Years ago, print advertising was the be-all and end-all of marketing. Today, it’s gone through enormous change, and it’s only one piece of digital marketing. Advertising is by no means dead–but it is changing. Like just about everything in our lives, technology is having a huge impact on the way advertisers shape their campaigns and the platforms they use.
What was relevant five years ago has already changed. Marketers need to stay innovative and creative as technology continues to evolve. In early 2018, it was estimated that digital ad spend would surpass traditional advertising for the first time, with traditional spend accounting for an estimated $97.8 billion and digital for an estimated $100.8 billion.
Although it’s impossible to know what the future holds, we do know that advertising will continue to be an important part of our society and that it will become more technical as technology advances. By enhancing the advertising experience for consumers, advertising is becoming more powerful.
Let’s Understand the Rise of Advertising
Mass advertising began with PR, and has always been about communication, innovation, and delivering the right message. One of the founders of modern PR, P.T. Barnum, was an innovator in the field, using the media to promote “The Greatest Show on Earth”. He was known for promoting his business in new ways and using new resources.
Although the telegraph is now obsolete, it played an important role in the early world of PR and advertising. Today, we use computers and digital tools to reach audiences, but the principles are the same. Getting the word out and cultivating a specific image are the foundations of advertising, and people readily responded to ads in print.
Advertising is Now Everywhere and in Everything
We have ads on all our devices, from the sleep mode ads on Amazon’s Kindle to little ads that pop up in app games. Many people find this shift irritating, which has prompted one of the biggest shifts in advertising: changing from simple communication to understanding the best way to communicate with a specific audience. The science of modern advertising integrates psychological impact to help businesses connect with their customers in a meaningful way.
The most effective advertising, whether print or digital, makes an emotional connection. We see thousands of advertisements a day, and most of them don’t make much of an impression. There’s just too many of them. The emotions an ad invokes contributes much more to the viewer’s decision to buy than the content itself. Research shows that of advertising campaigns that performed well, 31% used emotional content and 16% used logical content. Advertisers have to channel these innate human responses in order to be successful—which isn’t always easy.
AI is Changing the Future of Advertising
Defining AI is a little tricky, but it boils down to machines carrying out tasks they are not explicitly programmed to do. This can be very helpful, as we’ve seen with personal “assistants” like Siri and Alexa. However, AI has many more applications than just doing Internet searches or opening apps.
Data is an extremely important component of digital advertising, as it gives advertisers insights on which ads work well, what time of day audiences are seeing the ads, and much more. AI can be used to automate some of this analysis work, allowing marketers to take care of the creative side of creating ads. Although these tasks are complex, today’s AI advances have allowed for far less manual work when uncovering insights that inform marketing strategies. 58% of marketing officers know that AI is about to become an important component of their work, and believe companies will need to invest and compete in AI in order to succeed in the near future.
Google is one of the biggest influences on modern advertising, because they have trailblazed so much of the technology advertisers use. From data analytics to paid search, to SEO and now AI, Google has always led the way in the advertising industry, and will likely continue to do so. The company strives to make advertising better, and is always making tweaks to encourage (or force) marketers to do better.
The Only Thing We Know For Sure: Things Will Change
These new technologies are changing the game of advertising, and the only thing we know for sure is that they will continue to change. Video ads, VR, and other innovative advertising mediums have already shaken things up. Tech is here to stay, and those who work in the media need to stay on top of trends and blaze their own trails.