Graham Moysey, head of international at AOL, outlines why advertisers should pay attention to the advertising and marketing technology start-up scene.
The world of tech start-ups is a vast one globally today, and continues to grow exponentially. The advent of more user-friendly technologies and the constantly-improving capabilities of cloud platforms is allowing engineers and coders to create game-changing new products and services from, quite literally, anywhere.
Moore’s law told us that technology capabilities and speeds would double every two years. Even though Moore himself believes the saturation point will hit this year, it’s interesting when you apply the same principle to tech start-ups and the time it takes to incubate, trial and deliver new technologies and platforms to market. The Harvard Business Review found that today’s start-ups are growing about twice as fast as those founded a decade ago.
With that pace of change we are seeing new, disruptive technologies and services land faster than ever, changing the consumer landscape, and how marketers communicate with consumers. It is therefore not only smart, but essential that marketers keep a view on the latest start-ups and technology, ensuring they are not only aware of but can anticipate the ‘next big thing’ for consumers, and evaluate the likely impact it will have on their marketing plans over the next 12 months and beyond.
FinTech, BioTech and AI
At TechCrunch Disrupt London this year, some of the biggest themes we are seeing emerge through the start-ups that will be attending, presenting on the main stage and demoing in the ‘start-up allow’ are in the fields of FinTech, Health & BioTech and Artificial Intelligence (AI), using mobile devices and their capabilities in interesting new ways to disrupt the genres.
We are already seeing the applications for AI expand into many new areas, with APIs opening up and allowing developers to bring AI algorithms and functionality into increasingly diverse mobile apps and continuing to change and disrupt the mobile experience.
“You can bet that new technologies like those showcased by start-ups like these will impact the future of the digital advertising industry”
The use of AI and machine-learning in marketing has been discussed widely in the industry – from how to market to machine ‘gatekeepers’ (like Cortana, Siri or Alexa) that could provide consumers with relevant brand messages and offers when asked, to the algorithms that power the automated buying and selling of inventory.
Through more sophisticated analysis of the huge data streams coursing through advertising technology platforms, machine-learning allows advertisers to be more strategic in their approaches. It allows them to understand what’s working better through greater analysis of trends and insights on attribution platforms and allow much greater freedom to test creatives and adapt them to what works for the most important audiences.
AI will also allow the consumer to have more control of what brands can connect with them, when and how.
As we see marketers begin to experiment with new ways of using technologies like this (think recent forays into chatbots), they can benefit hugely from being aware of and engaging with new start-ups that are emerging, and using their 10% of ‘Next’ planning (referring to the “70: Now, 20: New and 10: Next” marketing innovation model) to prepare for the inevitable shift in consumer behaviours.
By looking now at what will become mainstream in the medium-to-long term, marketers can plan for the shift in strategy needed to keep up with the rapid pace of change that has given many in the marketing industry sleepless nights since the onset of digital advertising.
No one has a magic wand or a crystal ball to see exactly what will happen in the future, but you can bet that new technologies like those showcased by start-ups like these will impact the future of the digital advertising industry. As we wait for new hardware technologies like VR and AR to become mainstream, it’s the savvy marketer that keeps an eye on those disrupting the existing device status quo.