Just because someone says it’s a trend doesn’t mean it is.
by Chris Patheiger, VP Marketing & Communications
It’s almost September, which means that everyone’s starting to think about fall marketing strategies. So it wasn’t surprising that, this week, many of the conversations around the office had to do with ‘trends’ in digital marketing. We don’t always agree, of course, which is what keeps it interesting.
Following one of these conversations, I came across this April infographic from Wolfgang Jaegel. I liked it because it offers some unusual predicted trends for 2014 – you don’t hear enough about ‘flow advertising‘ yet, and you probably should know more about it – but now that we’re two-thirds of the way through the year, are these trends actually playing out?
Let’s take a look.
TREND 1: Mobile growth
Probably correct, though the $14.5 billion figure is still up for grabs – almost everyone is recalculating programmatic/RTB numbers from week to week. I’m not certain about the ’50% of internet users will carry tablets’ factoid, since every forecast I’ve seen lately says that tablet sales are slowing because the average person finds that a combination of smartphone + laptop delivers just about everything they need.
TREND 2: Emergence of flow advertising
Certainly more marketers are incorporating this into their programs, but in our experience, it requires the kind of partnership between creative and data that just isn’t optimal yet. I expect this to really hit its stride in late 2015, maybe 2016.
TREND 3: Native advertising won’t scale
Native advertising is growing fast, as consumers are more accepting of it (of course, consumers have always ‘accepted’ it – they just haven’t always known they were accepting it). So in that sense, native advertising is definitely ‘scaling’. But can you syndicate/automate native content across multiple platforms and still reap the benefits of native? Probably – it’s just a matter of the right technology and suitable context.
TREND 4: Good news for mobile advertising
The good news for mobile advertising in Canada is that there is currently lots of inventory. The bad news, however, is that despite all the predictions of exponential programmatic mobile growth in 2014, it just hasn’t happened yet. Why? It’s hard to tell (and this subject occasioned several lively conversations around the office this week): It could be that publishers haven’t yet suitably optimized their mobile sites; it could be that media strategists haven’t yet seen the possibilities for mobile across all target markets; it could be that there are too few specialized mobile programmatic media buyers. Whatever the reason, mobile programmatic hasn’t yet achieved the potential everyone predicted, and it may be well into 2015 before it does.
TREND 5: Marketing silos gone
Ah, if only this were true! Yes, many agencies are doing a better job of integrating marketing channels, but the truth is that there is just so much to know these days that it’s getting increasingly difficult for even really senior, really seasoned marketers to be able to keep up with trends and best practices across digital advertising, traditional advertising, content marketing, PR and all the other zillion ways to connect with consumers. At the same time, success in newer disciplines like programmatic and search requires practitioners to become hard-core specialists. How this will play out in the next few years will be interesting to watch – but I’m pretty sure the notion of ‘marketing silos gone’ is more a dream than imminent reality.
Maybe that’s the mark of a great infographic – it’s one that gets the audience thinking!