A look into 2015: Where will the consumer be?

Whether you were able to attend CES this year or not, you undoubtedly were not able to escape the veritable onslaught of press coverage and chatter which spilled over from the tech press into the mainstream press, social media and personal conversations.

Wearables, smart watches, smart autos, gesture controls, the Internet of Everything, curved TVs, flexible phones, UHDTVs – the list goes on, as your head swirls.

look-to-2015But for those of us in the advertising/media space, what did it all mean? What can I take away for the next year, until we meet again at CES 2015?

As you strive to separate the wheat from the chaff, the fads from the real opportunities, and value these individual technologies and devices, I encourage you to consider these four key litmus factors:

Receptivity – embrace the “trailblazing” technologies where consumers will be open and receptive to your messages. For example, in the realm of the Internet of Everything, a home security system controlled via an iPhone app is cool, but will consumers be open and receptive to seeing ad messages when they’re trying to remotely secure their home’s safety? Likely not.

Balance – while the average TV viewing time is declining, it still stands at a shocking average of 4 hours and 31 minutes per day, according to an eMarketer report from August 2013. That said, you don’t want to be the last-to-the-party as innovative brands find high levels of brand engagement with still-uncluttered environments on connected devices. Striking that delicate balance between bleeding-edge and tried-and-true will be critical for the next several years.

Attentiveness – targeting the right audiences is, of course, table stakes (yes, pun intended), but are your audiences paying attention to your messages? As technologies continue to evolve and attentive measures emerge, you should pay equal weight to not only the “bright shiny objects” but also whether your consumer is attentive to your message while engaging with this new gadgetry.

Calculated Risk – this principle holds true in every industry, and the future of media is no different. Last year, second screen social apps were all the rage, but to date, the scale has yet to actually materialize. However, given the explosion and fragmentation of devices, platforms and form factors, it behooves you to embrace Vegas and place a few (small) bets on the latest avenues to reach consumers.

Of course, the frustrating piece is that as you are trying to stay ahead of the pack, it’s invariably a chicken-and-egg scenario. Brands should not only go wherever the consumers are, but into places where consumers will be. The trick is to not waste your dollars pushing into places where consumers will never be. Good luck and see you in January 2015.

About the Author

Ed Haslam, SVP Marketing, YuMe, is a strategic marketing executive with substantial experience in online media, networked communications, and infrastructure computing. Prior to joining YuMe to oversee Marketing, Ed was co-founder & VP Marketing of Ludic Labs (Groupon), which developed both the social media community Diddit.com and local commerce service OfferFoundry.com.

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