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Branding Trends Derrick Daye

Digital And Media Marketing Trends For 2013


Digital Trends For Brands

Facebook’s Monetization Drive Will Provide New, Richer Advertising
Opportunities For Brands

The Facebook newsfeeds
we will see at the end of next year will look very different from the ones we
see now. We will see the rise of bigger, bolder, more interactive – and
intrusive – Facebook advertisements in 2013.

It was only a matter of
time before Facebook sought to monetize and justify its massive valuation. The
drive for effective and revenue-generating advertising will draw on its
powerful social ecosystem, pushing the creative formats and placements far away
from the ads we see today.

Brands will be permitted
to be more visible on members’ newsfeeds, growing the use of sponsored stories
and video ads (which will become highlighted in users’ feeds). Advertisers will
also be prominent across more of the landing page – expandable and richer
formats will be prevalent by the end of the year. With these new opportunities
will come increased responsibility for advertisers to deliver quality content
that enhances the user experience rather than invades the platform.

Facebook will morph from
a relatively private social space to a business entity driven by the bottom
line. Brands will need to tread carefully as they explore these new
opportunities. Some users will tolerate prominent advertising in return for
free access to their friends and social connections, but others may balk at
increased commercialization. Seeing their personal data sold for targeted
advertising may cause resentment, unless brands deliver engaging content that
is appropriate for this personal space.

As brands start to
invest higher CPMs in more impactful ad units, it will become increasingly
important to optimize visuals and messaging. Some of this will be measured in
real-time, and copy-testing of Facebook ads will also start to be more widely
employed. By the end of 2013 we will better understand users’ reactions to
Facebook advertising, and we will know which formats successfully deliver brand
impact without alienating users. – Martin Ash

Social Media Listening Evolves From Monitoring To Insight

The current state of
social media data collection is pretty much 'grab and go.' Most social
listening platforms scrape every piece of social data they can find. Certainly
this can be useful for monitoring real-time updates on breaking news and
crises. But should all of the social universe be eligible for brand

Privacy settings make it
difficult to know how much of the total has been captured – or not. And while
traditional research data undergoes a rigorous scrubbing process to eliminate
trivial or unreliable data, there is no such quality standard in social media.
Our tests show that across over 30 million conversations, as little as 40
percent of the total volume of brand conversations may consist of actual
mentions of the brand by humans. This affects every commonly used metric from
buzz to sentiment to key themes – it even affects calculations of influence,
since brands may be including spambots when assessing their audience’s influence.

As brands give more
weight to social data in making business decisions, they will also demand
greater transparency in the collection of data and greater quality in the
insights. Rather than just being alerted of a crisis, marketers need to
understand the longer-term implications, and the underlying factors driving
that outcome. This can only be achieved when starting with a robust dataset.
The current generation of technology can help aggregate the data, but it is not
yet effective at assessing more subjective aspects, like sentiment.

Social data can start to
inform business decisions more broadly across organizations, but it’s only
meaningful if it’s cleaned, designed and analyzed in a way that makes it
actionable and comparable to other measures. Human discretion is still needed
to evaluate the source, quality, and value of results. To find true insight in
social data, brands will require a new iteration of social listening that is
less focused on fast feedback, and more on reliable research. – Anne Czernek

Emergence Of 'Mobile Remotes' Make It A Central Pillar Of Smart Communication

Picture this… you walk
into a room and the ambience instantly adapts to your personal preferences—the
lighting dims, jazz music begins to play, and pictures of your favorite beach
are projected onto the walls. You set your smartphone down on the desk, and all
your information (files, pictures, songs, movies, etc.) are at your fingertips;
no more laptop bags, flash drives, or papers—everything is just there. With
increased power and capabilities, our mobile devices become the remote controls
of our lives, allowing not only active control of electronics, but seamless
integration of the world around us.

While the milieu
described above may be a few years off, we can already see the evolution of
mobile in the way we live. The new functionality of our 'mobile remotes'
utilizes advanced technology to simplify our lives. Anything that needs a
processor to operate can use a smartphone as the brain. Brands need to start
developing communication plans that adapt to this new world.

