‘Increasing cross channel campaigns, improved customer experience and mobile engagement?…’ OpEd| Having raised over $7m we asked Stephen Upstone, CEO and founder of Loop Me, what 2016 may bring in terms of marketing and communication?!

Marketing in 2016 should focus on finding new solutions to the latest developments in consumer habits. Audiences don’t ‘go online’ anymore, they are constantly connected through their phones, tablets, and smart watches, on top of their desktop and laptop usage. Mobile devices are now used on average of almost three hours a day, significantly eclipsing time spent on desktop.

Consumer’s cross-device usage will play a huge role in 2016. A user journey can pass from one device to another, and it is important that marketers know what message to send and what format to use at each particular stage of that journey. Marketers will have to work out how to adapt their digital marketing campaigns and embrace the variety of opportunities that these different devices can give.

A huge part of this transformation is video. If a picture paints a thousand words, then 24 frames per second says an awful lot. The public loved consuming video in 2015 across a variety of devices and, for the first time, mobile overtook desktop as the first choice for viewing video content. Video is incredibly important for marketers as it is an effective way of engaging audiences with interesting and exciting content that can be immersive as well as informative. Video now exists across a variety of different formats, from pre-roll, to native, to mobile-specific formats like vertical video. This flexibility is something that marketers will inevitably capitalise on in 2016 as it allows them to use mobile video within a variety of content environments.

Increasing the quality and creative of marketing material is incredibly important for the future, especially with the current trend of adblocking. In 2016 expect the advertising industry as a whole to form a coherent and concerted rebuttal against adblockers, by creating more sophisticated and high quality advertising material across all devices. With improved ads tailored to the right individuals, internet users should feel less inclined to resort to adblockers.

Targeting and optimisation are part and parcel of the D-word – Data. Data has become an integral part of digital ad campaigns, partly in thanks to the rise in programmatic trading. Marketers are able to see exactly who is seeing their ads, how users react and how this can affect both current and future campaigns. 2016 will see marketers go one step further, with the rise of artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence employs sophisticated algorithms and machine learning to process huge quantities of data in real-time to decipher, not only what consumers want or have wanted, but also to anticipate what they may want in the future. This allows advertisers to target audiences with exactly the right ad in exactly the right moment and will become an essential element to all online campaigns in 2016 as brand seek to maximise advertising efficiency.

Last year was an exciting time for the advertising industry, but as we look ahead to 2016 it’s easy to spot the potential. With the rise of video advertising to continue, the introduction of artificial intelligence to the mainstream advertising mix is set to transform the way advertising interacts with users, revolutionising the advertising experience.


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