WeChat has become the Swiss Army knife of the socio-digital world in China, says James Hayle, MEC Social Insight Executive
The Great Firewall of China, the Chinese government's censorship project, blocks many popular western sites and services such as Facebook, Google, Twitter and Instagram. In effect, this closes off and isolates an enormous part of the Chinese market from the socio-digital western world. This has enabled a number of hugely popular home-grown state-driven services to emerge, the most prominent of which is WeChat.
Judging by the Account Planning Group's recent conference, there is a fair degree of angst about what the future holds for the marketing strategist.
The APG conference had the title 'Strategy vs Robots', implying a future where strategists or planners are usurped by machines.
At the conference, delegates were relatively upbeat about how machines might augment, rather than replace, their jobs. A talk by Rushi Bhavsar, a young data scientist from Grey London, gave an insight into the kind of skills planners might need in future.
Stephen Hawking, among others, has said that artificial intelligence (AI) is the beginning of the end. The end for us, anyway. I must say that I am inclined to agree. Recently, a futurist was telling me that D-Wave, the quantum computing system from Google and NASA, is one million times faster than the fastest computer today. And that IBM's cognitive learning labs are self-learning without any human direction needed. They will be the future of trading and a great many other things.
This guest post is written by Andrew Buckman, Managing Director UK, OpenX
With 53% of premium publishers already using the technology, header bidding has become one of the most talked about topics in the programmatic advertising world, but what does it mean for marketers?
Advertising revenues for the UK’s national newsbrands fell 11% to £1.2bn in 2015, £150m lower than a year earlier owing entirely to losses in print business, according to the latest results from the AA/Warc UK Expenditure Report, released this week.
A 2.5% rise in digital adspend (to £220m) could not offset the fall for print (down 13.4% to £1bn) last year, the report finds. However, we expect the overall rate of decline to slow to -5.9% in 2016 and -3.4% in 2017, stymied by an average growth rate of 7.7% in digital adspend and softer falls for print over the forecast period.
UK advertising expenditure grew at its strongest rate since 2010 last year, with total adspend of £20.1bn marking a 7.5% rise from 2014, according to the latest results from the AA/Warc UK Expenditure Report, released this week.
When comparing this to Warc's international database, we see that of the top ten advertising markets by dollar value, the UK's growth was the second-fastest last year, behind only China.
Who will succeed in the new age of data discovery? We asked a panel of four international experts across academia and business to share their views on where the world of insight is going, and how it is adapting to a data-rich, connected, and social world. Speaking at the 2016 MRS Impact conference held in London this March, the panel drew a large crowd for a lively debate.
Marketers across Asia-Pacific have a positive view of native advertising, with 67% enthusiastic about the opportunities it offers. Investment into native advertising is also set to rise significantly in the next five years as the medium matures.
A Warc & King Content survey of more than 300 advertising and marketing professionals across 16 Asia-Pacific countries revealed insights into how native advertising is being used, the biggest challenges marketers face, and thoughts on the future of the medium. Respondents included brand owners, creative and media agencies, media owners and content experts among others.
Although more than a hundred years ago, the summer of 1914 has many similarities with now. In particular, it was a time of rapid technological change. The wireless telegraph, invented in 1896, had transformed communications - messages that once took days to convey could be transmitted instantaneously.
But that speed had a cost.
Our preliminary estimate for global mobile advertising spend in 2015 stands at $48bn, around 30% of all internet adspend that year. Incredibly, mobile's share has more than doubled in just two years; a key indicator of the medium's meteoric rise.
Mobile's contribution is expected to grow further throughout the forecast period. Spend of $90bn on mobile-specific formats will account for approximately 44% of all online ad investment next year.
In contrast, global advertising spend on desktop internet formats has stagnated at around $112bn, and will likely decline from this year onwards. This trend has already started to play out in the world's largest digital markets, including the US, China and the UK. Consequently, mobile will be the primary driver of global online growth over the coming years.