With the digital media space moving at a rapid space, three currents -- trends that will make waves in the sea of digital media -- have been identified here as ones that will be particularly strong throughout the year. As much as one should be excited about these trends, one should be also excited about the companies that have been built to innovate, accelerate, amplify, and leverage them.
If you are a company or brand looking to step up the way you target consumers, this deep-dive of trends, along with a hot list of companies that are fully accelerating them, will help fine-tune your marketing approach.
Cloud-based technology will accelerate cross device usage
Cloud-based technology is changing the way the world looks at data storage. Personal content lockers have appeared so consumers can store all their photos, music, and videos in the cloud. This trend has accelerated as user interfaces have become easier to interact with, and the cost for these lockers has plummeted.
Furthermore, the proliferation of tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices now allow access to personal content lockers from anywhere, anytime and from most devices. In fact, Cisco forecasts that personal cloud traffic will increase from 1.7 exabytes annually in 2012 to 20 exabytes in 2017.
Cloud technology has accelerated mobile adoption by enabling content to be available everywhere. We no longer have to access our content through our desktop or the browser. We receive content through mobile access points using our tablets, smartphones, connected TVs, and other devices.
- Bluecava allows brands to retarget beyond a single screen. The technology recognizes a visitor on one screen and creates a profile that identifies them across all their devices, allowing marketers to increase reach and frequency but also allocate budget to media channels based on data.
- Tapad has an RTB solution that allows for retargeting, geo-targeting, audience segmentation, and advanced analytics.
- Millenial Media-Millennial/Jumptap is a unified audience platform, taking a programmatic and mobile-first approach to reach a vast audience across screens.
- Conversant Inc. (formerly ValueClick Media) touts the industry's highest user-to-device matching accuracy within a network of 390 million connected devices.
- Drawbridge has built a cross-device matching solution, bridging data from the desktop web to target over 900 million mobile devices. Marketers can target audiences with precision on mobile devices to drive performance at scale.
Data trails will enable superior targeting and personalization, redefining intent-based marketing
As consumers' computing becomes less tethered by cords, we are creating more data streams based on many more variables. Devices are collecting data about our actions, how we connect to the web, social media actions, app usage, and an increasing number of inputs. Most consumers are aware of these data trails, while others occur passively.
We are now actively and passively sharing more data and content about ourselves than ever before and marketers have learned that what we do is a better indicator of our intent than what we say we'll buy.
Since we've become the sum of our data streams, companies are being created to mine this growing output of consumer data and identify intent triggers. Search remains the primary means to uncover intent but increasingly location, content consumption, and social actions are creating valuable data streams to target consumers at the most opportune moment during the journey.
- Place IQ uses location intelligence to target consumers in two ways: defining users based on where they are now and where they've been in the past. Full disclosure: My employer, The Media Kitchen was spun out of kbs+, of which its investment arm, kbs+ Ventures, is a minority investor in Place IQ.
- Chango and Yieldbot capture potential customers searching on Google, Yahoo, and Bing and redirect them to brand websites through search retargeting.
- Adacado uses first party data to serve personalized ad creative based on a user's activity on an advertiser's website.
- Truaxis leverages past credit card purchases to determine intent for future purchases.
Our physical and digital worlds will become connected through the "internet of things"
The internet of things, embedding sensors in physical objects to bring them into the connected world, is increasingly becoming available in every sector from fashion to sports. The internet of things allows us to monitor the flow of products through a factory, measure the moisture in a field of crops, and track your health through a phone. The internet of things allows us to manage, optimize, and create like we never imagined.
More than 9 billion devices are currently connected and that number is expected to increase to 50 billion within the next decade.
As the people in the world get more connected, consumers are starting to connect to all the accessories that immediately surround themselves. We are beginning to control the world around us remotely through our always-on mobile-ready lives. In fact the number of wearable connected devices tripled from 2011 to 2012.
- Sonic Notify allows brands, apps, and retailers to create mobile experiences that connect to the environment. Sonic signals are emitted across any broadcast system and allows brands to send specific content based on sound waves.
- Affectiva helps to uncover real consumer insight using emotional cues without relying on self-reported data. The ability to automatically "read faces" is a cost-effective neuroscience technique that can add insights into developing communication and measuring engagement effectiveness.
- ByteLight finds objects consumers have been window shopping for online. It transforms existing LED lights into location waypoints. These waypoints beam a signal to any smartphone with a camera.
- Amscreen's face detection system works via an inbuilt camera in each screen that detects individuals within its local vicinity and then identifies some key traits through the detection software. This software is able to identify, measure, and then combine number of viewers, age, sex, location, and time.
- Audible Magic detects music or advertising content as it is broadcast over radio, television, cable and satellite. This fingerprinting technology enables news studios, sport organizations, TV syndications, and advertisers to determine precisely when, where, and how their content is being used.
- Estimote places Bluetooth enabled, tiny sensors in any physical place and app users will receive personalized micro-location based notifications and actions when they walk into a store or interact with products.
Barry Lowenthal is President of The Media Kitchen.
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