As advisors to leading brands worldwide, we pride ourselves on providing sound, independent advisement. Even so, making predictions for the year can be tricky, especially in marketing and media, where trends and technologies seem to flow in and out with the changing wind. So as the calendar turns over from June to July and the book closes on Q2, we decided to fact-check ourselves by going back to see how the main predictions in our 2017 Marcomm Guide have developed so far. Did our predictions ring true?
We rounded up our top predictions with a brief recap, including any supporting data, of how each one has developed to this halfway point of the year. Read on to see what we found, or if you haven’t had a chance to read our 2017 Marcomm Guide yet, you can find it here.
Prediction: "Spending on Digital Advertising is anticipated to surpass traditional in 2017." (pg. 18)
Outcome: Correct. This wasn’t our prediction alone, far from it, but the long-awaited overtaking of traditional advertising by digital advertising was reported on April 26th by AdvertisingAge to have finally happened. Mobile search played a significant role in finally pushing digital ad revenue over the top, contributing over $17bn in spend.
Now the question becomes if this will be a one year blip or the new order. With growing concerns centering around viewability, fraud, transparency and programmatic, and basic metrics, (more on this later…) the possibility does exist, but we’ll save our predictions for the 2018 Marcomm Guide later this year.
Prediction: “Viewability and ad fraud become an even bigger focus in 2017." (pg.21)
Outcome: Correct. Even though the issues with viewability and ad fraud have been a widespread topic for some time now, in 2017 we saw concrete data that these issues led the list of concerns for advertisers. In our joint study with the World Federation of Advertisers on online advertising effectiveness, responses from more than 50 global advertisers, representing an annual advertising spend of more than $80bn, stated that viewability was the top concern associated with online advertising investments.
The report found that two-thirds of the respondents planned to increase their investment in online advertising in 2017-18, some by as much as 40%. However, despite this statistic, the over-arching theme across the study indicated low confidence in the effectiveness of online advertising and the tools available to measure effectiveness with the majority stating that they feel online advertising does not represent value for money.
The diverging attitudes regarding online advertising only make the overtaking of traditional advertising and the remainder of 2017 that much more interesting. Of course, transparency would help provide the clarity necessary to alleviate the low confidence in online advertising effectiveness. A simple way to start establishing transparency with your online advertisements is through the setting of transparency principles. By setting a transparency strategy, shaping contracts to a transparent level, and ensuring ‘trust with control’, you’ll begin to receive the complete picture of your online advertising campaign and return the confidence to your investments.
Prediction: “In 2017, we are now ready for the next evolution of omni-channel marketing.” (pg. 18)
Outcome: Still in Progress. Earlier this year, we were determined in our assertion that marketers were ready to make a leap to the next level of omni-channel marketing. But no matter how ready we were to help brands get to the next level, many brands have had a rough go at it so far in 2017. A recently released Forrester Consulting study stated that almost half of marketers are still facing challenges with understanding their customer behavior across channels and touchpoints. Additionally, 43% struggle with understanding the optimal customer journey.
While access to data is at unprecedented levels, unifying customer data across channels and creating truly personalized messaging is still a significant challenge for marketers. The reality is that few marketers have embraced digital transformation to provide their customers with timely, personalized interactions based on attributes such as an individual’s interests or a customer’s lifecycle phase. Our innovative visitor stitching methodology and Total View Attribution product offerings create a comprehensive view of a customer profile across all channels to truly gain clarity. Understanding what your customers are doing, when they are doing it, and what is successful, is possible!
Prediction: “...transparency as it relates to digital media will be an ongoing topic of interest for marketers.” (pg. 20)
Outcome: Correct. In the summer of 2016, we began to see the topic of transparency in the advertising industry become a significant talking point, if not a downright collective scream from advertisers. Due to the complexity of new technologies and programmatic, we projected that transparency would continue to be an ongoing topic of interest in 2017 and it hasn’t lost momentum. In fact, ‘transparency’ has been the key term at just about every conference around marketing and media this year.
The topic has been so persistent that at Cannes Lions, we announced our Media Transparency Score, a way for advertisers to take the next step towards clarity and our own Michael Karg, Ebiquity Group CEO, was interviewed by CNBC to discuss the new service. With increasing amounts of media, both digital and traditional, being traded programmatically as well as the fears around viewability and ad fraud, transparency will continue to be one of biggest Marcomm topics for the remainder of 2017.
It has been an exciting year so far, with many interesting developments in the rapidly-evolving marketing, media, and communications space. For the most part, our predictions have proven true and we are gearing up for our 2018 predictions. Let us know what you think, do you agree with our 2017 predictions? What are your predictions for the rest of 2017 and into 2018?
Feel free to reach out to us at info.US@ebiquity.com
About the Ebiquity Marcomm Guide
In this guide, our leading experts answer the questions needed to help you set up your marketing communications programs for success in 2017. For your copy or to be featured in the next Marcomm Guide, email us at info.US@ebiquity.com.