Seven marketing predictions for 2016

Kerry McCabe, RadiumOne MD
By Kerry McCabe, RadiumOne MD | 15 December 2015
Kerry McCabe

Marketing technology company, RadiumOne, believes that 2016 will see brands connect their owned and earned investment with paid media effectiveness, plan effectively around online viewability, adapt to adblocking and embrace “dark social”.

The company's APAC managing director, Kerry McCabe, shares his seven predictions for 2016:

1. O+E+P=ROI:

Brands in 2015 rightly invested heavily into owned (O) and earned (E) channels; websites, apps, social, branded content, eDMs…but to date I haven’t observed this investment being linked directly to paid (P) media effectiveness and efficiency. This is partly due to a lack of clarity around where the responsibilities sit within a brand and across various suppliers and partners. Whichever way you look at it, marketers are not yet fully utilising their data gathering and activation capabilities 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.

2. Social data flips the creative process:

For too long our industry has had an over-reliance on great creative as the means to tap into consumer emotion. In 2016 brands will come at this challenge from the opposite direction; tapping into the emotional state of consumers as the catalyst for marketing activity, rather than the goal. Exceptional and relevant creative will always be important for brands, but the roles of social data, the broader sharing economy and technology are now placing consumer behaviour at the forefront of the process.

3. “Dark social” wins in Rio:

Currently, 75% of all sporting content shared online is via dark social channels (email or instant messenger) compared to the 25% of sport related content that is shared on public social networks. In the Olympic year we’ll see this dark social figure increase further. The brands that successfully capitalise on the social buzz around Rio will do so by shifting their social investment towards the large, intimate and valuable world of “dark social”.

4. We understand and see the bright side of ad blocking:

In a recent study from Millward Brown consumers reported that they received video advertisements delivered on their smartphone more negatively than on tablets, computers, on-demand TV or live TV. Before the creative is even served up, it's perceived negatively. This and other consumer behaviour 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 technology companies to develop content and delivery practices that users don’t want to block. They’ll also reduce their reliance on unsophisticated and often brand-damaging retargeting practices, which is a good thing for all.

5. Our views on viewability evolve:

As the term ‘viewabilty’ becomes better understood in 2016, what will emerge is the view that it is 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 2X the performance or 40% the cost. These types of results are common so we’ll see more sophisticated modelling incorporated into the planning process. Measuring viewability will be very important, but acting on it smartly will become conditional.

6. Cross-device attribution really matures:

80% of consumer time is spent in-app versus 20% in a mobile browser. 70% of mobile digital ad spend is invested in-app vs. 30% in mobile browser advertisments. 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.

7. Australia – the most competitive (and some say advanced) adtech market in the world – will see some casualties:

Many successful global adtech brands claim Australia to be their most advanced market. We’re the perfect size to launch and test, all the global players are here (even though there is limited spend, data and audience). The agency trading desk factor sees Australia with a greater percentage of all programmatic invested via desks than anywhere else in the world. What this means is: you have to be very good to survive and even better to thrive. 2016 will see some casualties in Australia, as the island of easy dollars that many operators expected coming in, becomes the island of wound-licking for more than a few.

By Kerry McCabe

RadiumOne MD

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