Marketers must learn to
interact with consumers via these 'mobile remotes.' Content and advertising
must stem from mobile but become adaptable to multiple screens and scenarios.
With mobile as the hub, information gathering becomes more centralized as
consumers trade personal information for convenience and access to events,
offers and premium content. We see this with 'check-ins' now, but these will
expand to more widespread, dynamic and seamless use.

Marketers need to create
content that is flexible and smart so that it not only gives information, but
receives it as well, and adapts in real-time to become more relevant and
appropriate. The information that will be available on our 'mobile remotes'
facilitates greater possibilities for advanced targeting and for interactive
creative executions. – Drew Myers

The Great Paywall Makes For A Scarcity Of Premium Eyeballs

One of the great things
about the Internet is that you can access all your favorite content at the
touch of a button and all for free, right? Not for much longer. In 2013 we will
see an increase in the amount of content shifting away from ad-supported
business models to pay-per-view or subscription-based models.

Driving the change is
the rapid decline in audiences for the big players of traditional media.
Newspaper and magazine circulation is in decline and TV audiences are becoming
increasingly fragmented, due to the growth of alternative television services
as well as online and mobile video consumption.

While many of these
players have established solid online properties, they have generally been seen
as an extension of their traditional audience and are based around a free
access, ad-supported business model. To sustain high-quality content, they will
need to use some form of subscription-based access to ensure delivery of
specialized and exclusive content. The Wall Street Journal led the
way as far back as 1997, but ever more established content sites will move towards
paywalls and subscription models.

What does this mean for
brands and marketers?

More fragmentation –
with consumers now having to pay, you can expect audience sizes for premium
content sites to fall as consumers look for alternative free content or go

Less clutter, tighter
targeting but higher CPMs – with a subscription audience, the reliance on ad
revenue by content providers will decline. They will instead focus more on
quality and an improved user experience to drive subscribers. The result will
be less advertising space, but greater audience targeting will drive-up demand
and also prices. Brands will need to decide if the 'premium context' is worth
the price of the premium CPM. There may be an opportunity for fast-moving
brands to subsidize content to keep parts of it free. – Mark Henning

Omnichannel Marketing Helps Brands Build On Meaningful Moments Of Engagement

Omnichannel marketing is
about being present or available across the consumer’s behavioral path: each
potential contact point integrated with all others. The concept started in the
retail sector where this behavioral path is easily tracked across online,
offline and mobile touchpoints (both marketing and transactional).

The digital arena will
represent the first stage of more brands adopting an omnichannel mindset, as
social and mobile data sources are blended with offline brand experiences.
Customer data will be key to these efforts as big data moves from a passive
pool of potential insights, into an active mechanism for deepening the meaning
behind each individual interaction.

This shift in
technological connectivity offers marketers an opportunity to sew their
conversations with consumers together into a coherent story. It’s not about
bombarding people with marketing noise, but rather integrating previous
interactions to ensure greater relevance when attention is being paid to a
brand’s message. Treading the line between privacy fears and consumer
empowerment is going to be a key determinant of success.

In 2013 the green shoots
of omnichannel strategies will involve companies turning existing datasets into
active targeting engines. A retail brand might look to integrate loyalty data
with social applications to deliver relevant offers or messages to consumers
when they’re in or around store locations. As mobile ad-serving platforms
mature, this will transition from social apps into ads running across any
mobile content. As well as receiving location data, mobiles have the potential
to inform nearby digital screens –Minority Report-style tailored out of home ad
content may not be so far away.

