Looking at sites like Wired or TechCrunch lately is like peering into a science fiction movie. Facebook is working on technology to allow you to type with your mind and the race is on to create an armada of self-driving cars. It’s not a work of fiction, though—these high tech ideas are becoming realities, and it’s affecting countless aspects of the way we move through society. Mobile publishers need to make sure they’re up to date on these trends, and doing whatever they can to take advantage of them to create a better marketing strategy.
This post will focus on three categories of tech that are either here now, or just around the corner from becoming reality. Any or all of these could have a big impact on mobile advertising: artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and autonomous cars.
Advertisers can conceivably use AI to learn more about a specific users’ behavior and how it compares to a typical user’s activities, creating a better profile for who they should be targeting. “Deep learning [is] able to handle more signals for better detection of trends in user behavior. Serving ads is basically running a recommendation engine, which deep learning does well,” said Andrew Ng, chief scientist at Baidu Research. AI lets advertisers and companies sift through even more variables than they already do, and learn more about the user’s clicking, or passing up on, the ads that are being served.
With the release of Apple’s ARKit, augmented reality is making its way to the mainstream. While it is already used for professional purposes, AR’s main uses for consumers have been mobile games or gimmicky applications. The ARKit points to Apple’s belief that this tech is going to be a big part of the mobile landscape going forward, with Apple’s CEO Tim Cook saying the technology is comparable to the invention of the smartphone itself. So how can advertisers take advantage of this tech?
One of the earliest examples is a banner ad from Blippar, which worked with several automotive brands to put readers inside virtual cars. Once readers click on an ad, they can use their phones to look around the interior, and if they enable the camera they will see their surroundings through the windows of the car. This is just one example of how creative you can get with AR. The opportunities are endless for producing creative and entertaining advertisements that provide even better user experiences.
Speaking of being inside a car, in the not-too-distant future sitting behind the wheel won’t require touching the wheel at all. Auto manufacturers around the world are racing to get autonomous cars to market, which will give commuters more free time during their daily commutes. The average American spends 30 to 60 minutes every day in a car, which creates a golden opportunity for advertisers to reach an increasingly mobile-crazed population. Mobile revenue already peaks during rush hour, and now you’re giving a car-dependent population an even greater opportunity to be on their phones. Readers love to take a quick look at their favorite content whenever they have a few minutes on the train or bus, and now that same behavior will extend to those commuting in cars as well.
This is an era where tech that seemed like crazy ideas just two or three years ago are now just two or three years from being reality. Now’s the time for publishers to start thinking about how they’re going to take advantage of this technology evolution in the years ahead.