As the holiday dust settles, we reflect back on the biggest digital advertising trends in 2014 and predict where the industry is headed in 2015.
In 2014 native advertising had its moment in the spotlight.
Everyone can agree that the phrase, native advertising, was one of the most hotly debated and discussed of 2014. Publishers used the native advertising trend to take back control over premium advertising inventory and user experience. While everyone in ecosystem was trying to become the native expert and pin down their own definition of native, the IAB stepped in and created a handbook. Native advertising includes advertisements or sponsored content that is clearly labeled and blends seamlessly with organic social platform content or publisher content, therefore not intrusive to the audience. Native advertising can be anything from a Buzzfeed post on the thirteen ways you know you are a Coca-Cola addict to a native casing for a video advertisement within a mobile game. We see this trend stabilizing in 2015 and becoming a routine offering across publishers.
Video finally took off in 2014.
Video advertisements are another important ad format that took off in 2014. While Hulu and YouTube have been around a while, it’s been in the last year with pushes such as YouTube’s self-made stars ad campaign, that these platforms have been adopted by the masses. Pre-roll and mid-roll advertisements are commonplace for viewers of streaming television shows and video clips. They became commonplace for a reason, these video ads began to show strong performance this past year. Seeing the ROI video ads provides first-hand, marketers began to invest heavily in video across publishers. In 2015, we see video becoming more engaging and integrating more moments of interaction to increase performance further.
2014 was the year of mobile.
What is all the fuss with mobile and why has mobile advertising been increasing exponentially? To start off, people are more likely to interact with ads on mobile devices compared to desktops or televisions due to multiple touch points. For example, the audience is more likely to engage with gaming ad units and participate with ads by easily tapping, swiping and touching their mobile screen. Noneed to prove itself anymore, mobile turned out incredible numbers in the past few years and budgets finally started to catch up this past year. There is still a way to go and we believe the focus will stay on mobile in 2015, but 2014 gave us some great ground to stand on.
Now for our predictions…
2015 will be the year of mobile+ technology.
Mobile will still be the key channel to develop in 2015, with over a billion people using mobile devices for Internet access; however, we caution advertisers not to disregard the need to advertise across other channels as well.
2014 was defined by mobile, we saw publishers adding mobile app and web inventory, as well as brand marketers with bigger mobile budgets. While mobile will continue to be an important channel into 2015, marketers need to think broader and use advertising technology to streamline work between all possible platforms, so that marketers can reach the right audiences across devices.
Ads will continue to display across desktop, tablet and mobile, but in the year ahead, marketers should keep their eye on innovative technology companies that are testing ways to include television and other emerging platforms like wearable technology. TV and online video are slowly merging and becoming one thanks to devices such as Smart TVs, which allow users to stream their desktop video content to their television, and television apps, such as ESPN Go and Hulu+. These devices and apps have blurred the lines of television and online video. Lines between channels and devices will continue to blur into 2015.
Ringing in the 2015 new year with programmatic advertising.
Programmatic partnerships helped define the digital advertising landscape in 2014. Two well-known and unforgettable acquisitions occurred in 2014: the Brightroll acquisition (by Yahoo) and the Liverail acquisition (by Facebook). We see these acquisitions as the beginning of some big shakeups and changes coming to the programmatic landscape in 2015. With changes in programmatic, traditional ad networks will need to evolve their models.
Big data and analytics will drive sales in 2015.
In 2015, we will be in a place where advanced analytics and big data can be used to drive sales growth. Partially due to the availability of technology, but largely due to the adoption of data-driven creative and campaign decision-making. Marketers have the analytics available to understand campaign performance and how it may have contributed to sales growth, it isn’t enough to have a beautiful campaign anymore, it needs to perform well. And strong performance begins with strong planning, we will see data and analytics show up as much in strategy as in wrap-up reports.
We here at Aarki are already very familiar with these points of reflection and predictions. We are engineering new ways to think about native advertising with our native in-game ad units. In the past year, our team has worked hard to specialize in video advertisements and already developed a way to include interactions. While we are a cross-platform company, we also believe strongly in mobile and are investing to make mobile seamless, especially for video. We are always on the cutting edge of innovation and have a team constantly looking at the next channel, technologies and analytics for marketers. If you’d like to learn more about how we are transforming mobile monetization with joyful creative reach out through our website or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.