You can’t afford not to be ready for the next big thing in digital…

We all wish we had a crystal ball when it comes to what the future of digital holds. On my recent trip to ad:tech Australia I thought I’d focus on all the sessions that talked about exactly that – the next big thing. Here are the main insights that came from these sessions, some very thought provoking opinions and insights I’m sure you’ll agree.

1. The Future of Online Advertising is All About Relevance, presented by Marin Software. This was largely about how the new era of “audience marketing’ is driving relevance. The key insights from this:

  • Search will become even more targeted as we have even more data available on our customers.
  • Using 3rd party audience data, we can create more targeted PPC campaigns that are relevant to each individual user.
  • Like performance display and social, we will be bidding based on who the user is, not just what keyword they are searching for.
  • We will see an increase in strategies, tactics and platforms that can manage this area in the coming year.

2. Tomorrow’s Technology Today: Google Glass, iBeacons and smart watches – media hype or game changers?, presented by b2cloud. Josh shared his experience and insights on the latest new and emerging platforms and offered ideas on the best approach for marketers in 2014 and beyond.

  • Wearable technology is the future (watches, bands, necklaces) and people are already embracing them to enrich their everyday lives.
  • iBeacon’s allow companies to engage with their customers in-store at a time and place that is relevant to the customer.
  • These new technologies open new doors for advertisers with regards to creating very relevant user experiences for their customers.
Google Glass and Smart Watch
Image courtesy of Google

As leading companies and marketers in this ever-changing, fast paced industry, it’s important that you start to think about these new technologies, and start testing in this space. You should test new targeting methods and messaging for your customers as they, themselves, start to explore these new technologies. If you wait for these products to hit the mainstream before testing, it will be too late. It’s better to invest a small budget now, gain insights from learnings and continue to evolve your strategy over time, so that your brand is ready when these products become mainstream.

3. Data Disruption – The Next Five Years, presented by Tony Davis from Quantium.

  • Understanding online AND offline behaviour will continue to be the focus for the next five years and this will open doors and create innovation around technology.
  • By truly understanding consumer behaviour, you can adapt your strategies and marketing budgets to align with their behaviour, rewarding your brand with a higher ROI
  • Data will continue to drive insights and strategy and it’s important to have the right tools and Data Management Platforms in place allowing management of audiences. This will then drive more advanced targeting, both onsite and through online media.

As a leading marketer for a premium brand, you need to consider the future and gear up for the next shift.

Data holds the key to understanding customers. Ensure you have the right tools and platforms in place now and start analysing this data to gain valuable insights into user behaviour. This will allow you to better target your customers (new and existing) at the right time and in the right place with a message that is relevant to them.

Mass marketing is a thing of the past and the future is about creating more advanced strategies that reward both your customers and your bottom line.

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