The Future of Business Advertising

October 9, 2010
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your-advert-hereThe global economy is naturally all about buying and selling and as such advertising is the lifeblood of the economy.  SME’s still tend to adopt more traditional forms of advertising such as directories, newspapers, radio ads etc as they are (generally) cost effective in comparison to their marketing budgets.

However national and global brands with multi million pound A&P budgets are increasingly looking for more creative and innovative ways to promote themselves and stand out in an increasingly competitive market place.

Take the popular US magazine Entertainment Weekly for example, who debuted video advertising in its September 09 edition by placing wafer-thin screens embedded in its pages that promoted CBS TV shows and Pepsi.  Gimmick or not, it demonstrated the corporate desire to innovate and appear current.

The traditional advertising model will be around for a long time yet, however the future of advertising clearly lies in digital mediums.  Google executive, Nikesh Arora, recently stated “People are shifting their spending dollars more and more to the online world – whether it be direct marketing, advertising, or branding and that follows industrial marketing logic, which is that you have to go where the eyeballs are, where the customers are”.  That coupled with the fact that for advertisers digital ad platforms allow accurate performance tracking, which is something offline advertising has always struggled with.

DOOH (Digital Out Of Home) advertising is an up and coming area with some really innovative concepts being developed.  French marketing technology firm Quividi are developing digital signage displays that have built in cameras that instantly identify a passer by’s age and gender using a facial recognition system and then delivers a product that it feels is appropriate – think Minority Report!

We already know what a valuable commodity ‘Consumer Data’ is and its link to effective contextualisation of ad messages / message customisation and therefore it is a natural progression that DOOH advertising will follow suit and the worth of digital signage will be as much in its ability to gather data as in its ad revenues.

Taking the idea of digital targeted outdoor advertising even further, Holosonics, a US based technology company has developed something called the audio spotlight, aptly named because it can create a tight, narrow beam of sound that can be controlled with the same precision as a torch onto a small area over 60ft away.  The DOOH market has naturally taken to this as it enables advertisers to accurately deliver not only their visual, but now also their audio message into a very targeted area.

So what of the online world?

Facebook:

With over 400 million active users on Facebook, this channel is potentially an advertisers wet dream, particularly as Facebook offers advertisers the opportunity to reach targeted and engaged audiences through Facebook ads. These ads are targeted at users based on their likes and interests rather than their searches and although still in its infancy, businesses are now investigating and trialling campaigns to work out how to effectively leverage Facebook ads into their online spend.

In Game Advertising:

Following on from the initial rush with advertising in ‘virtual worlds’ such as ‘SecondLife’.  Advertisers are starting to really understand the benefits of advertising within the gaming community and are being very creative.  For example, Zygna (the creator of Farmville) with a current valuation  of $4 billion are offering an new approach to in game advertising by incentivizing users to ‘interact with adverts’ by completing brand related tasks such as filing in a form or watching a video, in order to be rewarded with ‘virtual currencies’ to use within their game.

With the global gaming industry achieving over $56 billion in revenues it is fast becoming an important focus for media planners, particularly with the growth of social gaming (i.e. on Facebook).  As this area matures, advertisers will be able to utilise in game advertising across different platforms.

Twitter:

Twitter has at last announced the first of its money-making ventures through advertising, with its ‘Promoted Tweets’.  Twitter has teemed up with a number of commercial partners such as Disney/Pixar and Starbucks enabling them to place a ‘promoted tweet’ at the top of a ‘trending topic’ on the results page, with the aim to roll ‘promoted tweets’ out across live conversations once they have a better understanding of the users experience and advertiser value.

Twitter are measuring this first phase of ‘promoted tweets’ to ensure that they are useful to visitors (resonance).  Whether they ‘resonate’ with users will be measured by whether users interact with them, retweet them etc.  Twitter has stated that any ‘Promoted Tweets’ that do not resonate with users will not be allowed to continue. With over 4 billion tweets posted in the first quarter of 2010 alone, this is definitely one to keep an eye on and we at Wampit will be watching this space with interest.

Mobile:

Mobile ad spend rose by a third to 32% between 2008 and 2009, with brands from the entertainment, media and telecoms sectors spending the largest amounts on the medium, according to the IAB and PricewaterhouseCoopers.   The UK spent 36.7m in the UK in 2009 despite a contraction in the advertising market in general.

So what next for mobile advertising?  It seem that it’s all about Location, Location, Location with ‘Location Based Advertising’ (LBA).  These are mobile adverts which target users based on their GPS location and have the potential to represent anything from a coupon for a coffee shop around the corner from where you are standing or a car dealer that has the same make and model of car as the one you where searching for on Auto Trader last night…   Advertisers could even target a banner advert aimed at a certain demographic that would only appear if you were in the vicinity of their business.  Although the market seems relatively small at the moment, the potential for growth is massive.

If all of that seems too ‘out there’ for your business, you could always contact Andrew Fischer at http://www.humanadspace.com/ – The first man to officially e-bay his forehead as advertising space – Genius!

Or if that doesn’t interest you, take a look at Wampit our established UK Directory with over 355,000 businesses listed.  We offer free business advertising including text, images, video and live Twitter feeds and it only takes a minute to register and create your free advert.

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