The Lab recently updated our lobby screens to celebrate and support our brand new 2015 Outlook. Swing by if you have a chance to check out this yearly trend report in person. For the next few months, we’ll be updating our physical installations in the Lab to demonstrate the must-know trends illustrated in this Outlook, so stay tuned for more exciting additions to come.
2015 is going to be a special year for consumers and media, as detailed in the IPG Media Lab’s 2015 Outlook. We’ve secured thought leadership from some of the most innovative players in the emerging spaces that make up 2015’s landscape, and wanted to feature a few companies that are fulfilling our predictions and pushing the industry into the future.
One of the most prominent pieces of marketing hardware in 2014 was the beacon. Using Bluetooth Low Energy, these devices detect the location of nearby smartphones, and, if an appropriate app is installed, pushes a message to the devices.
Estimote, a pioneer in the space, is rapidly innovating both hardware and software. Their sticker beacons, or “Nearables,” are responsive to motion and temperature, and last up to a year. Recently, Estimote premiered a developer platform and management system that allows for better proximity data, and better insights about consumer behavior.
Users are finding that Estimote beacons can be used for wayfinding, mobile marketing, payments, and much more. Beacons help bring digital-level accountability to the physical world, and that is a powerful idea.
Beacons like Estimote’s are working toward a world in which technology responds to and anticipates user behavior, and facilitates a deeper connection between consumers, their devices, and their purchases—a part of the trend we call “The Internet of Thrills.”
Vistar Media is contributing to a more accountable and aware outdoor landscape. The company compiles and refines a collection of data sources related consumers’ commutes. Once location is understood, it maps brand data to both time and place — understanding where consumers buy what, and when they do it. Then, Vistar targets (and retargets) based on consumer path — for example, the consumers from the shoe store see ads at the gas station.
The next step—the ability to contextually map marketer actions to the consumer journey—is rapidly approaching. Currently, Vistar Media is beefing up its data sources, most notably through a partnership with Airsagefor carrier data. The company has also just launched an ad exchange to coordinate outdoor spend.
One of our Outlook themes is Peak Distraction: the consumer is maxed out; there is no more white space for dumb interactions. So with the finite amount of time in a consumer’s day, the solution cannot be louder media, but smarter media. Vistar’s technology allows marketing spend to target consumers contextually. This leads to more than just better accountability on the bottom line — it facilitates better consumer experiences, closer relationships to their preferred brands, and less noise overall.
TouchCast enables interactive video creation via HTML. A traditional video is annotated with interactive elements — other videos, photos, new web pages — that, when selected, activate without leaving the original video. The compelling approach gets over five times the engagement of traditional YouTube annotations, and allows for more insights into the online consumer journey.
The best part of TouchCast is that it mirrors the way we consume content online; that is, nonlinear, omnichannel. Their platform can drive the video conversation beyond just completion rates. It pinpoints and activates moments of viewer engagement, and helps map time-spent toward measurable spend.
TouchCast shows the emotional significance of specific moments: not just where users care, but how they manifest it, an important part of our third trend, “Measurable Intimacy.” Solutions like TouchCast will drive more personalized and compelling media, allowing marketers to understand the consumer like never before.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, six ad agencies, including IPG Mediabrands, recently selected Placed’s attribution product as the preferred tool for digital to in-store measurement, signaling a rising industry standard for mobile measurement. As part of the partnership, the agencies will also get access to Placed’s insights tool that provides location analytics and examines customer traffic patterns.
Such new industry standard is both necessary and inevitable, considering the increasing prominence of smartphones in consumers’ everyday lives and the industry’s lack of efficient tools for mobile-to-store measurement. “We really look at attribution as a metric that’s going to help grow the category of mobile and give clients more confidence in mobile,” remarked our managing partner Chad Stoller, when IPG took a minority stake in Placed in September last year.
A confluence of new technology trends – from new, more intimate interfaces and advanced curation filters to hyperlocal technologies – is emerging as an unprecedented kind of measurable intimacy that connects brands with the modern consumers through their personal mobile devices. And the industry needs to keep up in this new trend by embracing new mobile measurement tools so as to better serve their audience with contextualized and relevant brand messages.
Editor’s Note: updated on 2/20/2014 to better reflect our 2015 Outlook.