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Digital Advertising Trends to Watch in the Next 12 Months

What tech­nol­o­gy trends might be on the hori­zon? This past June, the Com­Score inter­net research firm pre­sent­ed data show­ing that mobile users of smart­phones and tablets will sur­pass desk­top users by 2014. This is con­sis­tent with a 2010 Mor­gan Stan­ley pre­dic­tion that mobile will out­pace desk­top usage with­in five years.

While it is pos­si­ble that the next “Google” or “Face­book” is already incu­bat­ing some­where in a col­lege dorm room, the more like­ly trend in the next twelve months will be the use of cur­rent tech­nol­o­gy in new ways. This in turn will influ­ence how dig­i­tal adver­tis­ing is approached and implemented.

Mobile Tech­nol­o­gy and Com­merce

More and more peo­ple are leav­ing the lap­top at home and rely­ing on their smart­phones and tablets for stay­ing con­nect­ed. This trend is already caus­ing a big change in media pref­er­ences and habits. Tablet users are get­ting their news dig­i­tal­ly, as evi­denced by the grow­ing pop­u­lar­i­ty of Apple’s News­stand. Users are more com­fort­able with a small­er screen for view­ing con­tent as simul­ta­ne­ous­ly screen res­o­lu­tion con­tin­ues to improve. Adver­tis­ers are tak­ing notice, craft­ing cam­paigns that cater to the mobile user.

Along with receiv­ing news and oth­er media on the go, users are shop­ping and doing busi­ness via mobile devices as well. Add-ons like Pay­Pal Wal­let, Google Wal­let and Square link deals, loca­tion and pur­chas­ing all in one place via smart­phones. The Jupiter Research group esti­mates that mobile com­merce will grow expo­nen­tial­ly by 2015 to $670 bil­lion in sales. Mar­ket­ing will fol­low suit as cam­paigns are craft­ed to com­ple­ment the mobile format.

The Cloud

It can’t be denied that the cloud is a huge trend in com­put­ing these these days. It allows for near-instan­ta­neous sync­ing of data and stay­ing cur­rent among all your devices, even with mul­ti­ple users. Adver­tis­ers are tak­ing notice; expect to see ads and con­tent that are har­mo­nized across all media plat­forms, from the desk­top and lap­top to tablets and smartphones.

The Evo­lu­tion of TV

Accord­ing to stats from Yahoo and Nielsen, 86% of TV watch­ers use a mobile device while watch­ing TV. Adver­tis­ers are tak­ing notice of the link between tele­vi­sion and web brows­ing, cre­at­ing plat­forms that engage the “sec­ond screen” audi­ence. Expect more of an inter­ac­tive expe­ri­ence between both screens, with high qual­i­ty stream­ing con­tent avail­able via mobile devices and a more and a more social­ly-engaged tele­vi­sion watch­ing experience.

Stay­ing Con­nect­ed in the Car

Auto man­u­fac­tur­ers are now includ­ing tech­nol­o­gy that can con­nect with the inter­net. This is cur­rent­ly accessed via the user’s smart­phone, but in the near future, the tech­nol­o­gy will be built right into the car. This trend is already impact­ing radio, and the future of AM/FM radio remains uncer­tain. Dri­vers can now access cus­tomized inter­net music sta­tions like Pan­do­ra, enjoy­ing dig­i­tal qual­i­ty music with far few­er inter­rup­tions. Pan­do­ra now com­pris­es 4% of all radio lis­ten­er­ship in the Unit­ed States. This brings them over $50 mil­lion quar­ter­ly in ad rev­enue, pri­mar­i­ly from mobile advertising.

New dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies con­tin­ue to emerge and evolve, chang­ing the way mar­ket­ing is approached. The advent of the inter­net age marked one turn­ing point in adver­tis­ing trends; Google emerg­ing as a search jug­ger­naut was anoth­er. More recent­ly, the devel­op­ment of social media in all its per­mu­ta­tions has had a big influ­ence on mar­ket­ing approach­es. Only time will tell what’s next, but the trends dis­cussed here are almost cer­tain to impact dig­i­tal adver­tis­ing going forward.

Pho­to cour­tesy of Wikipedia Commons

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