This is the fifth post in a five-part blog series focused on future trends in business.

Advertising has evolved from traditional print, television, and radio ads to today's multi-channel mobile and online media campaigns. With more data being collected and analyzed than ever before, many aspects of advertising have become integrated and therefore more apt at addressing consumer needs. The future of advertising lies in the connectivity of our devices and in the data derived from our activity. This post will explore the effect these advancements have on consumers and highlight opportunities for businesses.

When you think of advertising, it is common to associate it with pesky pop-up ads that clutter our screens when browsing the web. However, technology and data collection have helped advertising evolve to generate more mutually beneficial interactions. Mobile has emerged as an effective way to reach and engage with consumers since nearly 5 billion of the 7.6 billion people in the world now own a mobile phone. As mobile adoption continues to saturate the global market, it is estimated that 67% of the total population will have mobile phones by 2019. Some of the largest mobile markets include China with 1.4 billion users, India with just over 1 billion, and the United States with 365 million. Why does this matter? In 2017, mobile accounted for over 50% of worldwide web traffic and over 60% of searches took place on mobile devices compared to desktops. Search engine optimization and mobile-friendly content are crucial for businesses to ensure their websites drive positive user engagement and increase acquisition. 

Mobile marketing extends past search inquiries to engage customers through email, SMS and MMS, mobile apps, push notifications, and in-app notifications. Integrated marketing communications allow for the cross-collection of data from multiple channels, which creates a more holistic view of the consumer and presents opportunities to improve the consumer journey. As a result, these channels are developed with strategies capable of delivering ads that identify and satisfy consumer needs in real-time. Data analytics and artificial intelligence will play a crucial role in the effectiveness of these campaigns, resting on the platform's ability to effectively interpret and utilize gathered data. Transparency is another important aspect of these integrated campaigns, as we have recently witnessed the consequences of poor management of data collected through social media. Campaigns should be transparent in their collection processes for the sake of consumer peace of mind and to be able to properly measure and attribute data in performance reports. 

System innovation and consumer demand are driving growth in the personalization trend. Whether it is content or product personalization, audiences respond much more positively to efforts tailored to their interests and behaviors. Behavioral profiling takes into account an audience's browsing history, location, time of day, and demographic profile to deliver personalized messages. This could include adding a customer's name to a push notification, presenting offers similar to past buying behavior, or presenting an in-app survey to measure consumer feedback for a particular experience. Artificial intelligence works to analyze user data and produce personalized interfaces, product recommendations, search results, and deliver more timely customer service. Overall, personalization efforts have been reported to increase sales, drive customer loyalty, connect brand experiences, and even decrease returns on impulse buys. 

Click here for the fourth blog in this series. 

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