Happy New Year!
2014 finished with a sense that we were on the verge of something big, and that the end of the year arrived before we had time to complete a big
leap into a more satisfying environment for advertisers. After all, through most of 2014, brands and their agencies were uncertain about how
to commit their budgets, how to target consumers, and throughout most of the year, how to buy.
All that will become more clear in 2015, according to our crystal ball. And here is why:
1)The shift to mobile will have occurred. Last year, we were right in the middle of the shift, with consumers moving to mobile quickly, and
advertising dollars chasing them. The gap was widening, because consumer trends moved more rapidly than ad budgets. By 2015, we will know for a certainty that that mobile has become the place where consumers spend the most time, unless they are confined during the day to an office. And that, too, is changing, with jobs and work schedules becoming more flexible, allowing more people to work from home or work on mobile
devices. Health care workers, for example, have already begun to move from desktop computers to tablets as they move among patients.
2) Agreed upon definitions of “native” advertising will emerge. Throughout 2014, publications and agencies worked to figure out what
native really meant. Several working definitions were in play.
a) sponsored content, in which the publication’s writers generated content appropriate for the publication and the advertiser paid for the
space but did not seek much more than brand lift from being associated with a premier publication;
b) branded content, in which the advertiser wrote the content and used the opportunity to talk about a subject that was connected to the brand;
c) and in-stream advertising, where an ad appeared in the stream of a publication that drew the advertiser’s target audience
In the coming year, most of this will have to be sorted out, especially since consumers are far more impatient with ads on mobile platforms than they are on the desktop.
3) It will become easier for buyers to use a version of Deal ID or guaranteed pricing to make their buys. Last year Deal ID had a lot of
promise but often didn’t technically work well and caused media buyers more pain than pleasure. In 2015, Deal ID-like solutions will emerge, and it will be possible to automate work flow without losing certainty.
4) We will see the emergence of new formats and new ways to attract and hold the attention of ever busier consumers who value convenience and
want to be reached on their own terms. Location-aware advertising will grow, for branding as well as for direct response.
In all, if 2014 was a transitional year, 2015 will be a truly new year, with some of the biggest changes in advertising since dollars began to