RadiumOne's Rupert Staines: 7 marketing tech predictions for 2016

Solving viewability and ad blocking and embracing 'dark social' are among the big issues for Radium One's Rupert Staines.

Here are his seven predictions for the coming year in tech:

Brands in 2015 rightly invested heavily into owned (O) and earned (E) channels; websites, apps, social, branded content, eDMs, but I haven’t observed this investment being linked directly to paid (P) media effectiveness. This is partly due to a lack of clarity about where the responsibility sits within a brand and across its various suppliers.

But whichever way you look at it, marketers are not yet fully utilizing the data-gathering and activation technology available to connect the dots.

In 2016, this tide will turn, and we’ll see brands truly connecting their O+E investment with P for improved business outcomes.

Social data flips the creative process
For too long, the marketing industry has had an over-reliance on great creative as the means to tap into consumer emotion. In 2016, brands will tackle this challenge from the opposite direction – by tapping into the emotional state of consumers as the catalyst for marketing activity, rather than seeing it as the goal.

Exceptional and relevant creative will always be important for brands, but the roles of social data and technology are now placing consumer behavior at the forefront of marketing strategy.

‘Dark social’ wins in Rio
Seventy five percent of all sports content shared online is via dark social channels, such as email or instant messenger, compared with the 25% of sports-related content that’s shared on public social networks.

In this Olympic year, we’ll see this dark social figure increase further. The brands that successfully capitalize on the social buzz around the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero will do so by shifting their social investment towards the more intimate and valuable world of "dark social."

Seeing the bright side of ad blocking
A recent Millward Brown study revealed consumers were more negative to video ads on their smartphone than on tablets, computers, on-demand, or live TV.

Before the creative is even served up, it's perceived negatively. This and other consumer behavior and attitude insights will make us wiser in 2016.

We’ll start to see ad blocking as a positive challenge as it will force brands, publishers, and tech companies to develop the sort of content and delivery methods that users don’t want to block. They’ll also reduce their reliance on unsophisticated and brand-damaging retargeting practices, which is a good thing for all.

Viewability views evolve
As the term "viewability" becomes better understood in 2016, what will emerge is the view that it’s not an end in itself. It is simply another measure to balance in the effort to drive results for brands.

If a placement has 50% viewability, it can still outperform an 80% viewable placement if it has two times the performance or 40% the cost. These types of results are common, so we’ll see more sophisticated modeling incorporated into the planning process.

Measuring viewability will be very important, but acting on it smartly will become conditional.

Cross-device attribution really matures
Eighty percent of consumer time is spent in-app versus 20% in a mobile browser. Seventy percent of mobile digital ad spend is invested in-app versus 30% in mobile browser advertisements.

Yet, when it comes to tracking conversions, the landscape of cookies offers advantages over device IDs. There are many reasons for it, but this weakness is what keeps in-app ad spending suppressed.

2016 will see the maturation of attribution technologies designed to account for real-world conversions by channel.

Casualties in competitive ad tech markets
As ad tech becomes more developed and buyers get more comfortable with it, vendors will have to be very good even to survive and great if they’re to thrive. 2016 will see some casualties as the weaker players are forced out and there’s the inevitability of consolidation looming on the horizon.

Rupert Staines is European MD of RadiumOne. This article originally appeared on Campaign UK.

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