The future of display advertising, the future of technology, and the future of marketing all depend on data. Advertising will become more predictive, more personalized, and much more effective.
Though the blinking banner ad still hovers around some sectors of the internet, they are going the way of the pop-up. “Traditional” untargeted ads are being replaced by sophisticated, highly targeted ads that are tailored to fit the individual.
So how will these ads continue to evolve in the coming years?
More Data Will Create More Personalized Marketing
New technology will bring with it even more data than we have today. Now, marketers draw on a wealth of information from a wealth of sources, including everything from website analytics to advertising analytics, tracking cookies, third-party data companies, social networks, and more.
But we’re just looking at the beginning of big data and marketing. New forms of technology will bring new types of data for advertisers.
Wearable technology is most likely just the beginning of the Internet of Things, where the physical world will be permeated by a network of computerized technology and data-harvesting devices.
Cars, watches, Google Glass, smartphones, laptops, appliances, and other objects will all become “smart.” In other words, they will all become equipped with sensors that can record information.
Current wearable technology clearly demonstrates this trend. Wrist bands and smart watches can monitor heart rate, body temperature, the number of steps taken, calories burned, and so forth. Headbands can measure brainwave activity and the quality of sleep patterns. Altimeters can measure the altitude of the bearer, and so on and so forth.
All of this information, of course, will be tracked, reported, and collected. Advertising networks and marketing companies with access to this information will be able to develop highly personalized, highly targeted advertisements and channel them through a customer’s set of devices.
This amount of information will transform the current display ads from blinking banners into personally tailored recommendations.
The Rise of the Display Ad
Right now, Google’s sponsored search results are a big source of revenue for the search giant. But the company is already developing Google Now, a voice-activated personal assistant that is designed to operate with Google Glass or smartphones.
The company recognizes that today’s consumer demands immediacy and convenience, and they want to provide that to the customer. But do they have a plan to monetize voice-activated search?
Rumors of a pay-per-gaze model have been circulating the internet recently: companies pay Google based on the amount of time a user spends looking at an advertisement.
This rumor is based on a patent filed by Google, specifically outlining that advertising practice. And, when we look at Google’s historic promotion of pictures in search results – such as the local results ribbon and the author photo – it is clear that Google understands the importance of images.
Display ads work faster because they are based on images. Eye-tracking studies unanimously conclude that people’s eyes are drawn to pictures, which is why effective display advertisements are so appealing to both customers and advertisers.
Currently, we can see trends towards the personalization of display advertisements.
Social media networks, for instance, offer up a broad user base with lots of demographic data to help advertisers effectively target their audience. Specialized ad networks target niche audiences, such as the software industry, specific platforms, specific operating systems, or specific industries.
The future of display advertising will build on current marketing trends. We will see broad networks that offer lots of data and lots of users, and we will see specialized, exclusive networks that cater to specific audiences.
The above-mentioned data will enhance the targeting, personalization, and predictive capabilities of the ad networks.
New Technology Means New Ad Spaces
Though display ads will certainly find their way into smart watches, Google Glass and similar technologies will probably become a bigger market. The ability to wear an augmented reality headset will open entirely new ad spaces to the ad networks, and Google will lead the way.
As mentioned above, the tech giant has already begun exploiting Glass technology for advertising purposes, and we can logically conclude that they will begin to focus on what customers want: more display ads. One study suggested that display ad spend will soon overtake paid search.
When you are accessing the internet by voice command through smartphones, smart watches, and smart glasses, you will probably be more inclined to look at display ads or listen to audio ads than read a text ad.
The market trend towards display advertising certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed by Google, and it probably hasn’t gone unnoticed by display advertisers either.
Ultimately, as we transition to more wearable technology that offers more robust visual interfaces, we will begin to see more display ads that take advantage of these new ad spaces. And with the troves of marketing data at our fingertips, we will be able to deliver more relevant, high-value ads that convert accordingly.