While many brands and advertisers may still be actively executing holiday campaigns to capitalize on the flurry of end-of-the-year spending sprees, the end of 2014 draws near. It has been an exciting year for many brands, and one that has saw the advertising landscape change significantly. Mobile devices continue to grow more prominent in the greater scheme of things, while many brands are growing more familiar with programmatic technology and other tools that help them drive performance and efficiency.
That being said, 2015 is a new year and with it come new challenges. Advertising has always been a dynamic process, with the brands and agencies that respond and adapt the most effectively coming out on top of the competition. So how will advertisers rise up to meet these new challenges head on? That is the question each brand and agency must ask itself as they look to the horizon.
Here are a few of the key challenges brands and advertisers expect to see within the next year:
1. Staying on top of trends
The advertising industry moves quickly as new communication channels rise to prominence and old ones fade. Just a couple of years ago, social media was all the rage and many brands shifted exorbitant amounts of spend to it. Social media still remains heavily relevant, but at the same time, mobile has quickly filled the same role as the next big advertising platform. Over this past year, display advertising (powered by programmatic technology) regained popularity as advertisers discovered they could use these tools to enhance the relevancy of their initiatives.
The most successful brands and advertisers are the ones who can not only identify trends as they rise, but also adapt to and capitalize on them. Yet many companies struggle in this same area – they find themselves adapting to one trend while another one emerges and have trouble keeping up.
“We’re always one step behind,” Bailey Doyle, group manager of national shopper marketing at Clorox, told Digiday. “You start designing a website, and then you find out the website has to be mobile first or responsive. We can’t turn things around fast enough.”
2. Championing new media and technology
If one of the top challenges is keeping up with shifting trends, the other big obstacle has to be getting people on board with new trends and technology.
For example, programmatic tools for a long time were reserved for buying remnant, leftover inventory. Premium buys were handled by sales teams. Just the connotations of these terms suggest that programmatic technology cannot buy high-value inventory. However, these tools have evolved in recent years and allow brands to target prospects more effectively. Still, the legacy reputation of these tools may result in some hesitation from investing in these campaigns.
Championing campaigns, media and technology is crucial to the success of advertisers and brands. Whether advertisers are trying to convince budget-holders that social media is not just for teens or that remnant inventory can actually be quite valuable, getting buy-in is a big challenge many brands and agencies face.
3. Making effective use of data
Digital media makes it easier than ever before to collect information about customers. Advertisers can track prospects through everything from cookies to email addresses, and this intel can be use to fine-tune campaigns. The problem now, however, is that many advertisers are overwhelmed by data – they have all this information, but it can be difficult to figure out which bits are important and which are not.
Making effective use of data is a huge challenge, and one that advertisers will need to step up to the plate to confront in 2015.