This week, we take a look at how haptic feedback may increase brand excitement, dispel a common myth about millennials on social media and dish details on how ad blocking may actually improve the way advertisements are made.

Marketing Quality Over Quantity

Digital marketing spend is projected to reach $118 billion by 2018, according to Forrester’s latest US Digital Marketing Forecast. However, the analyst firm predicts spending will slow overall as marketers place emphasis on brand experiences over volume-based advertising efforts.

“We are seeing a shift away from quantity, toward quality. Within the next five years, we anticipate investment in ad impressions going down. Instead, marketing budgets will go towards brand experiences, CX and in-store experiences and knowledge of sales agents—the things that will help demonstrate brand promise,” said Shar VanBoskirk, principal analyst at Forrester, in a statement. “Many companies now are wasting impressions, which can annoy customers. It is important to determine user needs and tailor content appropriately. In addition, the structure of marketing and digital teams will shift as agencies take a more holistic and integrated approach to planning.”

Problematic Programmatic

Meanwhile, digital programmatic spend is on the rise, according to a new report by MediaRadar. The total monthly brands buying campaigns increased by 86 percent from January to November in 2016. For the first quarter of 2016, the report states an average of 726 brands placed campaigns each month—and that number leapt to 1,094 by the fourth quarter.

Not all marketers are happy with programmatic purchasing through agency trading desks, according to a new report from the World Federation of Advertisers. “Advertisers are demanding a new kind of relationship that provides significantly improved control and transparency,” WFA said in a statement, “with nearly 90 percent reviewing and resetting contracts and business models to deliver on these objectives.”

“Touching” Advertisements

Traditional advertisements are experienced through sight, sound and motion, but what happens when you add touch to the mix? Consumers like it, according to new research from Interpublic’s Media Lab and Magna. A panel of 1,137 Android users were presented with advertisements from BMW, Royal Caribbean, Arby’s (see video below) and Truvia that unlike traditional ads, vibrated the user’s device at certain times in an attempt to make them more immersive.

The study found that well-executed haptic applications increased the viewer’s engagement with an ad, as well as a sense of connection with a brand. This resulted in positive emotional responses, especially happiness and excitement. Standard (non-vibrating) versions of tested video ads achieved happiness and excitement levels of 37 percent and 30 percent, respectively while versions enhanced with haptic feedback generated rates of 44 percent (happiness) and 38 percent (excitement).

That Which Blocks Us Makes Us Stronger

More than three quarters of marketers (76 percent) “think ad-blocking will be positive for the industry, encouraging greater creativity” according to research by The Chartered Institute of Marketing. Consulting 255 marketing professionals, the study also discovered marketing priorities for the coming year that include personalization (42 percent), data-driven marketing (37 percent) and influencer marketing (31 percent).

Teenagers, in particular, don’t have much patience for mobile advertising, according to an October study of internet users from Kantar Millward Brown. Approximately 56 percent of 16-to-19-year-olds said they skipped ads “whenever they can” on a desktop computer, while 47 percent of teens said the same about ads on a mobile device.

Keeping It Real

When it comes to advertising, generations may not always agree on controversial issues, but there is one thing they can agree on. A September survey of US internet users from Barkley and Futurecast found that a significant majority of respondents of all ages said they favor ads that “show real people, not just gender stereotypes from the past.”

On the contrary, when respondents were asked whether or not they agreed that “changing ideas about gender are allowing more people to be themselves,” 60 percent of GenZ (ages 15-to-19) and 58 percent of millennials (ages 20 to 35) said “yes,” compared with 52 percent of baby boomers.


AI Is The New UI

Technology can and should be used to improve lives, according to Technology for People, the 2017 report by Accenture. Seventy-nine percent of survey respondents agreed that AI will revolutionize the way they gain information from and interact with customers. In addition, 80 percent of executives surveyed agreed that organizations need to understand not only where people are today, but also where they want to be, and shape technology to act as their guide to realize desired outcomes.

Deloitte warns, however, that AI is merely a subset of a larger, more important category of technologies (MI) that also include machine learning, deep learning, cognitive analytics, robotics process automation and bots, just to name a few.

“Collectively, these and other tools constitute machine intelligence: algorithmic capabilities that can augment employee performance, automate increasingly complex workloads, and develop ‘cognitive agents’ that simulate both human thinking and engagement,” the company says in its Tech Trends 2017: The Kinetic Enterprise report.

What’s VR, Again?

According to a new report by Forrester Research, 42 percent of US online adults have never heard about VR headsets and an additional 46 percent said they don’t see a use for VR in their lives.

“There is much more hype than substance when it comes to using VR specifically for marketing,” said Samantha Merlivat, an analyst at Forrester Research. “A lot of brands have tried VR in the last year, and in many cases, it left marketers and consumers rather underwhelmed.”

ABI Research is a bit more optimistic, however, saying that VR is “ready to thrive off a swath of new and compelling content choices.” The company predicts that total VR device shipments will reach 110 million by 2021. Standalone devices will see a 405 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2021, compared to a 42 percent CAGR for mobile VR.

Millennials On Social And On The Street

Try not to faint or anything, but the stereotype of millennials glued to social media may not be as true as once thought. In fact, GenX is a little more obsessed, it turns out. A study by Nielsen Group found that adults ages 35-to-49 spend an average of 6 hours 58 minutes a week on social media networks, compared with 6 hours 19 minutes for users 18-to-34.

A separate study by Crowdtap determined that millennials value practicality in a vehicle over luxury. Eighty-eight percent purchased a car rather than rent and just under 66 percent drove used cars under $25,000.


Moving Mochas On Mobile

Starbucks has invested a lot into its mobile offerings, from a dedicated app to chatbots and integration into messaging platform, WeChat. That investment seems to be paying off, according to earnings in the first quarter of this financial year. Orders made through mobile devices jumped from three to seven percent and the percentage of total transactions, whether ordered through mobile or not, that were completed with mobile payment jumped to 27 percent.

ECommerce Without Borders

Cross-border retail volumes are predicted to increase at an annual average rate of 25 percent between 2015 and 2020, twice the pace of domestic eCommerce growth, according to The 21st Century Spice Trade: A Guide to the Cross-Border E-Commerce Opportunity—a report prepared by DHL Express. The shipping provider highlights the benefit of offering cross-border shipping, stating that online retailers boost sales by 10-15 percent on average.

All Your Twitch Views Belong To Us

Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, a member of the professional League of Legends team SKT T1, broke a Twitch record on February 6 for an individual streamer by attracting 245,100 concurrent viewers to his channel. Amazingly this was also his first broadcast ever on the livestreaming site.

There’s a reason people are watching—the guy is good. The Korean player has won the League of Legends World Championship three times and has earned over $896,596 in prize money. Thanks to Faker’s streaming success, the entire SKT T1 will now use Twitch as their official streaming site.