To accurately predict what’s going to happen in the year ahead is always tough. The industry’s rapid evolution means our digital toes barely touch the floor. From Amazon’s “delivery drone” to a visit to Microsoft Research’s laboratory – a look at the future can be overwhelming, if not a little fantastical. Nonetheless, I’ve put together a few digital trends that I’m excited to see brands and advertisers tackle this year:
- Digitally Invisible – In a constantly connected world, people are seeking smarter ways to reduce information overload and online clutter. Consumers want technology and experiences that aren’t ‘always-on’ but actually help people switch off.
- Valuable Data Exchange – In 2014 brands and publishers will need to make clear the benefits of engagement for the consumer, outlining up front what that value exchange looks like. As this relationship becomes more transparent, consumers will become more relaxed about offering their own data in exchange for the best experiences online.
- Stop Searching, Start Finding – The proliferation of “I need this now”, wherever I am, whatever device I am using, is the evolution of search in 2014 – and being there in that particular moment is what brands need to strive for with their search strategy.
- The Future is ‘Appy’– As APIs become smarter and the level of integration built into one app increases, apps will finally overtake web-based experiences as the preferred destination for reaching your audience.
- Return of The Native – Native advertising has caused controversy in 2013 and I’m sure it will continue to do so in 2014. As new formats are developed to provide useful, relevant experiences, regulators are, perhaps understandably, wary as the lines between advertising and editorial blur
For more insight, and to read more about the trends I’ve picked out, head over to The Drum.
Owen Sagness, GM of Microsoft Advertising & Online, UK