2015 Digital & Media Predictions

Since 2009, Millward Brown experts from around the globe have offered annual predictions for the coming year - forecasting the hottest digital and media trends and providing recommendations to help advertisers move confidently into the coming year... Read more

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2015 Digital & Media Predictions
Second screen syncing brings greater multiscreen control
Breaking down social and mobile silos
Not just big - intelligent
Paid advertising propels micro-video into the mainstream
Digital advertising at 21: Marketers Get Savvier about Multi-Generational Multi-Screen Marketing
Programmatic gets creative
Programmatic increasingly contemplates brand
Consumer-focused location-based marketing blooms
Native advertising more often gets it right - but choose wisely
Analog goes digital
Winning in the Digital Age

In 2015, we foresee ever-greater tension between four competing channel-planning perspectives.

New technologies are emerging all the time that give media agencies greater control over how and when consumers are exposed to brand messages, but there are still huge challenges surrounding how to connect plans across media silos and how to reduce and make sense of digital data complexity. Creative agencies have a more exciting box of tricks and more ad formats to play with than ever before, but telling a coherent, consistent, and connected multiscreen and multimedia story across different audience generations is no easy task.

With many marketers increasingly placing the machine in control, programmatic buying can result in smarter targeting of messages based on location and behavioral learning, yet there remain many questions about whether programmatic campaigns can add up to a meaningful brand-building story. Will programmatic and brand building simply compete, or can they potentially complement and enhance? Finally, there are more planners keen to place the consumer in control, ensuring that brand messages fit neatly into their consumer’s lifestyle and that the brand is there for their consumers whenever and wherever they choose to reach out.

At the center of these silos are brand marketers looking to build their brand’s differentiation for the long term, steering a steady course through new and uncharted waters. We hope these predictions help you make sense of the changing digital and media landscape for 2015 and beyond so you can remain on top of the latest important trends without being distracted by every shiny new thing.

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Past predictions:

2014 retrospective201420132012201120102009

 

New second screen sync technologies offer great potential to amplify your own TV spend... or to hijack that of competitors!

For 2015, we expect controlled second-screen syncing to increasingly appear on media plans. The sync technology puts the marketer and media agency back in control by doing the meshing for the viewer and reaching those who use TV ad breaks to go online.

Already offered by a number of companies, this technology offers a wide variety of applications - it can be used to extend and add value to TV ads with supplementary storytelling, and also enables complementary product targeting or competitor ad targeting.

The true impact of second-screen syncing will be measured over the coming year as its use increases and the impact on brand and behavior becomes known.

#gettingmediaright implication

Experiment with new syncing technologies now to learn how they can work best for your brand.

Media agency in control

Hannah
Walley

Hannah conducts cutting-edge brand measurement and analysis for some of the world’s most powerful industry players.  Her specialties include digital ad effectiveness and multi-media campaigns.

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The fragmented and competitive social and mobile landscape drives advertising innovation but brings with it inefficiencies and challenges

Consumers navigate easily between media empires and the entire open mobile web, all while the TV plays and a tablet is open nearby, and marketers must build strategies around this intricate set of consumer behaviors. Brands need to understand the synchronized impact of these behaviors to justify continued (and increased) media investment.

To facilitate this, in 2015 social and mobile media will offer a more coordinated look at the landscape they occupy and will start to deliver insights into how brands and their media agencies can best harmonize their overall social and mobile strategy.

#gettingmediaright implication

Develop coordinated strategies across social and mobile platforms and work with these publishers to prove their collective brand value in the overall media mix.

Media agency in control

Ali
Rana

As the Head of Millward Brown’s Emerging Media Lab, Ali leads company thinking on emerging media trends and digital strategy. His team creates and scales measurement approaches for new digital platforms.

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Social and mobile media will offer a more coordinated look at the landscape they occupy

 
 

In 2015, marketing will experience a mind shift in focus from “big” data to streamlined “intelligent” data.

In 2015, marketers will harness the power of Big Data by culling data assets, investing in analytic talent, and applying predictive analytics to understand which metrics are indicators of brand and sales growth and which are touchpoints for increased marketing investment and focus.

In addition, different platform owners will collaborate to enhance consumer relevancy with core metrics that are smart, focused, and predictive of sales improvement.

Through exploration and experimentation, focus next year will shift from “big” to “intelligent” data.

