McCabe said the smartphone is now the “universal device” and time spent on apps is growing rapidly. “Mobile will soon be three-quarters of time spent online,” he said. Data is also starting to show how different devices drive different consumer behaviour. “Ninety per cent of time on smartphones is spent in apps,” said McCabe. “These devices have changed the very essence of what we do. It’s clear that the stable, predictable desktop world has become a complex, fast changing mobile world.”
McCabe said content models were once defined by distribution, for example, a story appearing in a printed newspaper and being served to the reader, but this is now being replaced by alerts, updates, digests, etc. (e.g. The Week). “Discovery has shifted from search to social, we’re finding out things on social, there is a transition taking place. This has a huge implication for brands and content,” he said. However, according to McCabe, there is a “growing crisis” in discoverability, with an overload of options and lack of serendipity (which does not work as well as one would assume in digital world).
“Discovery is a human action – we are what we have chosen,” said McCable. “The best physical retailers are masters of that. This is why content marketing is becoming more important – brands need to provide credible quality content experiences that enhance their brand.”
McCabe touched on programmatic advertising, saying that the UK’s digital display market is growing faster than France, Germany and also the US. “In a very real sense, we are the lead marketplace for internet display advertising,” he said.
“Consumer media, not just branded content publishing, will play a critical role in bringing brands to consumers over the next few years. It will be less about advertising, though, and more about the myriad of content marketing options, including behavioural data analytics,” he concluded.
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