What is the future of advertising

Four scenarios for the future of advertising

Marketing and advertising are in a fundamental change in the face of advancing digitization. With four scenarios for the future of advertising, a study shows where the journey could lead.

Marketing is a diverse subject area and digitization in particular is constantly confronting those responsible with new challenges. Current studies on the most important trends and tendencies can be found on the Bank Blog.

Hardly any other industry is changing more rapidly than the advertising industry. - Alexander Mogg, Deloitte

Digitization has hit the advertising market with full force. Online advertising outstrips traditional forms of advertising. New technologies are turning the advertising industry upside down. Ad Technology generates sales of around 16 billion US dollars worldwide. In addition, digital tools such as artificial intelligence are rapidly changing the advertising industry. Classic business models are coming under increasing pressure. The changes in budgets, processes and in the provider landscape are evident and enormous.

In addition to advertisers, the most important players in the industry are the media houses, agencies and large digital platforms such as Google and Facebook, which play an important role in the placement of advertisements. Their strategic steps depend on how the basic playing field of the advertising market develops - for example on the subject of regulation and the attitude of consumers to handling data.

Four scenarios for the advertising market of the future

The key question is no longer whether advertising will change, but how radical the upheaval in this area will be. A Deloitte study provides a glimpse into the future of advertising. Accordingly, in addition to the uncertainties for those involved, there are also opportunities, for example in the area of ​​target group-oriented advertising.

Since conventional strategy analysis does not go far enough to describe the development of an industry in such a volatile environment, four scenarios were developed. They make it possible to go beyond the usual planning horizon of three to five years.

These four scenarios describe the future of the advertising industry.

The scenarios differ mainly on the basis of two factors:

  • What role will creativity play in advertising in the future?
  • Where does the industry place itself on the scale between the greatest possible reach and personalization?

Scenario 1: The Transactional You

The scenario describes an advertising world in which immediate transactions are clearly the focus. Advertising is shown to the consumer in the appropriate channel and at the right time, so the advertised product is only a few mouse clicks away.

Data is the key factor in this scenario. They make it possible to target consumers with transactional advertising messages on the right channel at the optimal time.

Scenario 2: The Creative You

In this scenario, human creativity is the source of highly efficient campaigns that are optimally tailored to the individual needs of consumers and create a strong relationship between consumers and brands. Advertising here is personalized entertainment.

Scenario 3: The Entertained Masses

In scenario number three, advertising is creative, entertaining and therefore attractive to the consumer. However, strict data protection regulations largely prevent personalized advertising.

Reach is the key and advertising is often placed in an environment suitable for the masses, for example at major sporting events or blockbusters. Branding is clearly more important than transactional marketing, which focuses on the number of sales.

Scenario 4: The Fragmented Masses

In the fourth scenario, reach is created by aggregating specific niches. Here, too, data protection regulations prevent personalized campaigns. However, data and artificial intelligence are key functions in the creative process. The strength of brands is the decisive factor in purchasing decisions.

Alliances and aggregation are gaining in importance

Regardless of which side of the scales of creativity and reach the advertising world is placed on in 2030, alliances and aggregation are becoming more and more important for the actors involved. Those who are not ready to enter into partnerships risk disappearing from the market or being swallowed up by bigger players.

It is also certain that technology, especially in the form of artificial intelligence and data analytics, will play a dominant role in the industry. That means that the classic creative tech skills have to acquire - and here cooperations with the large providers of digital platforms offer promising perspectives.

At the same time, the large platform providers also need partners, especially in the area of ​​creativity, as these cannot be replaced by artificial intelligence in the future either.

The study "The Future of Advertising" can be obtained here.


Deloitte develops integrated solutions in the areas of auditing, tax advice, financial advisory and consulting for its customers.


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