By Tzahi Stein
Though location-targeting via mobile devices isn’t yet in use at the street level universally, location-based targeting was clearly the biggest trend in mobile video advertising in 2016, as we took a big step forward to making the aforementioned example a mobile marketing reality. And I believe that this location-based trend will only gain traction in 2017.
Another trend from 2016 which will gain traction in 2017 is enhanced use of seasonality in mobile video advertising. We’ve seen seasonal trends in travel advertising whereby travel marketers increase advertising in Q2 (Spring) and Q4 (Fall) leading up to traditional Summer and Winter vacations, and Home Improvement (in our Retail category) advertising increases in Q2 (Spring) as home owners fix their house leading up to the summer. I also believe late Q3/early Q4 is an opportunity for home improvement advertisers to run campaigns about winter-proofing homes.
An additional trend which I expect to grow in 2017 is the use of ads created and optimized to run vertically, such as on Snapchat. With their upcoming IPO, Snapchat is the biggest platform to influence mobile video advertising since Facebook, so it’s not surprising that its vertical format is gaining acceptance and usage in the industry.
By Paul Sawers
Google has announced that its Optimize and Optimize 360 A/B website testing tools are now available to everyone after a prolonged period in beta.
Some details of Google Optimize 360 first surfaced back in 2015, with a limited beta trial kicking off last March. In a nutshell, Optimize 360 is a website testing product that sits on top of Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, and helps businesses test and experiment with multiple different versions of their site to see how it performs against a predefined objective. It enables a full end-to-end A/B test, underpinned by a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) visual editor that lets users drag-and-drop components and test them out with live users.
By Chuck Martin
Marketers have forever been looking for better ways to target shoppers.
All sorts of location technologies ranging from GPS and Wi-Fi to beacons and specific mobile apps have been tapped over the years.
At retail, beacons have been used for the last few years to tell where shoppers go in a store and sometimes message them based on where they are at any given moment.
The little one-way radio transmitters trigger a specific authorized app in a smartphone and, presuming consumers have Bluetooth turned on and opt in to receive messages as they shop, brands or retailers can start interacting based on specific locations, such as in the shoe department or sporting goods.
However, location tracking over time is starting to provide totally new advertising opportunities based on longer-term behaviors of a shopper beyond a single store visit.
The first I noticed of this was a year ago, when a campaign for Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner created a targeted effort by including timing into the purchase cycle.
By Bernardine Wu
Evolving technologies and changing consumer shopping behaviors are consistently top of mind for retailers. While most agree that a seamless and consistent shopping experience across all channels is ideal, the approach to omnichannel retail varies. Online and other non-store sales are expected to grow 8 to 12 percent this year, and digital’s influence on in-store sales continues to grow. Retail’s focus on delivering omnichannel experiences isn’t going to waver anytime soon.
NRF and FitForCommerce released the first Omnichannel Retail Index in 2015 to see how retailers across multiple verticals were implementing key omnichannel features like mobile-optimized emails and websites, live online chat, in-store pickup of online orders, online/offline compatible loyalty programs and the ability to see store inventory online. The report found that while retailers understood that omnichannel investments were key to growing their businesses, work remained to be done. Two years later, the third Omnichannel Retail Index reveals that retailers continue to optimize in-store and online omnichannel capabilities, yet there is still much room for improvement. The average indexed retailer has adopted just over half (55 percent) of best-practice omnichannel features.
By Larissa Faw
Global ad growth will slow in 2017 to 3.7%, with total advertising revenues reaching $511 billion, according to Interpublic Group’s Magna.
By comparison, Magna estimates that 2016 ad revenue grew at a stronger 5.7% pace, reaching $493 billion. Magna states the slower rate of growth is attributable to lack of cyclical events such as the Olympics and major political campaigns that added $3.5 billion in incremental ad spend last year.
Advertisers are reallocating their budgets. Digital-based ad sales will grow double-digits to become the top media category in 2017, Magna asserted, surpassing linear TV ad sales for the first time ($70 billion vs. $67 billion for national and local).
2016 was the first year when digital ad sales finally surpassed total linear television.
This shift took place years ago in many other countries analyzed by Magna — such as 10 years ago in the UK and two years ago in China. The fact it happened in 2016 in the U.S. is a testimony to the strength and resilience of television in America: “linear TV is losing viewers but remains attractive enough to national advertisers that they are — so far — willing to tolerate high CPM inflation to try and maintain their investment in the medium,” says the report.
By Emil Protalinski
At the Enterprise Connect conference in Orlando today, Microsoft announcednew Skype for Business features: Auto Attendant and Call Queues. The company also released a preview of the new Skype for Business Call Analytics dashboard and showed off new solutions from its partners.
Skype for Business arrived for Windows in April 2015 and got a dedicated Windows Phone app in July 2015. The iOS app launched out of preview in October 2015, the Android app followed in December 2015, and the Mac version finally arrived in October 2016.
Having covered all the major platforms, the company is now back to focusing on new features specific to business needs. Auto Attendant is an automated system for answering and routing inbound calls using dial pad inputs and speech recognition. Call Queues routes incoming calls to the next available live attendant in the order they are received.
By Gavin O’Malley
Despite the obvious privacy issues, Google just threw Maps into the deep end of the world of real-time media and communication. Google Maps users will soon be able to share their current location, travel route and estimated arrival time with friends and family.
“On both Android and iOS, you’ll be able to share your real-time location with anyone,” Daniel Resnick, engineering manager at Google Maps, notes in a new blog post. “And the people you share with will be able to see your location on Android, iPhone, mobile web, and even desktop.”
To share their location, Google Maps users will need to open the apps side menu or tap the blue dot, which represents their present location. They will then have to tap “Share location” and select who to share with, and how long to share.
When people are sharing their location, the people they have chosen to share with will see them on their own map.
Of course, this isn’t Google’s first crack at real-time location sharing. Users could share their whereabouts with Google’s old Latitude service, as well as its fated Google+ social network.