#gettingmediaright implication

When tackling big digital data sets, don’t be wooed by the latest technology platform or dashboard tool. Rather, heed the words of William Ellery Channing: “It is not the quantity but the quality of knowledge which determines the mind's dignity.”

Media agency in control

Margaret
Hung

An early player in online ad effectiveness and cross-media measurement, Margaret is an expert in digital ROI measurement. She leads Millward Brown Digital’s Intelligence Solutions and Strategy.

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Focus next year will shift from 'big' to 'intelligent' data

 
 

Micro-video platforms provide smart paid marketing opportunities, but only brands who know, learn, and love those platforms will succeed.

Micro-video platforms will become more important in 2015, but ads on these platforms must be immediately captivating and entertaining, as consumers on these sites expect creativity. Vine videos need to be simple, authentic, and aim for high viral potential; Instagram videos should be entertaining and emotional and may be able to include additional branding cues.

To be effective, creative agencies need stories that work across multiple micro-videos, and media agencies must optimize the paid targeting and the role of micro-video within a broader media campaign.

#gettingmediaright implication

To succeed in micro-video as a paid channel, it will be more important than ever for marketers and their creative agencies to ensure a brand’s communication is engaging and making every second count for consumers.

Media agency in control

Jackie Bartolotta
Jackie
Bartolotta

Director of Strategic Intelligence for Millward Brown, Jackie is an Information professional with experience in market analysis, brand strategy and competitive intelligence.

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Ads on these platforms must be immediately captivating and entertaining

 
 

Optimize across devices by aligning branding objectives with learning about how screen usage varies by generation and contextual task.

In 2015, the savviest marketers will invest in understanding what drives screen preference so they can match these drivers with the branding outcomes they hope to achieve.

Recent Millward Brown research in the US on multiscreen preferences found that two factors played a key role in driving screen preference: generation of the audience member and task load (the amount of time and concentration required for a task). Successful multiscreen marketers will take these findings on screen preference and overlay branding objectives to optimize multiscreen campaigns.

#gettingmediaright implication

Invest time and effort understanding multiscreen effectiveness not only in aggregate but also by screen and generation. Align your branding objective with appropriate task contexts.

Media agency in control

Joline McGoldrick
Joline
McGoldrick

A long-time authority in studying how audiences respond to digital advertising, Joline is a product designer and marketer with a passionate focus on understanding the digital audience.

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Two factors played a key role in driving screen preference: generation of the audience member and task load

 
 

Programmatic advertising evolves by merging smart and engaging creative elements with existing media buying algorithms.

In 2015, programmatic ads will become more human, seamless, efficient, and easy to digest. To achieve this, creative agencies will partner with developers or build up their own advanced programming capabilities and cross-functional abilities to produce and deploy smart ads with customizable creative elements.

The best of these executions will enable a new kind of dynamic, relevant storytelling based on when and how they are delivered. New skill sets will evolve beyond specialized silos to leverage a cross-functional talent set utilizing a mix of creative, technical, media, and research disciplines.

#gettingmediaright implication

The evolution of programmatic means marketers must challenge their creative and media agencies to work together to leverage the latest consumer insights to fully understand the touchpoints of each target and how to deliver impactful messaging via highly adaptive (real-time) advertising.

Machine in control

Drew Myers
Drew
Myers

Drew helps cross-industry clients make the most of their research and media budgets.  He specializes in research analytics and effective storytelling.

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Programmatic ads will become more human, seamless, efficient and easy to digest

 
 

Marketers will question whether programmatic optimization is damaging or enhancing brand building.

A brand's programmatic bidding strategy is only as good as data that is fed into it. In 2015, programmatic algorithms and systems will increasingly differentiate themselves based on their ability to manage cost effectiveness on behavioral metrics while delivering campaigns that build brand metrics.

To overhaul programmatic bidding inputs, advertisers will use new methodologies to conduct brand effectiveness evaluations of programmatic campaigns and will encourage programmatic partners to feed normative brand effectiveness learning data analyzed by site, ad, creative, and audience into programmatic targeting algorithms. In addition, advertisers will push to enhance programmatic algorithms beyond existing industry targeting variables to include richer audience psychographic and attitudinal data.

#gettingmediaright implication

Consumers will increasingly expect to be presented with ads that are meaningful to them then and there; using location data will help target campaigns to the most relevant consumers more accurately than ever. Just be careful not to creep them out!'

Machine in control

Jerome Shimizu
Jerome
Shimizu

Jerome is a pioneer in developing innovative data-driven research solutions to inform marketing strategy. His expertise includes digital advertising ROI analysis methods.

