Consumers don’t want brands per se; they want brands that
are useful and accessible, or at the very least, entertaining. Marketers will continue to pull out all the stops to counter
declining ad receptivity. In 2017, we’ll see more branded
content and less regular advertising. Get ready for more native
content, short and long form video, branded filters, and emoji
and PR stunts.
But it won’t end here.
In the New Year, marketers will forge ahead with new technologies like 360 video, augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence (chatbots performing customer
service and sales functions), making the landscape ripe for
new creativity. However some of these formats are isolated, not shareable. Marketers will also closely monitor effectiveness
as studies start to show which formats consumers find
annoying and intrusive, particularly on mobile.
These advancements create new challenges for marketers. Far from a controlled consumer view of a brand (TV, outdoor, instore), marketers will face multiplatform, multi-device, in and out of walled gardens, all differently experienced by every consumer. Geotargeting will be seen as a commercial
opportunity: KFC has used Snapchat geofilters instore, and
Snapchat itself is using geofilters to let people know where
to find a Snapbot vending booth. Brands will move quickly into customised/personalised creative content, delivered in
a targeted way via programmatic buying. We will see more
sequential content as marketers consider using retargeting
for a more strategic and persuasive catenation of consumer
messages. Consumers will stop seeing ads for a mattress they searched for, and bought, two weeks earlier.
Marketers will try to introduce emotion into this (supposedly)
highly rational, data-driven ecosystem as a point of difference, and to create a longer term bond with the
consumer. The desired outcome of any content marketing
will depend on who they’re talking to, and what they want.
However, marketers will start to expect consistent metrics
that they can compare, despite being in permanent beta. The lines between media and creative content will become
blurred, and attribution (short/long term, brand/sales) will
become more important.
Marketers will have to put away some money for
experimentation with and creation of new content that
will appeal to the imagination. Technologies like 360
Video, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
will be used to develop immersive formats and stronger
Jane Ostler is Sector Managing Director, Media & Digital at Kantar Millward Brown
where she leads the UK team working
on digital evaluation with publishers, agencies and advertisers.