The implication for
marketers is to start building the infrastructure to deliver an integrated
experience in the omnichannel world or face the prospect of being left behind.
The risk is that your competitors start to have meaningful ongoing dialogues
while you shout disjointed slogans at consumers. The technical requirement is
to capture meaningful moments of engagement so they can be referenced and built
on during subsequent interactions. – Rob Valsler

Social Tv Grows Up: Becomes Part Of The Narrative Rather Than A Conversation
About The Narrative

Reports of the death of
TV have been greatly exaggerated. Contrary to predictions that the digital age
would drag people away from TV, we are watching more TV than ever. Rather than
being eroded, people’s viewing experience is being enriched by social networks
and dedicated social TV apps like Zeebox.

Increasingly, the
assumption that a laptop, and a tablet or mobile are the 'second' and 'third'
screens will dissipate. It will not be enough to simply broadcast a hashtag and
flag a few tweets on the television screen. Telling stories through multiple
screens (and elsewhere) will begin to supplant the notion of broadcasting
something on the first screen, and people reacting and responding to it on
disconnected supplementary screens.

An audience will be able
to immerse themselves in content to an extent that suits them. The majority
will continue to consume most TV passively, but those more invested in a particular
program will be able to access and interact with richer story elements during
and between episodes. Unique story elements in different channels will be
integrated with audience responses and reactions to become part of a single
narrative, which permeates more deeply into people’s lives.

These interactive
trans-media stories will be tailored to the specific program audience; designed
to improve with each episode and series as the barriers between broadcaster and
audience are reduced.

For brand owners, especially
those sponsoring a series or intending to regularly place ads around it, this
creates both opportunity and challenge. Getting it right will mean adapting to
this narrative approach and interweaving your brand’s story across screens,
tailoring it appropriately to those most involved in the content. Brands that
fail to 'join-the-dots' between screens will fail to capitalize on a more
engaged audience. Worse still, those that interrupt or disrupt the story by
muscling in without subtlety will antagonize those they most want to impress. – Andrew Jerina

Mobile Advertising In Africa Tackles The Smartphone Divide

The Internet. Always on
connections. Cloud computing. These terms are ubiquitous in the modern world
and they are becoming increasingly common in Africa too. With almost a 3,000
percent increase in Internet access on the African continent in the last 10
years, and ever more undersea cables each year, this growth is set to continue
unabated. What makes Africa’s growth unique is that the majority of this
increased bandwidth is likely to be used on mobile devices (since the number of
PCs per 1,000 people is still extremely low) with almost 1 billion mobile phone
users in the continent by 2015. Hence Africa will epitomize the post-PC era
with primarily mobile-based Internet traffic.

African marketers will
be working hard to establish the best approaches to mobile advertising. The mix
of smartphones and feature phones in the market make implementation
challenging, as many African users have limited functionality on their device.
Thus, brands should begin with text-based search ads, SMS advertising and
mobi-optimized sites. In time, this will give way to screen takeovers,
location-based advertising, apps and augmented reality. Dependent on the target
audience, most marketers will need to take a two-pronged approach, developing
mobile ad strategies for both basic phones and the fast-growing smartphone

Our recent AdReaction
study showed that mobile marketing favorability is higher in Africa than
anywhere else in the world. Building on this, some brands have already made
mobile the centerpiece of their multi-media campaigns: Carling Black Label in
South Africa achieved over 10 million mobile votes in its recent Be The Coach
football campaign, and many other brands will be seeking to follow in its
footsteps. Online advertising be damned; the future (for Africa at least) is
mobile! – Jarrod Payne

Greater Collaboration Needed To Make The Most Of Real-Time Optimization

It is no longer up for
discussion. Advertisers have now moved beyond the click and require insight
into the brand impact of their online activity alongside their click data. In
2012, we saw the introduction of real-time branding optimization, allowing
advertisers to tweak campaigns on the fly, up-weighting successful campaign
elements and down-weighting low performers. In 2013, this real-time planning
and reallocation will go mainstream, moving from a 'nice to have' to an
essential feature of digital campaign delivery and evaluation.

We are seeing growing
demand for actionable in-campaign insight and we are also seeing advertisers
reap the rewards. Brand.net measured the effectiveness of its online campaign
against key brand metrics in real-time through an online dashboard. It was able
to monitor and adjust creative types and frequency levels to optimize the
campaign while it was live. As a result, the campaign performed within the top
one percent of all online campaigns measured in the retail category.

