The era of 5G has officially begun.
Widespread trials and tests in early 2019 have indicated, in no uncertain terms, that 5G is well on its way to mass consumption. And sure enough, in mid-2019, we watched it step out of its sandbox as South Korea launched its first 5G network over limited devices. Mere hours later, a US telecommunications company enabled 5G services over a limited number of base stations. And on 30th May, 2019, the UK launched its first 5G network with starting download speeds exceeding 200 Mb per second from 4G’s 25 Mb per second.
The 5G Potential
The response to this breakthrough technology has been enthusiastic, to say the least, and extends beyond any one industry - from manufacturing and logistics, to connected vehicles and consumer appliances. While 4G networks gave the world its first glimpse into high-speed mobile connectivity, 5G networks will open the curtains on its full potential. And for good reason, as 5G technology is set to redefine the way we interact with information in all its forms.
5G technology is a major advancement as this network infrastructure allows speeds 1000 times faster than 4G with a 100 times lower latency. This means that video streaming, programmatic advertising, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR)-based customer interactions become more seamless, practical, and easier to deploy. With faster content delivery, enhanced user experience, innovative content, and futuristic capabilities, consumers will be able to have entirely new experiences.
With 5G capabilities, many currently nascent abilities will become the mainstream. Just imagine having instant entertainment on your mobile devices without ‘buffering’ issues or the automatic replenishment of your fridge when it runs short of groceries. Soon all this will be the new normal as 5G enables faster and more seamlessly connectivity than ever before.
Already, a 2018 report indicates that 5G services will boost the growth of the global mobile media market at a CAGR of 9.8%. At this rate, the industry will swell to a net value of USD 420 billion by 2028, transforming the foundations of 5G network infrastructure worldwide. With 5G technology, it’s not only consumers who will benefit but also marketers and advertisers. Thanks to the speed and reliability of 5G connectivity, marketers and advertisers will gain unprecedented opportunities to connect with their target consumers.
As 5G adoption spreads amongst consumers, marketers will have faster and more assured access to data. The 5G link between consumer and marketers opens up even greater avenues, formats, and revenue streams as they’re better positioned to receive data from their consumers while offering new and engaging immersive interactive experiences. This will completely disrupt the traditional business and operational models that advertisers and marketers have followed so far.
Impact on Marketing and Advertising
As a result, the Interactive Advertising Bureau reports, customers have become more intolerant of slow load speeds and digital advertising, giving rise to ad blockers and other such impediments to advertising. But all this is due to the large demands placed on 4G, whose sheer bandwidth limitations can’t deliver the amazing experiences that customers expect.
This is where 5G can dramatically change things, radically improving load times and enhancing experiences. With 5G, ad-load times will be near instant, as 5G’s shorter latency will mean significantly reduced bounce rates, higher click-through rates, and enhanced ROI. Coupled with engaging media content at low latency, customers will no longer avoid or dissent advertising in this new form.
5G connections will not only close the gap between product and customer for greater business growth but also usher in a new paradigm of consumer engagement. In fact, 5G will give rise to a new age of video advertising, with enhanced mobile features and immersive content experiences. Intel reports that media and entertainment companies will potentially gain nearly USD 1.3 trillion in new 5G-based revenue over the next decade. While these scenarios paint a rosy future for advertisers and marketers, media producers will need to keep pace with the development speed of 5G if they truly wish to innovate.
In fact, according to Oath, a Verizon company, “85% of consumers believe 5G will benefit AR” and they’re not wrong. As 5G capabilities turn any wireless network device into a media rich service, advertisers and marketers will need to innovate their content strategies to fully leverage its possibilities. And soon, every screen will be an extension of a user’s own dashboard, whether it’s inside their cars or on their kitchen tabletop or in a public space with an interactive billboard.
Every display surface will become a potential avenue for advertisements, entertainment, and media in an interactive, real time, localized, and highly targeted manner. Marketers, advertisers, and content publishers will need to align their development strategies to prepare for a device-agnostic digital environment where ads will be displayed almost instantaneously across platforms. By relying on 5G to distribute dynamic content to screens, advertisers and marketers will need to create intuitive ad and media formats that are engaging and enhance user experiences.
Transforming the Advertising Ecosystem
The proliferation of 5G will also enable advertisers to develop interactive advertising experiences which are routed directly to an individual. With faster loading of landing pages and videos, users will be more engaged and connected with content and creative advertising messages. It is very likely that the proliferation of 5G will require advertisers to change how they ideate and conceive of messaging. Advertisers will be able to take advantage of interactive formats that combine multiple channels like voice, IoT, AR, and VR to further enrich the user experience and make digital advertising more personalized than it has ever been.
Additionally, the role of Out-of-home (OOH) opportunities will also radically change as consumers’ interactions with in-store beacons, social media platforms, smart city services, location data, and digital entertainment will feed into how they experience personalized content. With low latency, even OOH advertising could transition from a largely static and passive experience to one that is dynamic. In fact, with the power and speed of 5G networks, OOP environments will be the new normal for digital advertising, enabling media delivery in everything from projected videos to mobile devices to gaming and in-vehicle infotainment.
From packaging to billboards, organizations will leverage the converged technological benefits of AR-VR with high-speed connections and projection displays to give birth to extended reality (XR). With XR, organizations will be in a position to create customer experiences that are incredibly immersive and real, so that customers connect with their products in a seamless manner, inextricable from their day-to-day lives.
From connected cars to connected homes and connected workplaces, a connected digital media ecosystem could lead to advertising and marketing campaigns that cater to the ‘market of one’ and that are perfectly synchronized with the real-time, real-life needs of your customers. As sensor devices become more integrated with health devices, wearables, and mobile, organizations will be able to serve customers on a one-on-one basis.
5G and the Future
Data-driven personalization of content will lead to real-time advertising experiences across display surfaces based on specific consumer preferences. Personalization will shift advertising from being an intrusive element to an empowering force in the lives of consumers as it will proactively and predictively help improve their lives.
Imagine getting an ad for blood pressure medication triggered by your fitness tracker which has detected an elevated blood pressure and heart rate; or getting recommendations for coffee shops in the locality when you’re out on a long drive. These scenarios illustrate what the convergence of sensors and 5G could mean for both consumers and the advertising and marketing sector.
5G will undoubtedly change the nature of media, advertising, and entertainment. But like any technology, it can only be effectively leveraged in a transformed digital ecosystem. As marketing and advertising become top-of-mind business priorities for decision-makers, they would do well to quickly build the models and network infrastructure required to leverage this 5G opportunity.