The Future of Digital Advertising?

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Guest Post by: Dhiren (Market Sentinel)

It’s been written – sort of.

Creative social have put together a nice eBook called “Digital Advertising: Past, Present and Future”. The book is a compilation of essays and comments, from digital thought-leaders, about how digital advertising has been evolving.

I haven’t got myself a copy yet, however, Steve Henry has put some sound-bites on his blog. A few of my favourites in include:

“Succeeding as a social brand is quite simple … It’s the “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” principle inherent in all interactions between apes …   Known as the “value exchange”, this is the fundamental principle of the new marketing.” – Chris Clarke

“With the principle of value exchange in mind, smart brands have taken to looking at their target audience’s behaviours and interests, looking for overlap with the brand proposition, and then intervening in positive ways to amplify the audience’s enjoyment … This opens the door to some fruitful forms of value exchange where marketing budgets can be put to good use improving the world we live in rather than simply cluttering it up with ad messages.” – Chris Clarke

“… the internet is not constrained to that screen, that box in front of us anymore. The Net is migrating onto handsets and bleeding into the real world … But with all this data online, on mobiles and offline, how is anybody going to find anything anymore ? … We need a Filter on the old 2.0 web. A Meta web that sits around the old web like a halo or onion skin. This new brain is being fuelled by the fact that the current static IP address structure of the web with unique URLs for sites is also changing as we speak. We no longer access content through a unique URL; instead we have unique IP addresses for each piece of data. There will be an infinite number of unique addresses available, so each thought, image, word and pixel will have a unique address … The consequence of all this is that traditional online advertising will lose its importance. What surfaces on the Filter will be conversations about your product. Our opinions, thoughts, and feelings will replace advertising messages. That’s why it’s vital to have a good product – something that people like to talk about. Good agencies understand that, and create content that comes through the Filter. Content that’s free, new, useful and funny” – Flo Heiss

Both the comments and the book are both interesting because I’m seeing various traditional communications agencies (Advertising, PR and Media) adopt their value proposition in order to deliver content, products or branded media properties that create conversations. Two agencies that seem to do this very well are Anomaly and Wieden+Kennedy. Anomaly recently created By Lauren Luke, a premium cosmetics brand and W+K Delhi produced a sub-culture magazine for the Delhi cool crowd.

As more agencies work to deliver content that “comes through the filter”, we’re going to see a growing interest in how this content is discussed? Where are the discussions coming from? How content is being shared and which networks are introducing ideas to new and relevant groups of people?

Brands have fans, but their levels of loyalty and interaction vary. Members of branded communities include Super-Fans that are very loyal and badge holders, which “Like” pages purely for status reasons. Have you ever considered how many Porsche fans on Facebook actually own one of their cars?

Super-Fans are the key to ensuring that ideas travel further. These hybrid maven/connector types are the people that all marketers should be looking for and thinking about.

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