4 key media trends for 2015

With the average Asia Pacific user now spending more than seven hours daily on their television, computer and other mobile devices, 2015 will be a crucial year for brands and retailers looking to keep pace in today’s multi-screen environment.

SingTel Advertising, a media platform under Group Digital L!fe, which offers integrated digital advertising solutions, analysed up-and-coming advertising technology and attitudes from local marketing professionals, and emerged with insights for the coming year that signal a definitive move towards agility marketing.

Anthony Shiner (pictured), SingTel Advertising’s chief revenue officer, said: “A personalised experience is now a prerequisite for consumers when they decide to connect with brands. Digital and mobile media have created a different, more elusive consumer with ever-changing short-term thinking and who live across multiple screens.

“The brands of 2015 will need to persist with an integrated marketing approach, have ever more consumer data and be agile – shifting and adapting to meet the specific needs of individual consumers in real-time.”

Shiner predicts four key trends for 2015:

1. Television advertising’s new-found relevance

In 2014, television evolved into an all-encompassing category: one that streams internet video content on computers and mobile devices, as well as broadcasts on-demand entertainment via set-top boxes and connected TVs.

Sensing the platform’s renaissance, local marketers have indicated a desire towards increased TV ad spend in 2015, largely fuelled by the coming of age of TV audience targeting, as well as the pay-TV industry’s shift in focus, from “media-selling” to “audience-selling”.

With new technology, buying TV ad space to target generic audiences has become an outdated approach. It is now possible to aggregate TV data and draw deeper consumer behaviour insights. These insights can then inform TV operators’ programming decisions to attract more viewers, create new segmentations in real-time based on consumer viewing behaviour, and provide niche audience targeting options for advertisers.

2. Wearable technology will become the fifth screen

2014 saw gadgets such as the Microsoft Band, Sony SmartWatch and the Samsung Galaxy Gear watch range start to make their way into customers hands.

While some may dismiss wearable technology as a passing fad, others acknowledge its game-changing potential – the ability to utterly disrupt the modern business world and possibly become the “fifth screen” after TVs, PCs, smartphones, and tablets. Marketing professionals in Singapore, especially those in the healthcare industry, expect that in the next five years, integrated advertising strategies will evolve to prominently include wearable technology.

“Wearable technology is at the heart of just about every discussion related to the internet of things and the new capabilities pervasive connectivity can bring,” Shiner said.

“A recent market research report from Mind Commerce LLC estimated that global spending on wearable devices will grow from US$9 billion in 2014 to reach US$218 billion in 2019. In the next few years, we expect consumers of all profiles will come to rely on wearable devices and the data they generate.

“Designed to be worn close to the body, these gadgets can be used to monitor vital signs and movement. This presents businesses with opportunities on two levels. First, to create applications on wearable devices that collect and analyse data to understand consumers better, and second, to create personalised content that can engage consumers on their wearable devices.”

3. Analytics gets even more advanced

In line with 80% of marketers expecting mobile to become the most powerful marketing tool in Singapore by 2015, brands have already adopted unifying data management platforms such as Lotame, which enable data from digital and mobile brand interactions to be analysed as a whole.

According to local marketing professionals, 2015 will see them continue to pursue the holy grail of advertising technology: the ability to store, aggregate and make sense of large data volumes collected from multiple sources in multiple formats.

After unifying data from digital and mobile brand interactions, the next step will be the integration of both location-based data collected from “data-points” across Singapore, as well as return-path data from pay-TV set-top boxes.

“Imagine a local pub where football fans congregate to watch the Barclays Premier League (BPL) every Saturday evening. Collectively, the fans’ mobile phone data would provide insights into the number of people visiting the location during that time, and their profile in terms of age and gender,” Shiner said.

“During half-time, a fan might then navigate online on his mobile phone to purchase a Liverpool jersey. Cross-platform data, collated and automatically coded to ensure anonymity, will then indicate the BPL programme incites a certain online browsing or purchasing behaviour.

“As a result, a Liverpool jersey retailer can optimise out-of-home ad placements and location-based mobile ads to target the right audience in the right place and at the right time.”

4. Everyone needs a marketing technologist

Research and consulting firm Gartner predicted that by 2017, a company’s chief marketing officer would spend more on technology than its chief information officer. Marketing is rapidly becoming one of the most technology dependent functions in business.

Almost all marketing professionals indicated their organisations are looking to hire a person or vendor who can align marketing technology with business goals, serve as a partner to IT, and also evaluate and select relevant, user-centric advertising technology tools.

“Moving forward, the most effective marketer in a multi-screen era will be the marketing technologists, the individuals with digital marketing DNA and technology acumen.

“They will be in the perfect position to influence how user-centric advertising strategies can be developed and applied. Many brands, especially those from the FMCG industry, requested ‘marketing technologist-type’ of strategy counsel from us in 2014.

“We’ve responded by hiring a team of data scientists and integrating them with digital advertising experts, ensuring that the ‘marketing technologist’ is not a role confined to one person, but is a mindset across our company and the entire industry.”