As the technology landscape evolves, so do consumer expectations. People now own multiple mobile devices and demand access to content across any platform, any location and any time. This change marks a new era of digital advertising possibilities.
With consumers more in control of their digital world, the balance of power between customers and brands has shifted.
People are increasingly able to opt in or opt out of advertising - meaning that to get noticed, businesses need to engage on the customer's terms. This means creating digital content that is targeted, relevant and capable of flowing across multiple devices.
It is no surprise that the old advertising model of interrupt and repeat is being rethought to embrace this new audience. From active critics to fact finders, content creators, buzz marketers and user innovators, consumers demand highly personalised, contextual digital interactions.
The growth in popularity of apps reflects the shift in how people want to experience content across any platform.
Five years ago, a web-based banner ad or homepage takeover was sufficient to capture the eyeballs of a publisher's audience. However, today advertising in apps is more effective as it offers consumers relevant information within the content that they are already consuming. Creativity and technology are combining to deliver seamless and elegant advertising that considers what consumers want - at any moment.
Windows 8 ads in apps show what is possible when advertisers have a rich canvas that allows and inspires brand stories to be told in a completely new way. Being contextually relevant in the app platform leads to greater audience engagement and improved user experience across devices, via beautiful creative content. New technical capabilities - such as dynamic layering - also provide a richer way for brands to communicate. This ability has never been experienced before, and with over 60 million Windows 8 licenses sold, advertiser interest has been phenomenal.
Brands have the potential to help make life easier, save time and money, help consumers find something quicker and get people somewhere faster.
For advertising to continue to be effective, it needs to embrace the concept of adding value to customers and re-imagine the rules of engagement. It must focus not just on how to sell, but how to be genuinely useful. Alongside pushing a brand message forward, advertising must also enhance consumer digital experiences and engage them in a new value exchange with the brand.
They say fortune favours the brave.
Brands are already starting to get up close and personal with consumers, who are reaping the rewards of co-creating new, real-time advertising experiences on a global scale.
By embracing the sport of context, the science of technology and a dash of creativity, the brave amongst us are showing that anything really is possible.