While none of us know exactly what’s in store for marketing 10 years from now, it’s always interesting to get the perspective of consumers – as the targets of these efforts – on what they think will change. I should say up-front that 10 years is eons in the digital space (for perspective, the iPhone was released only seven years ago), so any prediction for that far in the future is bound to be wrong. That said, I think you can be more accurate about the big trends.
The Swedish web graphics company Goo Technologies recently released their “Future of Advertising Survey” findings after asking U.S. adults for their thoughts on how advertising will change between now and 2024 (which Direct Marketing News turned into a cool infographic that you can view here). Here are some of the things that popped out for me:
- 90% expect mobile and video ads to stick around. That ad-free utopia you have been thinking about? Not gonna happen.
- 58% of respondents say that advertisers will have more personal data about consumers over the next 10 years. This seem low to me, but maybe it is because people have already realized that advertisers currently have a lot of personal data. Regardless, consumers expect this trend to continue.
- 52% predict that there will be better-targeted advertisements directed toward certain demographics.
- 42% of consumers expect technology to use consumers’ personal information to sell them products. “Expect” is the key word here. Not only do consumers know this will happen, but it will soon be part of their expectation. Meaning, if their information is NOT used for more tailored messaging and better service, consumer could consider this a negative. That is news!
Each of these findings aligns with what we’re already seeing today in the retail world – marketers are combining customer data and technology to create more relevant communications for consumers. While there are certainly consumers who worry about the implications of companies mining data about them, growing numbers are increasingly open to sharing information with retailers (and their marketing teams) in exchange for real value, often delivered through tailored messages and offers. And, as consumers demand more personalized interactions with retailers, the need to continually improve and evolve the way this is done – most often through the use of technology – will drive marketing in the years to come.
So, it’s not surprising that the expectation for better-targeted advertisements, more marketer access to consumer data and increased usage of technology came through in this survey. It’s also not surprising that those surveyed anticipate (or, perhaps hope) that pop-up ads will disappear. Most consumers today view them as annoyances, rather than providing any sort of value. And with other options in every marketer’s toolkit, this is an obvious choice of a tactic to abandon.
I do disagree, however, with the 19 percent who believe that banner advertisements will disappear. I think that they will remain an advertising staple, but will evolve beyond retargeting to provide even more relevance to consumers made possible through the combination of technology and data.
What do you think advertising with look like 10 years from now?