3 digital ad trends brands can't ignore: An Ad Operations' view

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Three digital advertising trends brands can’t ignore: An Ad Operations’ view
Olivier Le Sayec

As well as managing demand-side platforms and crunching numbers, ad operations teams have seen our fair share of good and bad media campaigns.

A few digital advertising trends have materialised over the past year, and it’s time both brands and media agencies started planning their campaigns with these considerations in mind.

1) Let mobile lead the way

There’s no doubt many brands are making a strong push for mobile advertising investment, but it’s more than viewing it as a separate line item in media campaigns. Brands and agencies need to consider how mobile drives incremental value to media plans, incorporating it as part of the planning process – even basing campaigns on mobile insights, rather than leaving it as an afterthought.

Data from mobile can provide an exceptional amount of insight to audience behaviour – be it where they’ve been, what they’re browsing, or how often they appear at those locations – helping brands accurately understand consumers.

Mobile can also reveal important location-based advertising intelligence and help brands understand which locations are best for targeted ads. For example, a hotel group might be trying to target its competitors’ customers. By tapping into mobile, these brands can learn which competitor hotels are driving the best performance and mobile traffic, and then align this with their overall media strategy to target users at specific locations for the best conversions.

Brands like Domino’s pizza, an early adopter of mobile advertising and engagement, have reaped the benefits of mobile-first strategies. In 2013, 35 per cent of its $2 billion in global digital sales were attributed to mobile, where the company provided a range of different mobile solutions, like its Pizza Tracker, which made it easy for users to order and track their pizza delivery.

2) Stop comparing mobile and desktop metrics

It’s early days for direct mobile conversion, and some brands are understandably concerned with these metrics. It’s easy to dismiss mobile effectiveness when brands purely look at campaign reach and performance, comparing it with desktop campaigns – but that shouldn’t be the approach toward mobile.

Mobile conversions have been picking up. Over the years, mobile ads with poor user experience and slow sales tracking have plagued the purchasing process. Trust in mobile payments privacy has also been low but is continuing an upward growth.

However, brands should be considering how mobile provides an additional way to reach target audiences. It offers another touch point in the buyer’s journey and contributes to subsequent booking in-store or online. The impact of these mobile engagements can be difficult to quantify based purely on click metrics.

We’re bound to see a lot more conversions and revenues driven by mobile in the near future, as well as new technology that enables brands to make sense of mobile’s contribution in the buying journey.

3) Get serious about innovation

As digital advertising continues to gain ground in global advertising spend, brands that continually innovate and test out blue-sky ideas will find themselves pioneering market-leading media campaigns and driving sales.

More than running a new mobile ad campaign or simply creating rich media ads, brands should seriously consider a budget for innovation and test projects to reach new users, while optimising user experience. Top brands allocate up to 10 to 15 per cent of their overall ad budgets to drive innovation.

The aviation industry has a strong culture of innovation. Qantas, for instance, recently announced they’re offering passengers virtual reality headsets on long-haul flights. The company was also one of the first to trial iPads for in-flight entertainment back in the day. These tech gadgets provide a new way to engage consumers with immersive and impactful digital ads.

Mobile and location cant’ be ignored, and are important pieces in a fast growing digital advertising space. Brands that pair that with an emphasis on innovation are likely to see even stronger results for their digital advertising campaigns.

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Olivier Le Sayec Olivier Le Sayec | Blis
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