journey can be tracked and analyzed in a deeper way, allowing teams to link digital footprints to the physical. Allowing for a better understanding of consumer interests and patterns resulting in more intelligent advertising and marketing strategies. 

Leveraging New Platforms

The pandemic has ushered forth the need to leverage a wider variety of platforms across more and more devices.  With device usage and screen time soaring during lockdowns to the highest numbers in history, many marketing teams began expanding their omnichannel advertising, leveraging new and different platforms to meet the increasing demand of a mobile-first behavior driven consumer market. 

In addition, ecommerce became a necessity and reaching more potential buyers has been a hot button topic across the marketing world. Leveraging new popular social platforms like Tik Tok, Instagram Reels and Snapchat, as well as an increase in the utilization of streaming networks and gaming platforms like Twitch, has become standard practice in media marketing. 

“Omnichannel advertising is becoming more and more of a reality. What has been restricted to desktop and mobile will become available for the (connected) TV, audio, gaming, and on high street with digital out of home.”

The Reign of First Party Data

Top of everyone’s minds when it comes to marketing and advertising is the death of the third party cookie. With its demise will come the reign of first party data. This will make data collection, analysis and utilization more important than ever before with an emphasis on compliance to new emerging data privacy laws. 

In fact, many leaders in the ad industry believe that data will play a bigger role within programmatic advertising with innovative privacy-friendly data collection strategies at its core. Developing solutions for a privacyfirst environment will be crucial as consumer awareness of data collection continues to increase and new policies to protect them emerge across the industry. Companies who adapt their strategies effectively will come out on top as they continue to acquire and build strong relationships with their customers.

Leveraging The Power of AI

AI and automation are increasingly becoming a major factor in digital advertising strategies. As AI and automation capabilities evolve, so must their utilization within media marketing.  Advertising and marketing teams who wish to keep up with consumer demand for more personalized messaging and maintain their ability to scale look to these adaptive technologies for optimization. 

In many cases, automation strategies are being leveraged on the back end of media marketing to streamline processes like order-to-cash and campaign management.  AI is being optimized across a number of platforms to help digital advertisers better reach their ideal customers, perpetuate brand loyalty and power multivariate ad creation and creative

Teams who are adapting and leveraging these advances in automation and AI are reaching and obtaining more relevant clients at a faster rate than ever before. Not only that, automation strategies are freeing up time for many teams. This means they will be able to better analyze and leverage the information AI utilization data is providing on their consumers to better optimize their strategies to directly increase their ROI.

Tailored Ad Development

Increasing demand for more personalization from the digital and mobile emerged consumer market means more focus on hyper-tailored ad development. This not only applies to when, where and to whom ads are displayed but also to the creative elements of the ads and how they resonate with consumers. 

Advances in AI are helping teams to analyze multiple creative elements of ads at once, leading to a better ad creative development strategy. Teams utilizing this type of AI data can create a multitude of ad variations thus better tailoring ads to micro-subsets of consumers.  A practice that appeals to the modern consumer and allows for brands to better engage their ideal customer through ads that resonate on a more personal level.

Apart from tailoring creatives to consumers, media marketing teams must also tailor their ad placements to the most relevant for each of their audience segments. To do this, many are utilizing programmatic AI methodologies to create personalized and optimized ad experiences for a variety consumers across multiple devices and platforms.  

In Summary

After a year and a half of lockdowns and isolation, consumer demand has accelerated a need for digital advertisers to adapt their strategies towards a more digital, mobile-first and personalized approach. To meet the ever-growing demand, media marketers must create deeper digital connections, tailor their ad development, and leverage new platforms and technologies while adhering to a transparent privacy-first approach.
 
Teams who are adapting as the market shifts will prosper if they follow the trends, listen to their customers and leverage the technologies at their disposal. 
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