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Advertisers will use new methodologies to conduct brand effectiveness evaluations of programmatic campaigns

 
 

Location-based marketing opportunities are powerful when brands focus on consumers’ interests rather than on their own.

Google, Facebook and Apple are tracking consumers’ every move through mobile location services, and beacons are appearing in many service & retail locations. Marketers have just started to cash in on this wealth of data.

This information will enable advertisers to understand in-store journeys and dwell times, service providers to enhance consumer experience, and retailers to customize each customer’s shopping trip. In 2015, giving the customer what they want at the right place and the right time will differentiate brands that seek to build personal relevance and meaning with their consumers.

#gettingmediaright implication

Consumers will increasingly expect to be presented with ads that are meaningful to them then and there; using location data will help target campaigns to the most relevant consumers more accurately than ever. Just be careful not to creep them out!

Machine in control

Matthew Jorgenson
Matthew
Jorgenson

Matthew is an expert in creative development, including digital copy testing and in-market evaluation studies. His focus includes helping clients grow their brands through strong and impactful campaigns.

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Giving the customer what they want at the right place and right time will differentiate brands

 
 

Savvy marketers can take advantage of native advertising by partnering with publishers offering best-in-class solutions.

Native advertising will be huge in 2015, but poor ads can be perceived as boring propaganda. The best evoke positive feelings, resonate with consumers, and drive brand impact. Advertisers should partner with publishers who strike a balance between advertising and editorial by clearly identifying sponsored content and matching the site’s regular tone and style.

Brand effectiveness research in 2015 will start to uncover whether the promise of native is being consistently delivered.

#gettingmediaright implication

The key for advertisers will be to partner with the best publishers, and the key for publishers will be to follow the native golden rules – confidently identify native ads as sponsored content, match the site’s editorial tone, and create content that resonates with the audience.

Consumer in control

Jon
Salm

With particular focus on client research and analytics, content marketing, and data journalism, Jon is an authority on visual content and a leader in native advertising.

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Native advertising will be huge in 2015

 
 

Brands must leverage mobile-enabled connectivity coherently through every aspect of their marketing programs.

Mobile devices are transforming traditional media forms into interactive digital touch points. Through response mechanisms, the ownership of a smartphone makes everything easily interactive. Every brand touch point, however “analog” it seems, can now be readily digitized—and consumers increasingly expect them to be so.

2014 was the unveiling of reinvented analog channels, and the first experimenters showed us what could be achieved. As adoption widens in 2015, analog’s modern-day design will truly take shape.

#gettingmediaright implication

To maximize ROI in 2015, marketers must exploit the use of digital technologies to create simple, easy mobile interaction with their brands through all touch points. Give your consumers control of when and how they engage with your brand.

Consumer in control

Kelly Pellico
Kelly
Pellico

Kelly leads mobile strategy and production innovation for Millward Brown North America. Two key areas of her focus include app measurement and the use of location to garner in-the-moment feedback.

James Galpin
James
Galpin

With more than twenty years of brand marketing experience, James has an expert understanding of how to leverage media and digital investments to grow brands and drive marketing ROI.

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In 2015, analog's modern-day design will truly take shape

 
 

Winning organizations will court innovators, focus on digital, think collaboratively, and see the big picture.

Across the board in 2015, winning organizations will take a more holistic approach to creating networks across team members, internal functions, and external agency work, but they will not lose sight of the need to engage with consumers in a meaningful and different way.

To succeed in the digital age, organizations will seek innovative, fresh perspectives and adaptive, agile minds to manage the spread of touchpoints and anticipate the market’s ever-changing structure. The very best marketers will step back and examine the impact of digital campaigns on the hearts and minds of consumers.

#gettingmediaright implication

Review how well your business is structured for the digital age, incorporating a holistic approach and Millward Brown Vermeer’s criteria of overachieving digital organizations.

Brand marketers

Marc de Swaans Arons
Marc de Swaan
Arons

Marc is CMO & Executive Board Member of Millward Brown Vermeer and works with many of the world’s most prominent CMOs. He has authored the best-selling marketing book, The Global Brand CEO.

Hugo Schurink
Hugo
Schurink

Hugo is at the frontlines of media and digital branding and psychology. He focuses on representing the customer in an increasingly complex world and facilitating meaningful brand relationships.

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Organizations will seek innovative, fresh perspectives and adaptive, agile minds

 

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