Why brands need to press CTRL+ALT+DEL

This year brands must reboot their approach to digital advertising to make the most of an industry in flux, says Time Inc’s UK Digital Strategy Director Paul Lowrey.

2017 marked a watershed year for digital brand advertising with factors including trust, transparency, safety, measurement, user experience, consolidation, Facebook/Google dominance and the use of data all up for debate.    

Throw in a wobbly economy, Brexit (ahem), GDPR and the welcome, but as yet un-established changes brought by the Coalition for Better Advertising, and 2018 is set to further confuse the industry and its clients.

The need to effectively press CTRL+ALT+DEL for the long-term benefit of all concerned is real and it is now, as the brands that succeed in the new digital landscape will be those that take a step back and carefully weigh up all the influences in play.

One key directive to drive success will be the need for even greater collaboration between clients, agencies and media owner partners to deliver that eternal grail – the right message, to the right consumer, at the right time. As recognised by the Coalition for Better Ads and many others, consumer expectations of digital advertising are changing and they must be the heart of the solution.

For example, recent IAB figures show that the 13.8% increase in digital advertising was driven not by in banners and traditional display, which stagnated, but by native and video – formats that meet consumer demand for more relevant, less disruptive advertising when placed in the right editorial context. This indicates that 2018 should be a strong one for publishers, as those with premium inventory are best placed to create and distribute appropriate content with full transparency.

Quality vs quantity will need to be more considered and the way that campaigns are measured must finally be emphasised on a brand level versus trying to needlessly understand why a CTR has dropped 0.1% in a week.

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