Viewpoint: A Framework for Advertising in the Digital Age

Stephen J. Kim
Microsoft Advertising

Marketers large and small across the globe are sprinting to react to consumers' new digital behaviors and the accompanying evolving attitudes toward advertising. While advertisers and agencies are making great advances in creating campaigns deploying search, display, mobile, streaming video, gaming, social media, gadgets, and digital media channels, most practitioners readily acknowledge that the road ahead is neither easy nor clearly marked. In this environment, as well as for the future, it is critical to develop an advertising framework that pays special attention to the consumer contexts and mindsets associated with these new and emerging vehicles, and focuses on delivering value, instead of merely exposure impressions, to consumers.

This framework is rooted in recognition of the growing sophistication and skepticism among consumers toward media and advertising. A recent Microsoft/MTV study found that global youth (as measured across 14 countries) overwhelmingly believe there is too much advertising in their lives already. This fact is not surprising given the increasing levels of control that younger consumer expect over all of their media, entertainment, and communications experiences. However, while 83 percent of these 14–24 year olds reject traditional “interrupt and repeat” modes of advertising, there is a silver lining in that strong majorities of these same consumers embrace forms of advertising that are relevant to their needs, tailored to their communities, and otherwise deliver real value. Even more interestingly, these consumers are ready and able to share these forms of advertising with their peers ... if they deliver real value to that particular individual and community.