The Futurist: 7 new developments for digital in 2016

We think there are seven developments that will be predominant forces in 2016 for digital marketing, although many of these will require more time than just a year to gain mainstream adoption.

1. Developing and acting on one view of consumers – across their devices, media and channels – will become a broad initiative.

Marketers are finally beginning to recognise the importance of reaching and recognising actual consumers within a privacy framework, where consumers have control of their information. The move towards a single consumer view will shake up the part of the industry that remains focused on connecting devices and cookies.

2. An increasing number of marketers will want to activate their offl ine CRM data online.

In doing so, they will recognise the limitations of existing solutions, including DMPs, toward achieving that goal. This realisation will force agencies and ad-tech companies to fi nd ways to prevent data loss as marketers’ data moves from one system to the next.

3. CMOs working with ad-tech companies will make incremental measurement a must-have” as they start weighing the incremental effect on an ad versus brand equity in driving conversions.

The new requirement will create anxiety, fear and uncertainty for those companies using clicks as a convenient way of measurement.

4. Measurement companies will fi nally catch up to measuring consumer action on social media, attracting marketers to channels beyond Facebook and Twitter.

It’s hard to predict what social channels will emerge as the next big thing, but new forms of measurement suggest new opportunities for marketers and publishers.

5. The focus on viewability will evolve into a discussion of ad quality, a measurement that includes fraud, brand safety and viewability.

The debate on viewability is actually going to draw to a close, and the conversation is going to start shifting to what really matters: ad quality. We talk about viewability as if it exists separately from ad fraud and brand safety. They are important on their own, but it’s the sum of the parts – ad quality – that leads to greater results. Focusing on viewability in the absence of ad quality will lead you to unintended outcomes.

6. Marketers will want to apply the learnings from their ad campaigns to other types of marketing campaigns.

This will require ad-tech companies to work with them like marketing-solution partners, as opposed to single-point solutions.

7. Ad blocking is going to evolve into a solution that works for consumers, publishers and marketers.

A viable ad blocking solution has to address the needs of all three parties. Today, if consumers’ ad experiences don’t meet their expectations, they always have an option to use ad blocking tools. However, these tools typically block all ads without any criteria for their relevance to the consumer. That’s not a sustainable model, because advertising subsidises most of the content and services available on the internet. Marketers might not be affected in the short term as they typically pay for the delivered ads. But over time, marketers that are truly consumercentric will have an advantage. They will still be able to reach their consumers through channels that are available to them.

Raju Malhotra is SVP of products, Conversant

This article was first published in Marketing Magazine Singapore’s Jan-Feb 2016 print edition. To read more views from senior marketers click here.

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