'How technology is shaping the future of advertising' -Live Q&A

Out-of-home (OOH) advertising could benefit most from the digital revolution. Photograph: Patrick Batchelder/Alamy
The ad industry is entering a new era. Never before have brands, advertisers and marketers had the opportunity to both reach and better understand their target consumers. Through data based-services, location and mobile advertising, brands are finding ways to personalise marketing to individual customers, offering them access to real-time offers, local services and personal recommendations.
Advances in technology have allowed for more innovative approaches to out-of-home advertising, with location technology used to offer more immersive, interactive experiences for consumers.
These advances throw up several questions: what impact do new technologies have on ad approaches and how do brands and agencies make the most of these new opportunities? What’s the best strategy for brands? How do they choose which one to adopt?
With new tech, the onus is on brands to communicate the value of these forms of advertising to their customers, taking into account the implications for consumers and how concerns over security and data usage are best addressed.
To provide valuable analysis of these issues and more the Guardian assembled a panel of industry experts on April 27th, and here are some of the best insights on how new digital platforms and devices are changing advertising and marketing:-
 Glen Wilson, Posterscope
Relevance is key, but don’t forget privacy
There is huge investment in digital OOH infrastructure both in the UK and worldwide, but there needs to be more agility in terms of the way that it is sold, bought, planned and approached creatively.
Location has the potential to massively impact on the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. A better understanding of what you as a consumer might be interested in allows more relevant and therefore effective advertising.
Certainly when we ask people about what sort of thing they want to see from advertisers in the OOH space, they consistently say more relevance: relevance to my environment; my city; what I’m doing now. Location data helps us deliver this relevance, but we must always be mindful of privacy.
Jide Sobo, MEC
Technology is the enabler, not the message
Tech is great, but the most important thing for advertisers is to think how you can deliver value for your consumer. Think about the message and how you want people to feel, or what you want them to do, then think of the best medium to deliver that.
On the relationship between technology and creativity
Creativity is lagging behind tech, but that’s often the way. We develop new tech and then work out what to do with it. Look at QR codes, near field communication (NFC) and so on. Great tech, but nobody has really worked out what to do with it from an ad perspective.
Monica Ho, xAd
On location services in advertising
Location data goes far beyond just the “where” to better define the “who” and what they might be interested in. By looking at a user’s offline behaviour patterns, you cannot only begin to understand what they like through frequency of visitation and affinities, but can also understand more about who they actually are based on what they do outside of the home. By harnessing this data you can build a more precise view of who your audience actually is.
Don’t write off out-of-home (OOH) advertising
Mobile helps enhance the outdoor experience by allowing an extension of the billboard messaging on to a device that can drive not only engagement post-message, but is a way to track that someone has actually seen the message in the first place.
Scott Ross, DigitasLBi
What are the issues facing the future of the ad industry?
Tech is continuing to expand, connect and complicate advertising. There is no single answer for where we’re going; things will continue to get fuzzier.
Brands, ask yourself: what am I doing to experiment more, fail faster and pivot sooner for my clients and customers? Can I keep my advertising modern, embrace technology, be real-time and relevant without crossing the line of privacy and angering my audience?
 Matt Wilkins, RetailMeNot
On smartphone and digital screen ads
Obviously the technology is fairly new and there’s still lots for advertisers to learn, but there is an ever evolving advertising opportunity. We’re seeing people browsing for things to buy on their commute, interacting with retail sites while on the high street, so digital screens and new technologies will pave the way for brands to reach those people at the times when they’re already looking to interact.
Mark Brill, lecturer, consultant and strategist
Users make the channels, not brands
Just look at messaging (SMS and now Snapchat and WhatsApp); they were not brand-driven. I am wary of too much advertising activity from brands, but I suspect that it won’t put off users. The adoption of wearables will come from the benefits to the users regardless of what brands do.
On the potential of virtual reality for marketers
It’s an interesting technology that can deliver a highly immersive experience. I think there are some specific applications, such as health, where it can be amazing. However, I doubt that it will become a media channel for brands in its own right. Gamers love it, but for everyone else, I’d say it’s niche.
 Fergal Downey, BoscaBox
What does the next five years hold?
The internet of things has the greatest potential to bring radical disruption to how we communicate today. If everything is connected and automated all the way down to product packaging, it has the potential to open new markets we’ve not thought of yet (and close down others).
 Brad Poole, Travelodge
On the interaction between print and digital
Traditional formats, such as print, will always have a place, but publishers need to work hard to think of innovative ways to create synergies with digital channels. This trend has been true for a while now, where digital can provide an added layer of detail or hidden value to a piece of communication.
Click here for the full transcript of this webchat, which was provided by xAd
Via: The Guardian Media and Tech Network