Context and Connections

I think these are the two most important factors that will determine the success of major developments in the media industry over the next few years. Much of digital media success has been about its ability to use context to get results.  The always on targeting and delivery systems allow us to ensure ads get into the most relevant places as often as possible.  Mobile developments are beginning to offer brands more context based opportunities to target with the rise of geo targeting and the increase of internet usage on the go.

The average iPhone owner uses his or her iPhone to make a phone call only about 45% of the time. The other 55% is used for Internet, games, music, email and SMS, Mary Meeker Report, April 2010

New platforms like iPad again increase the opportunity to target users in potentially a different context, one that might be more about leisure and entertainment.

The second pillar is connections.  We are all aware of the power of networks and of personal recommendations, we can see it in our own purchase behaviour and there are plenty of statistics that tell us it is the case e.g.:

More than 1 in 3 (33.6%) consumers agree that word of mouth is the number one influence for their apparel purchases.

Retail Advertising and Marketing Association/BIGresearch Study as cited by Bazaarvoice.com , December 2009

The new platforms and ad models that allow us to take advantage of this fact will be key drivers of media over the next few years.  Making it easy for consumers to share content and experiences that brands create will drive value beyond anything that can be bought.

When you combine context and connections you get something very powerful and game changing.  Judge new ideas against these two criteria.

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