2015 is going to be a huge year for online advertising, with marketers getting behind this medium like never before. UK digital ad spend increased 16.6% year-on-year in 2014 and this exceptional growth is expected to escalate throughout the coming year. The industry as a whole is becoming more sophisticated, with new technologies allowing marketers to deliver innovative and engaging brand campaigns to highly targeted audiences. As the Internet of Things becomes a tangible reality rather than a futuristic concept, it will open up significant possibilities for brands to merge the online and offline worlds, reaching consumers across an ever-expanding spectrum of channels with highly relevant and personalised advertising.

So with this in mind what are the key digital advertising trends for 2015 likely to be? 

Omnichannel retail experience

The face of retail is changing as consumers expect to be able to shop whenever, wherever and however they choose. Brands are already blending their digital presence with their physical stores to create a unified omnichannel brand experience for consumers. This will continue during 2015 and we are likely to see the adoption of “shoppable windows” much like eBay’s in its Kate Spade campaign. Products will be displayed in shop windows and purchased via a mobile device without the consumer actually entering the store, providing consumers with a hassle-free, 24/7 digital experience.

Brands will also aim to deliver a faster and more efficient service over the coming year, with advances in digital technology helping brands streamline the purchase process and speed up product deliveries. In-store payment will become faster as retailers adopt mobile payment technology, increasing consumer convenience.

In 2015, retail brands will also focus on delivering relevant and personalised offerings to their consumers. Marketers will make better use of the data they have available to automate media buying and audience targeting from start to finish, delivering advertisers an increased ROI as well as a more rewarding consumer experience. As an example, we will see an increase in highly targeted, location specific coupons being sent to mobile devices in response as nearly 9 in 10 consumers consider coupons and special offers sufficient incentive to allow advertiser tracking (eMarketer).

Multiscreen campaigns

Switching between connected devices and media multitasking has become commonplace with consumers. As a result, marketers will have to adopt a multiscreen approach to advertising if they want to capture their audience’s attention. A recent Mercedes-Benz campaign used breakthrough technology to connect smartphones and desktops, allowing users to explore the new Mercedes GLA in a fully interactive environment. As these technologies become more widespread, marketers will apply this type of creativity, resulting in rich, engaging campaigns that reach audiences across all devices.

This growth in multiscreen advertising will be complemented by the continued emergence of tracking technology, enabling increased visibility at every level of the sales funnel and across smartphones, tablets, and desktops. This ability to track across devices will allow sequential brand storytelling and will make advertising more relevant and engaging.

Video advertising goes mobile

Video advertising will continue expanding in 2015, largely due to its suitability for mobile devices and the increase in quality video content. Mobile video ad spend increased by a staggering 196% in 2014 (iabuk), and this trend is set to continue. Mobile devices are personal, always within reach and allow marketers to engage in one-to-one conversation with their audience. Video is an emotive and engaging format for this personalised advertising opportunity and the new Chanel No. 5 video ad starring Gisele Bündchen is a perfect example of a campaign that resonates well with its intended audience. 

Next year will see video advertising moving increasingly into programmatic environments and extending its reach as automated pricing becomes more efficient. We will also see GRP (gross rating points), traditionally the currency of TV buying, be more influential in the online buying and measurement processes, creating a common language that will help advertisers compare online and offline video ad performance.

2015 will be a turning point for digital advertising. The emergence of a whole range of new technologies will allow marketers to deliver innovative, sophisticated campaigns that transcend device and channel to focus on enhancing the consumer’s overall brand experience.