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Advertising Week 2017: Bots, Crowds, and Other Trends

October 10th, 2017   ||    by Charlene Weisler   ||    No Comments

With so much going on at Advertising Week 2017, from the latest tech to the continuing deluge of data to the confounding challenge of attribution, one might be forgiven for thinking the end of the media business as we know it is nigh. Areas of the industry often thought to be protected provinces of the human touch, such as content creation, have recently been executed by a combination of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and camera drones, according to the Content Marketing Institute.

As of now, the major media industry trends can be parsed into three areas: data facilitations like measurement and attribution; changing consumer behaviors forged by millennials; and the “Brave New Tech World” of artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR).

Data Facilitations

The proliferation of available datasets, from first- to third-party, presents our industry with both opportunities and challenges. We can potentially glean the consumer journey through various touchpoints—provided we have the right datasets. But there are challenges that still need to be addressed, according to Lizzy Hanna, general manager at Engine Media, including walled gardens from the “duopoly of Google and Facebook” and the need for a multi-touch attribution model to optimize sales.

A lot of work has (fortunately) been done toward developing attribution models. The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) unveiled its multi-touch attribution (MTA) model, which is based on four buckets regarding data: linkability, potential aggregation, uses in profiling, and making conversions.

Blockchain is another area set to transform media in the next couple of years. Manish Bhatia, chief executive officer of North America at Kantar Media explained,”Blockchain technology will bring increased transparency to advertising transactions and will help with the continued growth of digital advertising.”

Changing Consumer Behaviors

Consumers are taking advantage of new technology that not only changes their behaviors but forces brands and the media to readjust their worldviews as well. So what is a marketer to do with an entrenched brand that’s relied on traditional forms of communication with consumers? The general consensus at Advertising Week 2017 was . . . adapt or die.

According to Maya Peterson, director of creative strategy at Viacom’s Velocity, millennials are at the forefront of changing the way we communicate. We’re “marking cultural shifts,” she said, leading to “crowd culture and collective conversations, and a deep culture of passions” getting us “closer than ever before to a culture of proximity. Millennials think differently, communicate differently and effect change differently than past generations.” In other words, it’s all about community.

Millennials’ virtual lives are as real as their personal lives, and they’re less materialistic than past generations, valuing experiences over objects and things. And the concept of celebrity is changing: Millennials are just as likely to follow “nontraditional celebrities like photographers” who photograph the red carpet, noted Peterson.

Brave New World of Tech

New technology usually breeds excitement with all its creative possibilities. But while the advancements of AI, VR, and AR are slated to bring enhanced experiences to content creation and consumption, there’s a dark underside to all this new technology. From the Facebook chatbots that created a special language humans couldn’t understand, covered by Forbes, to AI’s ability to “enhance” marketing, covered by AdWeek, the replacement of humans by machines in a variety of jobs looms large. The amount of content increases, but job opportunities could decrease . . . or, perhaps just as likely, morph.

Alexandra Tanguay, global brand director at Spotify, summed it up by saying we’re working in a “completely different landscape than even a year ago. The tools we use to leverage are different, and we need to stay on top of everything. There is never a dull moment.”

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