The Year Ahead: Dhunji Wadia on key advertising trends in 2017

Dhunji Wadia, President, Rediffusion Y&R, looks ahead at some trends that will impact the advertising and business landscape in 2017. 

As 2016 ends, there’s yet again need to do some crystal ball gazing for what would happen in the New Year. Predicting the future is tough, but there’s always scope for learned and informed predictions based on what’s been happening. 

Contactless Payments 

Post the Demonetisation announcement and the consequent need for a ‘Cashless’ environment, Contactless Payments have gained momentum with a lot more activity around payment options and wallets. Currently the ad space is flooded with digital payment and E-Wallet brands. This would move ahead into different areas, for example, airline frequent flyer programmes - there would be new avenues for earning and trading points. 

Mobile First 

Mobile’s been on the list even in the current year. However, just being mobile-friendly would, at best, be table stakes. All brand strategy needs to become mobile first. This means the website development not only be responsive, but must start from the lowest common denominator – the mobile. 

Video Should Skyrocket 

Going by the rising trend, social media video is poised to dominate the internet. Also, live video streaming is on the rise, creating the perfect ground swell for developing personal and business brand recognition. Easy access to mobile displays coupled with new video apps getting developed on a regular basis, and consumer demand for video consumption… the stage is set for brands to seize the opportunity in 2017. 

Getting Rid of Fake Clicks 

The belief that the consumer is used to interruption and will continue to accept this as normal would be farfetched and unbelievable. Interruption assumes more clicks as advertisers prefer to pay per clicks. Random clicks from web enthusiasts or ‘click farms’ will just work towards fattened statistics. It’s time that fake clicks get a holiday. 

Personalised Content 

Bad content is worse than no content. The user is getting tired by the constant flow of messages and is not getting dazzled any more. With the increase in digital touchpoints between a brand and its customers and the corresponding rise in data, one will need to go beyond just context to understand the individual with whom you communicate – knowing, understanding and anticipating their needs and creating a unique and content-rich experience. 

Agency of the Future 

The talent market will keep getting more and more competitive and agencies will need to be able attract and retain talent in that environment. Today, it’s not about competing with other ad agencies and networks for talent, any more. The competitive set includes the likes of Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many, many more that we haven’t even heard of (and will get to know as time goes by). The talent today wants to do something bigger like changing the world or be part of something bigger. The agency would have to channelise their purpose and give them something to be proud of rather than just create another 30 second campaign.

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