Why digital media’s best days are ahead of us

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneurs are their own.

The word of the year 2022 sounds like something out of science fiction. permacrisis“a prolonged period of instability and insecurity”. If you’re in the media and advertising business, it sounds scary what’s happening right now.

But despite the breakneck pace of change (and a truly terrifying October that saw the freefall of ad-supported blue-chip companies like Meta, Snap and Google), digital media isn’t really in a permanent crisis, or even a crisis at all. no: It is in constant flux, and 2022 was no exception. In fact, I’d argue that all this change is a good thing.

The first banner ad appeared 30 years ago. Search advertising is younger than that. Social media started 18 years ago, but TikTok has only been around for six years. Digital media technology and tools are still in their infancy. Another completely new way that was developed from the ground up. Television. It took almost 100 years for television to achieve its success, and it still surprises us every year. We are in the early days of digital media. As enjoyable and indispensable as the Internet is in our lives, the templates we use today remain basic and unattractive; too many websites, even really good ones, are littered with poorly performing and poorly integrated ads. It’s hard to measure what’s working, and advertisers still aren’t sure what they’re always buying. Everything is fragmented and complicated. There is too much friction to get the basics done.

That’s why the increasing rate of change we’re witnessing is a good thing, and I believe we’re on the cusp of unlocking the true potential of digital media. These trends tell me that digital media’s best days are just around the corner because:

Related to: 5 Digital Marketing Trends to Know Over the Decade

Privacy resets the game

We’ve spent years collecting data about people to advertise to them. Our industry decided to invest in collecting people’s personal data and spent years doing so. This is at the expense of other technological solutions as the industry advances, such as contextual advertising, which are less invasive and more useful. Advertisers have used this data to create creative based on crude personalization (like your name) rather than focusing on real signals like attention time and engagement. It’s been profitable for platforms, but people find it annoying and creepy when we follow them around the web. It’s also becoming increasingly uncertain for publishers and advertisers. While audience targeting originally provided interesting insights into people like never before, it is no longer effective and will not stand the test of time when it comes to evolving environments and platforms, or future privacy regulations. Publishers and advertisers who break the law face huge penalties. Fortune will favor those who opt out of cookies and identifiers now.

Context is everything

Every advertiser I’ve spoken to believes that at the end of the day, creative execution will be driven by contextual technology. So why aren’t advertisers moving faster with current ways of understanding context that can be used at scale today? Why aren’t brands using deeper contextual insights to inform strategy, creative and more? Technology has already advanced to the point where it can understand the context of the digital environment. It can interpret words, video, audio and metadata, providing a comprehensive understanding of the environment to be combined with dynamic and engaging advertising. By doing so, digital advertising can produce something that consumers find rewarding and enjoyable (without personal data) regardless of where it appears. We have the technology; let’s do this

It’s time to rethink metrics and focus

Growing up, magazine ads like Calvin Klein CK1 caught my attention; I can still remember those commercials today. These days, creativity gets lost in the shuffle, people skip advance advertising, and the metrics we use for success are flawed, but we keep doing them. We need to take a fresh look at how we measure the success of digital advertising campaigns. With so much competition in the digital advertising space, simply having an ad that is viewable does not always guarantee its success. We need to find ways to capture attention and understand what drives people to action. With advanced contextual and attentional solutions, we can identify content and confirm whether an ad is responsive to the environment. And then real-time optimization engines can be used programmatically to deliver the campaign in the most efficient way possible. It’s a win-win combination.

Related: 6 Marketing Metrics Every Business Should Track

In-game advertising is the next big thing

Every brand marketer knows the game is huge. They play them, their children play them, everyone plays. And yet in-game ads, specifically in-game ads, are untapped and highly coveted; They allow marketers to reach consumers in the most receptive way by integrating into the game world itself. There are more than three billion players in the world. some bands play for more than six hours at a time. Talk about an engaged audience! Right now, the majority of ad inventory is available on mobile, but consoles and big-screen gaming are poised to come into their own. In-game advertising will grow 11% annually and reach nearly $18 billion by 2030. Early adopters get the added benefit of a seamless advertising and media landscape and unprecedented scale.

CTV is a great, unstoppable freight train

CTV spending grew 57% last year to $15.2 billion and is projected to more than double over the next few years. More importantly, 76% of video buyers consider CTV a “must buy” in their media planning budget because CTV allows for data and formats unavailable in linear TV. So why aren’t there brand safety solutions, contextual understanding of content and new ad formats? It makes no sense. Are brands simply not aware of the advancements in these areas and what is available? Why are we still relying on prequels at CTV instead of new formats that suit current customers? Innovations such as artificial intelligence, contextual intelligence and the widespread availability of more non-linear ad formats will make CTV advertising work even more, and now that Netflix and other premium broadcasters are adding advertising, it will be even more important in the advertiser mix. Advertisers who catch the average early will also be CTV’s early winners.

The recession is real, but opportunities abound

Economic uncertainty, the rise of the US dollar against other currencies, and inflation are very real both domestically and abroad. End point: And ad spending cuts are happening. But digital still remains the best and most effective way to target and reach consumers, and that’s not going to change anytime soon (consider that the average American spends 8.2 hours glued to their phone). Digital marketing is no longer discretionary for brands. It’s an important investment, and smart marketers will use the current advertising environment to their advantage to gain attention, get ahead, and get ahead. After all, when competitors cut back, it may be to get your attention.

Related: How to Build Your Digital Marketing Momentum in 2023

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