Marketers: Learn to Live in Walled Gardens and Messaging

Such a great post on Ad Age about what happened at Apple’s WorldWide Developer Conference:

Apple, Google and others build products that in some way shape how people use technology, and those products in turn must adapt to trends in consumer behavior. Recent trends include: how notifications are becoming the most powerful way to reach consumers with time-sensitive updates; the shift toward messaging apps as the main conduits for communication and content sharing; connected devices getting better at delivering clear value propositions to consumers (save money, protect your home, etc.) and heralding a new wave of innovation; and shifting screen sizes forcing creatives to take usability best practices from tiny screens such as smartwatches and apply them to increasingly larger screens such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and smart TVs. Marketers still prioritizing big, klunky website builds over nimble mobile web and app development might as well be formatting their media to be viewed best on fax machines.

Apparently, many in the advertising industry are wringing their hands about everything from new privacy initiatives to new services. But this has happened before, and it’s all just something to learn. The consumer is still out there needing information on products and services, and ad agencies are still in business to create campaigns to give it to her.

Here’s what we know is happening that brands and agencies have to work with.  Apple now has three different operating systems,  Mac OSX El Capitan for the desktop and laptop, IOS9 coming to iPads and iPhones, and Watch OS2 — all these systems are in developer beta now and will roll out in the fall. That will mean marketers must learn how to work within the confines and privileges of the new and improved Apple walled garden, especially in the app space. Some brands will be designing watch apps, while others will be considering messaging apps as a means of reaching consumers. Advertising will take on a new meaning. Creative will have to change. Even the process of serving ads will have to change. We will have to think about formats that suit the new capabilities of the operating systems, like split screens on mobile.

Some existing companies, perhaps Spotify, Pandora, Flipboard, and Hopstop,  will be affected by Apple’s announcements about News, Music, Maps and Siri. Others will slightly shift focus. Most of us who take all the Apple apps and file them in a folder called Apple on our home screens will continue to use what we’ve been using. It’s not that easy to predict where the future is going, but the consumer is not going away and neither is advertising.

The part of the advertising business that’s fun is the communications part, not the technology part. The technology is just a tool or a platform. And if you didn’t already know this, Google’s developer conference the week before posited equally liberating or threatening changes, depending on how you choose to view them.

Marketers, you are going to have to learn to live within the walled gardens of mobile systems, and with messaging or notifications as your way to reach consumers.!