Unlike the famous “1969″ song, by 2020 we still won’t have had enough time to destroy our planet. However, 8 years from now in online advertising terms is a lifetime. What will our industry look like in New Year’s Eve, 2020? It’s anyone’s guess really, but we’d like to take our chances on 3 major sequences of events:
First of all, text will be a thing of the past. The reasoning behind this claim is that technology will allow us to go back to pre-print way of thinking – our natural given capability of audio-visual expression will be enough to operate any technology or platform. Liking and supporting ideas will be deduced by machines from our tone of voice, choice of words, and other body language, closer than today to conversation between humans. Text, at least for day to day communication, will become redundant, but will still be used to store abstract information (ideas, stories, events, etc)
What does this mean for advertising? It sounds spooky, but there is no need to prepare for an onslaught of retina scanners from futuristic movies like Minority Report. If it doesn’t inspire trust in you right now, it won’t hold water then. Consider it this way: If communication with the internet is much more like human interaction, then advertising techniques will have to play along to stay effective. If a sales person can understand your needs and provide you the best service or product, they should get your business.
The second major landslide affecting the online world by 2020 will be the capability to analyze content in any form, including pictures, art, videos and even texture of surfaces. What we know today as the boundaries of the world covered by our devices such as tablets and phones is still all in the virtual realm. Smart homes already exist, and the next step is smart public environments that adapt to the needs of a collective group within a given space.
Last but absolutely not least, power will be completely at the consumer’s hands. Already today, Social Media has toppled regimes and brought corporations to their knees, forcing large organizations to be more open about their activities, interests, and their social responsibility. In the same way that opinions, support for causes, funding and consumer action can be crowd-sourced, so can advertising regulations and best practices, getting us closer to an optimal balance between privacy and quality of service.
Think about it, online advertising is only about 15 years old. It needs to grow, shape, storm and norm before it reaches its huge, promising potential. We’ll be there, hoping that in this case, foresight is 2020.
Happy Holidays from the Ybrant family!