To achieve similar
success more consistently, industry players will have to learn to collaborate
and not just co-exist:

Research and media
agencies will be required to work more closely than ever before, integrating
behavioral and attitudinal data to deliver optimizations that maximize brand
impact while also delivering cost efficient clicks.

Creative agencies will
be required to respond more quickly to these insights by reworking inefficient
creative on the fly.

Media agencies will need
to find new ways to leverage relationships with publishers so that in-market
observations can become in-market optimizations.

For those agencies in
the business of maximizing the return on their clients’ online ad spend, 2013
promises to be a year of exciting collaboration. – Guy Turton

Better Alignment Of Online Display Formats With Objectives

As online media budgets
grow, there is an ever-increasing appetite for advertisers to understand how
well their online campaigns deliver against objectives. To maximize results,
media agencies will need to pay close attention to the growing pool of research
which indicates that different online formats deliver different results.

If driving brand
awareness is the objective, evidence suggests billboards and wallpapers should
feature heavily on a plan, rather than standard skyscrapers and leaderboards.

By contrast, if your
objective is to drive preference, wallpapers can have a negative impact. While
wallpapers put your brand center stage, bombarding your audience with such an
intrusive format can understandably become irritating.

Newer and larger formats
are outperforming standard formats in delivering against key brand metrics, but
at what cost? Balancing higher costs with achievement against objectives is a
talent that media agencies will increasingly be expected to master.

Importantly, although
some general rules are emerging, these do not always apply. Macro factors such
as industry and brand status will play a role, but media planners will also
need to consider micro factors such as creative strength, web site context and
frequency effects. There will be no standard template for campaign planning
against a specific objective. An awareness campaign which just employs
billboards and wallpapers will likely drive awareness, but the potential
negative repercussions on other brand metrics will need to be considered.

We will see even more
innovative and strategic online planning in 2013, as advertisers strive for a
deeper understanding of how format impacts brand building. In-context eye
tracking of digital ads will help more brands identify the best formats for a
particular campaign message and visual, and media buyers will compare
effectiveness learning with format CPMs to identify value in the marketplace. – Amanda Teefey-Lee

More Meaningful Mobile Engagement Via Apps And Actions

Consumption patterns
show that more time is already spent in mobile apps than browsing the web.
Future in-app advertising spend will be driven by far greater use of rich
media. Rich media ads such as Apple’s iAd, other expandable/interactive
formats, and even mobile video will draw consumers into highly engaging brand
experiences. They will also give brands the opportunity to adapt advertising to
meet their business needs.

For example, a hotel
brand can offer a click-to-call option to allow calling directly from the ad to
make a reservation. An auto brand can add a map to help customers find the
closest dealership. And a retail brand can even offer the chance to make a
purchase directly from the retail site, by integrating that seamlessly within
an expanding ad unit. Our recent AdReaction study
showed that smartphone and tablet users are looking for brands that engage
rather than intrude via their mobile device, and offer something in exchange
for their attention. In-app advertising offers great opportunities for brands
to engage consumers in actions that are repeatable and meaningful, so we expect
a continued surge in rewards-based advertising activity in 2013.

While some brands will
reward via simple in-app discounts and coupons, branded content may offer even
more brand building potential. For example, mobile gamers may be rewarded with
in-game currency for using a brand’s product. A beverage brand may sponsor
bonus points when players reach a certain game level. Even more innovatively,
brands will seek to design this engagement to communicate specific messages as
we saw in Honda’s recent collaboration with Zynga’s Words
With Friends where players were rewarded for using
Honda-related words. Such approaches should be able to increase brand
awareness, favorability and perceptions, and are therefore likely to be adopted
more widely. – Jenn Okula

Contributed to Branding Strategy Insider by: Millward Brown

Sponsored by: The Brand Storytelling Workshop

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