As marketers enter into Q2, many have settled into a routine of marketing tasks. However, this landscape is continuing to evolve. With many new technologies and trends coming into the limelight, it is clear this quarter will not be without some disruption. For marketers to learn what trends are worth their while, our experts have surfaced the top three performance marketing trends for Q2 2023.
Linear TV 2.0
In a bid to catch up with its streaming counterpart, the linear TV industry is making yet another attempt to modernise their approach. The new addition? An attempt at addressable targeting. The linear TV industry has received buy-in from publishers and networks who were previously reluctant to stray from profitable and guaranteed upfronts and direct buys. But, with ratings continuing to drop, networks are being forced to evolve. “Linear 2.0” is comprised of TV operators, programmers, and streaming services, and allows for data to be applied at the national and local level purchased via programmatic platforms.
Declining ratings, continued focus on impression-based buying, and demand for more effective targeting have forced networks to evolve their linear selling model to remain relevant and desirable for brands. While they have not fully caught up to their streaming competition, it is clear they are striving to modernise their approach.
Marketers can now access linear impressions programmatically and target linear TV on a household level without costly premiums or direct buys with cable providers. Addressable targeting eliminates waste that traditional demographic buying creates, while integration within programmatic platforms allows linear and streaming efforts to be integrated into a holistic plan.
Strategies for success:
With linear 2.0, marketers should take an audience-first approach to maximize video reach across linear and streaming initiatives. As linear inventory becomes more widely available programmatically, marketers will be able to take a nimbler approach to TV planning and buying.
Laws and tools to restrict social media use for minors
Amid heightened concern over the addictive nature and negative impact of social media on children’s mental health, both media platforms and laws are enacting policies to limit access, time spent, and content viewed by minors. Beyond COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act), which prohibits websites from collecting information on those under 13-years old without parental permission, social platforms themselves are now under intense pressure to step up and implement their own guardrails. TikTok has enacted new tools and restrictions, while Meta claims to already have measures in place. Regardless, it is clear that this issue is one that will not fizzle away.
More studies have surfaced about the addictive nature of social algorithms and the negative mental health effects of social media on minors. For example, a study done by the Pew Research Center uncovered that 46% of teens in the U.S. are reporting that they are online “almost constantly.” With numerous similar results being shared, many are pushing for more regulations for this audience.
Short term, this mostly affects brands who are targeting youth with content and ads. A push for this audience to spend less time with these apps could mean lower reach and higher ad costs if advertiser demand remains consistent. Long-term effects could be more far-reaching. If both restrictions and mindfulness of social usage become more prominent, up-and-coming generations, like Gen Alpha, may simply use social media less, causing a shift in media and content strategies.
Strategies for success:
Unless specifically targeting youth, marketers should stay on top of how this all plays out for now. However, it will be key to ensure all media partners are playing by the rules to avoid backlash among consumers. Additionally, this may prompt broader conversations about brands’ stances on ethical topics, as this issue continues to be in the hot seat as consumers push for answers.
AI has evolved into the next stage of automation with rapidly adopted mass use, especially through LLMs (Large Language Models), which generate highly human-like text. While a few key players have emerged, OpenAI’s ChatGPT has made the application more accessible to everyone — consumers, professionals, and businesses. Additionally, Microsoft’s investment and integration of ChatGPT into Bing has further accelerated familiarity among marketers and consumers alike. However, it has also launched a “technological AI “arms race” as other brands race to showcase their adaptions of this innovation. While this technology and its applications continue to evolve, there is the potential for massive disruption across the marketing landscape.
Machine learning is nothing new; marketers have been embracing it for years. Generative AI is the logical next step in improving campaign performance, supporting manual tasks like writing briefs, content, and reports, and appeasing the need for new ideas. However, the disruption comes from the availability of this innovation. Previously, generative AI was not widely available. But now, with ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and many others, it has opened the floodgates for the masses. Many are now uncovering creative applications of this innovation for not only marketing tasks, but daily tasks as well.
Generative AI tools will only get smarter over time, leading to wider adoption among marketers and consumers. Brands and agencies will need to compete with increased productivity and idea generation that this technology will usher in. However, regulation and monetisation (of prompts and in-tool ads) are soon to follow and will offset eagerness in the technology advancements. Above all the primary advantage generative ai offers marketing is predictive personalisation, and the net effect of which has already been identified as blowing holes in historic methods for communication such as triggered solutions of segmenting, to the tune of 20x greater ROI. To quantify that, if such a solution adds over 10% to your turnover then the monies lost by waiting compound the cost.
Strategies for success:
Human oversight is key. The progress in technology never stops, but marketers should continuously review the applications of this technology with critical thinking, ethical direction, and transparency in communication. It is imperative to continue to vet sources of studies, outline/edit content rather than draft new, and cross-check numbers against human calculations. While this innovation is surely impressive, it should not be siloed from human input.
What marketers need to know
With many new technologies and trends entering the marketing landscape in Q2, there are many ways marketers can leverage these innovations to drive impressive results for their brand. We encourage you to not shy away from new additions; instead, lean into these new opportunities and review how they can be applied to your business. Unsure of which would best fit your business?