The Drum Show: The impact of 5G and tech on marketing in 2020

The year ahead is set to be dominated by technology that benefits from 5G; an innovation that marketers and advertisers will benefit from too, according to the panel on the latest episode of The Drum Show.

Joining The Drum’s editor Stephen Lepitak on the latest episode is Kelly Engstrom, brand and demand generation communications director for EE, Nick Farnhill, chief executive of Publicis Poke and Angus MacKinnon, group creative director of Publicis Poke, who offered their predictions for what is to come for marketers in 2020.

The guests largely agreed that technology would evolve based around the opportunities that 5G access would offer consumers.

"Storytelling is the thing I would advise anyone getting into this area to focus on," offered Engstrom while discussing how advertisers would work with 5G technology. “The trick with 5G and for advertising and creative is finding relevant stories and user cases and that put an emphasis on storytelling, because you have to come up with scenarios or stories that tell them [consumers] why it’s a good thing to have."

He admitted that finding those user cases is tough and that he didn't think it has yet been delivered in any market, globally. Talking about the impact of 5G to consumers, Engstrom advised that: "If you are going to buy a gadget or a phone, you should be putting it on 5G for when you need it... this will become a bigger part of your lives."

When it comes to bringing messages to life using voice technology or even gesture-driven tech (which has come to the fore in recent years), Farnhill spoke about the need for brands to understand their positioning.

Given gesture driven tech will need marketers to begin to think about non-visual interfaces, he said: “Marketers need an understanding about that new dimension about how consumer audiences will interact with their brands.”

Farnhill also spoke about potential gaming opportunities, given augmented reality and virtual reality technology have become more commonplace in the work environment. He put this down to a better network access from 5G, sighting that “When you look at in a business or a health context, you notice how the handsets are being used to treat people with a fear of heights or to help people train in hospitals to prepare for surgery taking place."

He admitted that though it’s a very specific use case, it reaches a wide audience. "It may not start to play out in the way that we imagined it would, gaming at home or trying to speak to friends across the world, but there is a valuable use-case in practise and being used," Farnhill stressed.

When asked, as a creative, what was exciting for him in the technology that was evolving in the year ahead, MacKinnon explained that content was what his interest was focused on and what becomes possible with 5G.

"Creatively I’m really excited to see the next-generation of content. We know that the number one thing that people want from it is high-quality content. There is already an explosion of subscription-based streaming services which will be able to fulfill their absolute potential now," MacKinnon said.

Beyond this, he said there are lots new services coming out that are completely designed around the mobile experience. Apps like Quibi – shortform, subscription-based streaming that is entirely designed for mobile, with high-quality content and Hollywood-style budgets, which would greatly benefit from 5G.

Watch the full interview with the three guests further exploring the innovations for the year, as well as a glimpse at a new video set to be released on The Drum around some of the brands developing technology to change the world, in the latest episode of The Drum Show above.

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