This week, the Ebiquity Digital Team will have the opportunity to attend AdAge Digital, a two-day conference that explores the changing world of digital marketing and media. While this is an incredibly exciting time in this mile-a-minute industry, “change” is the sort of understatement that can spell either huge opportunity or huge challenges for brands.

As advertisers, what we knew five years ago no longer holds true. According to multiple reports across the industry, digital media is expected to become the largest advertising medium by 2017, eclipsing television which has historically been where brands placed the majority of their media budgets. Plus, if we look ahead even further, mobile advertising is expected to reach $114 billion, overtaking desktop ad spending. Though it’s no surprise that change is happening as we speak, it’s imperative to understand emerging markets and technologies in order to stay ahead.

To capitalize on these trends, we’ve outlined a few key themes we’re looking forward to at AdAge Digital, as well as how organizations can really take advantage of this exciting time in advertising.

Understanding the customer journey

Getting a firm grasp of the customer journey is vital. It’s how we know where consumers are coming from, how long they are staying, and where they go after the fact. Day One of AdAge Digital will focus on this journey, including challenges brands face when trying to reach the consumer, the content brands are developing to make connections occur faster, and overcoming challenges associated with an evolving medium.

Here’s where the benefits of digital come in. Companies can create unprecedented relationships with consumers through digital platforms based on entirely one notion: since consumers now move from attention to intention to adoption faster than ever before (aka hyperadoption), the power now lies in their hands. In turn, brands can leverage digital to create better relationships through content and other means, and ensure that their ads are seen by humans in brand safe environments. This includes brand-owned assets such as microsites, and paid programs such as branded content, interactive experiences, original podcasts, events, celebrity collaborations, and more.

Through sessions such as “Hyperadoption and the Never-ending Age of the Customer” featuring Forrester Research, and “From Ads to Experiences” featuring MasterCard, AOL, and Hyatt, we will learn how brands can move their messaging forward, as well as how to evolve over time.

Using technology to tell a story

Emerging technology allows brands to tell stories in different ways, connecting with consumers on a stronger, more emotional level. Day Two of AdAge Digital will center on this theme – specifically, how technology is paving the way for brands to tell key stories.

To tell a better story, organizations are aiming to use data to deliver better creative; virtual reality, live digital out-of-home experiences, and connected products via the Internet of Things are just three examples of using technology to frame a message. In addition, TV and video stakeholders are trying to adopt to changes in consumption by introducing new ways to attract consumers for brands. To survive in a marketplace with lots of competition, brands will have to tell their stories in completely different ways, both creatively and through tailored messaging.

Through sessions such as “Marketer’s Playbook: Investing in Storytelling” featuring Samsung, and “From Emoji’s To Voice Recognition: Improving Customer Experience Through Digital Innovation” featuring Domino’s, we will learn how brands are using new technologies to reach consumers in new ways and what lies ahead in regards to opportunity.

The future of media

As we stated at the beginning of this post, the advertising landscape is going through a kind of growth spurt we’ve never seen before. Advertising is now about experiences. We must learn how to evolve with the ever-changing consumer journey, use new technologies to our advantage, and combat challenges such as viewability, fraud, ad blocking and brand safety in order to navigate foreign waters.

While these challenges may seem unfamiliar to some, we’re excited to attend events like AdAge Digital to better understand the changing nature of the industry, as well as how we can help organizations to do the same for years to come.

See you there!