Despite a surge in adblocking technology and an evolution in how consumers interact with ads, display advertising shows no signs of slowing down in 2016. Anthony Capano, managing director of Rakuten Marketing APAC, shares his thoughts on three key trends and how to use them to make the most of your display strategy in an evolving landscape.
According to reports from IAB Australia, display advertising is growing 53 per cent year on year, compared to other forms of digital advertising such as search, which grew 21 per cent. Display spend is being driven by the testing of new social, video, and rich media ad formats.
The trends for display point to improvisation and creativity as marketers tackle industry challenges head-on, in order to improve performance and ROI goals. There are three things to keep in mind as the industry works to future-proof their display strategies.
The in-app opportunity
When people are using apps, specifically Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest, they’re in a mind-set of discovery – they aren’t necessarily looking for an item, however, they’re open to what they may find, in a similar way to if they were to be browsing a magazine
The highly-targeted ability of apps, and the continuous evolution of ad formats on mobile, such as multi-product and video ads, feel natural to the consumer, and have been proven to drive higher engagement rates.
Moreover, taking advantage of the amount of time users spend scrolling through platforms like social feeds and news apps will provide quality native placement prospects. The act of continuous scrolling in itself should become a focal point for advertisers looking to seamlessly place display content.
Providing an occasion to engage a targeted and receptive audience, the in-app opportunity can also be used to help combat adblocking. Adblocking is a growing concern for marketers that certainly won’t disappear in 2016. However, rather than having it become a stress point, it should be viewed as an exciting opportunity to engage with people in new ways and in new environments.
With Australian consumers spending significantly more time on mobile apps than on the mobile web, redirecting ad spend, and investing in in-app advertising, can provide an opportunity to reach consumers and soften the blow of adblocking.
Borderless mobile advertising
The other interesting trend to keep a close eye on will be that of the shapeshifting mobile advertising industry, and the Internet of Things. The future of mobile advertising will cease to be confined to the devices that people can hold in their hands. Instead, it will be defined by the brand experiences that consumers demand.
I like to think of this as a ‘borderless advertising ecosystem,’ where advertising networks will extend to wearables, cars, and even our household appliances. This borderless theme of advertising, where geo-location services and connected devices become more ubiquitous, will mean there are ever-more opportunities for advertisers to be creative with display. For example, a smart fridge could tell you when you are out of supplies, and even go online to shop on your behalf.
Fostering a data-driven environment
Attribution continues to be one of the most challenging areas for advertisers. In order to future-proof your display strategy, it is important to begin data-crunching; this will assist you measure, allocate spend, and prove ROI.
Consumers want personalised, relevant, and engaging experiences, regardless of the channel or device they choose to complete the next step of their shopping journey. The challenge comes with recognising how much each channel contributed to the ultimate decision to convert. Understanding this vital data will demonstrate the value of your channels, allow you to optimise where appropriate, and redistribute resources and budget where required.
“Spray and pray” approaches have been passé for quite some time – display advertising must foster a data-driven environment where marketers can collect, process, and provide data across both devices and segments, with the end goal to understand (and evaluate) all marketing influences on the user.
It is now up to marketers to seek out advertising partners that have the ability to deliver the right message, at the right time and on the right device.