Essence gauges the future of advertising in 2030


The future of advertising is set to be shaped by AI, data ethics, and environmental responsibility.

At least that’s according to a new report compiled by marketing agency Essence, which has released a new report speculating on what the future of advertising is going to look like.

Essence report’s expert predictions

The company, which is part of GroupM, said the report is based on the predictions of experts. They were garnered from across academia, business, marketing, technology, publishing, and advertising trade organisations around the world.

It comes amid the global coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown, which has thrown the global economy itself into question.

The Essence study evaluates the likelihood of 15 different scenarios occurring over the next decade; and assesses the implications of each for the future of advertising.

Each scenario explores the influence of a key dynamic or catalyst, from the use of biometric data to personalisation, privacy, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, regulation, payment models, and more.

Evolving technology

“As an industry we have lots of insight into how technology is likely to evolve over time,” said Kyoko Matsushita, Global CEO at Essence.

Future gazing: Essence CEO Kyoko Matsushita wanted more clarity for advertising sector over the next decade.

“We conducted this study to provide more clarity about what that evolution will mean for advertising and marketing; to identify issues in need of the most urgent attention; and to help companies prioritise their innovation and marketing transformation investment decisions.”

Experts surveyed saw the likelihood of a future in which environmental considerations play a key role in consumer purchasing decisions; and the emergence of a new form of marketing interaction, in which companies and consumers outsource decision making to automated personal assistants and bots.

Experts were least likely to predict futures in which consumers would be able to opt out of advertising entirely; or in which countries establish a unified approach to privacy and identity regulation.

Key findings from the report

  • Companies will need to become more transparent, sustainable, and purpose-driven to meet the expectations of post-Millennial generations over the next decade. It cites climate change deadlines as one example.
  • While experts are optimistic that AI will eliminate inefficiencies without creating widespread joblessness or eliminating the need for people, individuals and companies will need to create new kinds of jobs and embrace new fields in which to apply human creativity.
  • Advertising will continue to enable access to content and services for many people, especially in developing countries; but experts also predict companies will begin to prioritise services over products in their marketing.
  • Biometric data is likely to be established as a key component in consumer identity information by 2030; making it necessary to focus on the development of corporate strategies and policies capable of securing its use.
  • In lieu of global regulation, experts predict that companies will collaborate to establish standards across transactions, identity, and security that will enable new payment and exchange models that will create scalable alternatives to subscription-based commerce.

“Advertising plays such an important role in supporting access to reliable news and information, driving culture; and advancing the global economy. We need to make sure it remains sustainable,” added Matsushita.

“We hope this report sparks conversation and creative thinking in our industry; about what we can do today to create the best possible future.”