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.
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.
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