The Future of Advertising report
Our key findings
The race for consumer attention is more competitive than ever. In today’s fractured landscape, brands do not simply compete with other businesses, they also compete against every viral video, social update and mobile alert encountered. This makes it incredibly difficult for traditional content producers, marketers and brands to reach their target audience, and even harder to compel them to act. Read our key findings on The Future of Advertising report by trends and innovation agency PSFK below.
Change is the only constant
For the past century, a captive audience shaped marketing strategies across all disciplines and channels. Awareness was almost fully guaranteed. The real hurdle was intention. The digital ecosystem has largely reversed the notion of a captive audience. Savvy consumers can simply choose to ignore or block the irrelevant marketing that is being pushed their way. Spending on digital video advertising increased almost 60% in 2014 from the previous year. But during the same period, the number of ad-blocking users rose 124% from 54 million to 121 million. The advertising industry needs to change if it wants to build meaningful relationships between brands and their customers.
Attention is currency
As consumers go about their busy lives, brands must create truly engaging stories and capitalize upon in-between micro-moments to capture attention from other content. Whether scrolling through social media in a checkout line or watching videos during a morning commute, these split-second opportunities of attention provide the perfect context for concise, targeted engagements. Media brand Hearst, publisher of high-fashion magazines Elle and Harper’s Bazaar, has brought couture curating to Snapchat with a GIF lookbook. These GIFs offer the inspiration of flipping through a curated fashion magazine, but in the user’s convenient moments.
Relevance is contextual
Brand messages are only as relevant to consumers as the context in which they appear. Messages and experiences tailored to time, place and behavior spark increasingly meaningful interactions. A good example of contextual messaging is Nike’s apparel advertisements, which are suited to local weather conditions. When people check the Weather Channel to find out whether it’s going to rain, they may see ads for reflective running vests and thermal base layers.
Perspective is impermanent
At any given moment, a viewer may be interpreting media through the lens of multiple roles – parent, athlete, professional. Media platforms such as virtual reality, 360-degree video and livestreaming invite audiences to step outside themselves and control the lens. A wonderful example comes from pain reliever brand Excedrin. They created an augmented reality experience to help family members understand what their loved ones feel during a migraine, so they would be able to offer more accurate support. Another, less expensive example comes from tech firm GE. They offered audiences a look behind the scenes of their jet engines and wind turbines by livestreaming drone footage to their social media accounts.
Media talks back
Consumers have the power to shape the messages that reach them and can choose how and when to engage. Therefore, brand experiences need to be tailored to each consumer. Quartz’s mobile news app does exactly that. It uses artificial intelligence to communicate the news in everyday language. By conversing with users, Quartz’s app can give more information when asked, or go to the next topic, encouraging readers to engage with the news on a more informal basis. Another example of increasing customer engagement is to organize social media-driven press conferences. US football team The Miami Dolphins livestreamed a conference after a game and fans could post their questions to have them answered during the live conference. This initiative established a stronger connection between fans and the team.
Learning breeds loyalty
With a passion for DIY projects and self-improvement, consumers seek out content that helps them to accomplish goals, manage tasks and make the most out of their purchases. This forms an opportunity for brands. They can transform their own R&D initiatives and industry expertise into educational messaging that helps customers optimize product experiences. Companies who openly share knowledge with audiences earn their attention, trust and loyalty. That’s why Scotch brand The Macallan uses its social media channels to teach audiences how to best enjoy their craftsmanship, or why oatmeal brand Quaker Oats has partnered with Amazon’s Alexa to help consumers make delicious oat recipes.
New rules of engagement
Within The Future of Advertising report, PSFK describes the new rules to building consumer engagement. To increase share of voice, companies must reframe content to provide direct value for consumers. Brands that share advice, experiences or compelling narratives invite individuals to seek out their content rather than force exposure. This report proves once again that traditional advertising is broken. That’s why Brandhome continues to deepen its focus on brand-driven business consulting. We’ve been building brands for almost 20 years, and we’ll continue doing so in the future.