Says Chris Wilson, General Manager at AddSwitch, a division of Ole! Media Group
The AdTech* conference in New York City at the end of last year was abuzz with a whole host of trends that are going to affect digital advertising in a big way in 2014. While Real Time Bidding has been around for some time, it has been mostly confined to Desktop advertising platforms. But with Twitter’s acquisition of Mopub in 2013, mobile RTB has suddenly gone mainstream. This is something that will continue, with mobile ad buys being predicted at 45% of total spend for 2014.
Real Time Bidding (RTB) was designed to provide transparency for inventory buyers and publishers alike and delivers inventory in split second timing; this then ensures that a publisher’s site is well stocked with appropriate advertising. Stress on the word ‘appropriate’. Aside from filling inventory, another core benefit of deploying RTB, is the security factor and what kind of adverts are being pulled from exchanges and how it contributes to protecting publishers from serving compromising advertising on their sites – this is what differentiates RTB now and was demonstrated during the recent passing of former Nelson Mandela, where publishers pulled inappropriate advertising.
The other big notable trend that will dominate in 2014 is the growing tendency for email as a mobile-first channel. In fact, statistics reveal that currently over 50% of email correspondence is already being opened ‘on the move’ and this is set to increase in the year ahead. This provides an excellent opportunity for advertisers to target mobile consumers and South Africa can expect some innovation in this regard. Mind you, although Video on Demand (VOD), which is entrenched in the US (more Than 75% Of Americans watch online video each week), it will not yet be a key driver in Africa. At least not until broadband covers more territory and data charges drop.
Digital technology has transformed advertising and communication in South Africa, although it is still not being realised to the same extent as it is in the US or Europe. Attending AdTech and conferences of this nature provide invaluable insight into what is happening beyond our borders. It now provides the Group and other savvy marketers with the ability at everything in terms of how we can take the best of successful overseas strategies and adapt them for the African continent. This is becoming increasingly important as more and more people enter the web-connected market.
Mobile loyalty – a double edged sword
Brand loyalty is mobile and transient – But, as the smartphone population increases and choice becomes greater, brands will need to keep in touch with their audiences more regularly to know what consumers crave most. If they are receiving customised content or feel valued for example, consumers are more likely to engage, ergo consider being loyal to particular a brand.
In this regard, brands need to be au fait with what drives advocacy in social media. Brand advocacy drives higher purchase rates and significantly increases the reach of marketing spend – and, what’s important here, is brand advocacy helps to control and manage brand reputation, which is literally in the hands of consumers. This is a lesson learnt by Nestlé which Global Head of Digital and Social Media, Peter Blackshaw, shared with delegates at the conference.
Whether it’s an increase in web enabled mobile devices or accessing online through desktop, the single biggest overriding trend is that business has moved to the digital realm and, while SA companies are not far behind, this is where the real opportunity for local advertisers and publishers lies.
*Adtech is considered to be the world’s largest advertising technology fair