Marketing in 2030

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By 2030, most media and advertising audiences will be measured on a passive census basis. For example, virtually all of television and video will be delivered and measured by Internet Protocol in one standard or another, XML or ATSC 3.0 or something else. Radio Frequency Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (RF QAM) -- what's used in cable today -- will fade from memory.

In addition, high-quality calibration panels will use these Internet Protocol census data to fill in data from panel refusers so as to conquer nonresponse bias and make these panels truly a truth set to check on the census big data. Panels will also add co-viewing and data on TV usage in the remaining small scattering of rabbit ear homes. These future panels will use passive peoplemeters to replace today's pushbutton meters.

Advertisers will benefit from the extreme accuracy of these impression measures. In addition, there will be two types of predictive attentional measures that will distinguish quality impressions when making buys: (a) media side variables that impede attention (size of ad, number of ads on page or in pod, etc.) and (b) measures of the degree of resonance between (b1) the ad and the context and (b2) the ad and the audience member.

These predictive quality impressions data will be checked against actual attention and outcomes, and by 2030 the predictions and the actuals will tend to be closely aligned. A company I co-founded with Bill McKenna, RMT, is already achieving the alignment of predicted vs. actual quality impressions using these two resonance methods (b1 and b2).

Attention data itself will tend to come from specialized all-device panels in which viewers are incented to allow the device cameras to be turned on so as to measure when eyes are on screen and the timing of facial emotional signals. The most advanced buyside and sell-side optimizers will take these additional signals into account by 2030.

Other specialized panels will develop neuro measures also reportable second by second so that there will be understanding of long-term memory formation in relation to impressions of different quality levels.

By 2030, the buyside will be able to quantify the value of branding vs. incremental short-term sales for each of their own brands. These calculations will tend to be based on Consumer Lifetime Value (CLV or LV), which will automatically gauge the value of gaining one new customer. These values will be tracked and found to change over time. For example, branding will be more valuable than short-term sales while a brand is growing, and short-term sales will become more important the larger the brand's base is. Until the brand reinvents itself and starts a new S Curve.

Each CMO will establish their own theory of mind and heart for their own brands, which will be operationalized within brand optimizers operating at tactical silo levels (media types), outputting media briefs to the AOR (media agency of record).

Thus, marketing in 2030 will be data-driven from end to end, combining intuition with science and adjusting based on fast-tracked real-world responses at each funnel level. Most brands will have adopted the basic lens of the direct marketer, with a far stronger mental infrastructure regarding sales loyalty over time and interpersonal influence than has existed in most of DR to date.

These visions of 8+ years from now were stimulated by some cogent responses I received to my post regarding Quality Impressions.

Max Kalehoff, Vice President of Marketing at RealEyes, a leading supplier of attention measurement, writes:

"If one were to consider media attentiveness only an extension of viewability, the concept of media adoption for currency is simple (if not simplistic) and will gather faster traction. That is ironic considering that creative is the most powerful lever for a brand to influence attention and subsequent outcomes.

"However, I still believe the advertisers and media companies who embrace the holistic approach will achieve advantage, because 'Attentiveness reflects the resonance between the ad and the context, and between the ad and the audience member,' as you describe. Advertisers can achieve better outcomes with this focus, but so too can media companies -- at least the ones who really care about advertiser performance, because advertiser performance is usually built into their auction model in the first place."

Marc Guldimann, founder and CEO of Adelaide, which is already providing the media side variables predictive attention data referred to above as "type a," writes:

"The $600B media market is in dire need of a shared understanding of quality. Deploying attention metrics as a media quality measure is a critical first step towards leveling the playing field and introducing more liquidity and efficiency to the market. From there we can hold the quality of media constant and draw insights about creative and its relevance to audiences."

Howard Shimmel, President of Janus Strategy & Insights, LLC, and a strategic advisor to Adelaide (as am I), writes:

"I think it's important to highlight the fact that optimizing advertising engagement is a shared responsibility for both the advertiser and the media company. The advertiser brings a healthy brand, a great brand promise and great creative. The media company brings a highly engaged audience, has effectively optimized the structure of their commercial inventory and has effectively managed the ads within the break where the brand's spot runs. The combination of the two drives results."

The silo-ing of creative and media agencies was perhaps the worst thing that ever happened so far in marketing, including its effect on agencies becoming subject to the procurement model.

For the same underlying reason -- the fact that creative and media are a combined experience for the audience -- the most promising signs for the future of marketing cost effectiveness are today's focus on attention and other context and interaction/covariance causality effects among the creative, media, and audience variables.

Holistic beats silos.

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