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Prospect 2017: Watch out for these seven digital advertising trends

While 2016 was a great digital year for brands, 2017 will see more experiments to give the consumer a personalised experience

Prospect 2017: Watch out for these seven digital advertising trends

While 2016 was a great digital year for brands, 2017 will see more experiments to give the consumer a personalised experience

Archit Ambekar | Mumbai | January 5, 2017


2016 was one of the most digitally exploited years and saw some interesting evolution in areas such as augmented reality/virtual reality and new platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. Online video became more pervasive and brands made lot of good use of this phenomenon. 2016 was the year of ‘live’ streaming as well.

2017 will possibly see thoughts coming to reality. Artificial intelligence will grow to another level with Facebook still in the testing process of its voice automated device, while Google and Amazon already have Amazon Echo and Google Home. This year will see a larger adoption of such devices.

While 2016 was a great digital year for brands, 2017 will see more experiments to give the consumer a personalised experience. Best Media Info spoke to industry veterans to know what will be trending in digital advertising this year.

Here are seven digital advertising trends to look out for in 2017:

Native advertising will explode

In 2016, we’ve seen the rise of native advertising. Facebook being among the first ones to introduce it, publishers and brands have realised this is a better way to reach out to the consumer. 2017 will see an explosive adoption of native advertising.

Vinod Thadani Vinod Thadani

Vinod Thadani, Chief Digital Officer, Mindshare, South Asia, explained, “Native is the perfect blend of advertising and content and in an opt-in digital world, it will only gain popularity.”

Programmatic way of buying will gain popularity

In 2017, digital will be bought differently with metrics getting more robust and publishers moving to new programmatic trading practices. Thadani said, “Programmatic buys are in the nascent stage today where brands have started to invest in audience planning. Over time, brands will ensure media gets more accountable with robust and targeted buys on digital.”

New metrics will redefine digital measurement

The world of CTR, CPC will now be redefined with in-target reach, view-ability and other metrics that will redefine the way brands evaluate digital.

Is your brand thinking mobile first?

The last two years have seen a significant rise in access of data via mobile and has made it the primary device for large players in the ecosystem. Mobile will continue to sit at the centre of all digital decisions.

Carlton D’Souza, CEO and CCO, Hungama Digital Services, said, “With the mobile phone becoming your primary device, it is only obvious to think ‘Mobile First.’ While most people use this term loosely, I am hoping the true meaning of the term comes alive in 2017.”

Real time data-driven marketing

Anil K Nair Anil K Nair

Anil K Nair, Managing Partner, Digital L&K Saatchi & Saatchi, said, “Real time data-driven marketing will be a high growth area in 2017. And this will lead to micro moment marketing and predictive targeting with a high degree of personalisation.”

Vikram Menon Vikram Menon

Vikram Menon, President and Country Head, OgilvyOne Worldwide, too agrees with Nair, saying this year will see data driven stuff and marketing automation.

Rise of chat bots

Hareesh Tibrewala Hareesh Tibrewala

The rapidity with which chats and messaging solutions are becoming popular, they are set to pose a serious challenge to Facebook and Google. Hareesh Tibrewala, Joint CEO, Mirum India, said, “Facebook has become a social utility and it allows one to broadcast communication – a one-is-to-many communication. Similarly, Google, which enabled a web surfer to find relevant information, is becoming more of an index of all-and-sundry digital clutter. One wants an instantaneous and accurate answer to a query, but Google wants the user to surf through a bunch of URLs. On the back of artificial intelligence and chat bots, messaging platforms are going to take over the role of providing information. Ask a question, and you get a very specific answer, almost like a personalised Google butler who knows one’s taste and moods, and responds appropriately to the questions.”

Menon too feels many brands have started piloting chat bots and 2017 will see more of it. On the flip side, Amaresh Godbole, Managing Director, DigitasLBi, India says that apart from chat bots there will be more integration of Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp and we might see an evolved ecosystem with the integration of these platforms.

Cyber security will be of priority

For brands and their consumers, it will be a key focus area given the catapulting digital adoption drive in India.

Experts see a healthy increase in the size of the digital pie and a bit more conservative rate of growth as compared to last year. This will also be due to consolidation of ad tech and mar-tech by organisations to fully leverage the power of digital for profitability. Few experts point out that digital advertising will by 30-40 per cent in 2017.

Every year sees a plethora of campaigns that trend on social media. 2016 was no different. It only was more vocal. From having a social message to being an emotional metal piece for veteran navy officers, social media witnessed a variety of campaigns in the past year. Ariel #ShareTheLoad, Nivea Mother’s Day campaign, Bajaj INS Vikrant campaign, Air Asia Kabali campaign, Nike Da Da Ding – celebrating spirit of women athletes, Puma DoYou – most women planking for a Guinness book record, Lipton 100 Days of Summer, Brooke Bond 6-pack band and Kurkure Family Express were some of the campaigns that were popular on social media in 2016.

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