PHD at Squared 2012: Technology, internal structure and change

Here’s Part 2 of Holly, Akhra and Tim’s internal report. Read Part 1 first if you haven’t, for some background.

Technology: What technologies in 12 months time will affect your business and how is your structure prepared for this?

Some people take the view that in this industry there will not be a significant leap in new technology that will affect the core of our business in the next 12 months; rather there will be a more inclined gradual change. This is demonstrated through ‘the year of mobile’. For many years the industry has labelled the year ahead as ‘the year of mobile’ yet the industry has only seen a gradual increase in mobile advertising and it has only increased exponentially (until now where around 50% of people own smartphones in the UK).

One of the key challenges for the industry is being able to adapt the new technologies into everyday human life. There is evidence of certain areas where technology has evolved with human interactions, such as connected TV, tables (second screening), mobile wallet, NFC (near field communications) and augmented reality. Now we are slowly starting to see these technologies being implemented within society which allows for new avenues for advertising. The structure of the industry is based on how we interact with technology rather than how we adapt to the latest technology, therefore we are limited to the speed at which humans use technology.

Not only will technology open doors for advertising, it will also provide a more in-depth analytical solution. Technology will help make a campaign more efficient, simpler and accurate. As data is becoming a key element in the digital world, data will be stored and used to allow better understanding of campaigns. Data will allow planning to be more efficient and develop very highly targeted audiences. Not only this, but using the latest technology will allow for automated optimisation in real time.

We know that mobile will play an important role in the future; consumer mobile usage is increasing daily and as a result mobile provides more opportunity to advertise. It has been suggested that in 12 months time most campaigns will contain at least one element of mobile (be it NFC, gaming apps, mobile wallets, second screen apps or instant access).

Mobile provides a bridge to all communication platforms and we can already see how mobile allows for interactions across various media platforms, for example QR codes and social platforms. Having said this, one of the main challenges for mobile will be to integrate it with other media channels. It will not necessarily be seen as a stand alone media channel but will be integrated with the other channels e.g. NFC with outdoor, mobile wallet with Press adverts (offering coupons, vouchers).

There is little point in just using mobile as another platform to host banner ads; mobile offers a much more personal connection for people. We all have our phones next to us all the time now and the future of advertising will use this connection to allow people to interact with the world around them in an amazing variety of ways. Brands will naturally be part of this, and mobile will offer ways of connecting the right brands to the right people. However, currently the marketing world is built on mass, and so this is going to be a challenge for us with mobile, because for mobile personalization is key.

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