Unlocking the future of tech platforms in 2020

Emma Cheshire, Senior Account Executive

With so many exciting and innovative tech platforms on the scene, marketers today are spoilt for choice when it comes to which platforms are the most effective in engaging the right consumers. Propeller Group invited four experts currently navigating this minefield, to discuss how brands and agencies can be best equipped to maximise marketing ROI on platforms in 2020.

The panel, which took place at behavioural planning agency Total Media’s London HQ, was chaired by Lara O’Reilly, Senior Correspondent at Digiday, and featured Joe Copeman, Global SVP Sales and Managing Director at Acast, Samuel Bevan, Head of Emerging International, Ad Solutions at Snapchat, Denis Crushell, Managing Director International at Tubular Labs and Liz Duff, Head of Media and Investment at Total Media.

Liz explained the growing interest from established tech platforms like Facebook adapting to ecommerce trends by making it easier to transact on the platform, and the rising demand for voice tech. However, she warned brands of trying to do too much: “Brands get excited about the technology but need to stop and think about whether it is the right environment for them. Don’t always follow the latest tech, evaluate what it really does for your brand, if your audience is there and in the right mindset for it.”

Denis agreed, highlighting how audiences today are active across platforms, but there is a difference between the way consumer brands should overlap on them: “Someone can consume The Economist on YouTube or Facebook, but maybe not on both platforms. Advertisers need to know how they should invest – platform by platform.”

Denis also added that there was a need for better standards in the space. He cited the Global Video Measurement Alliance as an example of how this is being done in the video space to help brands and agencies get the most out of individual platforms and campaigns.

When asked about what type of new and emerging tech or platform would be centre stage in the near future, Joe stressed the indispensable role of artificial intelligence: “This is going to be important in helping us serve ads contextually with the right content, especially when we look at key word targeting and helping consumers find the right podcast, show or even episode. At Acast we’ve now got over 10,000 podcasts and it’s unrealistic for humans to make this efficient and scalable. We need AI to automate it.”

Sam mentioned how Snapchat is using AR to engage users, such as its filter that brings Buckingham Palace ‘to life’ and its collaboration with Ikea where users could drop a sofa into their own living room using the technology. He said: “AR is really cool. Being fully immersed and having an experience with an ad is super exciting. The opportunities from 5G are going to speed this up and give consumers an even slicker experience. The idea of computer overlay in the world and actually using it sounds absolutely miles away – but now I really don’t think it’s as far as we think.”

Clearly there is a lot for marketers to look forward to when it comes to platforms, old and new, with an array of exciting new tech too. How we’ll see marketers adapt to these platforms and reach consumers remains to be seen. Watch this space.