It’s impossible to predict with one hundred percent accuracy the impacts any technological innovation will have on the future. Innovation in one area inevitably causes unforeseen ripple effects elsewhere.
We can’t be sure what all of the effects of the rise of 5G technology will be, but we can make a handful of educated predictions about how the shift from the current 4G standard to 5G will impact the way consumers access content and interact with their devices. One thing we can be certain of is that the effects of 5G’s rollout will be far-reaching, and that brands across every sector of business will have to adapt to these changes.
The 5G revolution
Fifth generation mobile technology (or 5G, as it’s usually referred to) is the next generation of mobile technology that follows the 4G standard most of us are used to operating on now. 5G is expected to be anywhere from 100 to 1,000 times faster than the current 4G standard. These improvements in speed will mean faster load times, lightning-fast downloads, and reduced latency issues.
All of this means that the technology many marketers have been expecting to make it into the mainstream over the past few years -- AR and VR, for example -- will finally find the requisite foothold needed to breakthrough. The speeds 5G can deliver are essential to allowing these technologies to flourish.
5G will also almost certainly contribute to the proliferation of connected devices, which will soon be able to communicate with one another at remarkable speeds. Where 4G technology would be overburdened by the amounts of data connected devices will soon be creating and exchanging, 5G will allow devices to communicate seamlessly.
From the advertising perspective, we can also expect 5G to improve on current standards of ad serving. Digiday speculates that 5G may even reduce the use of ad blockers because the technology will effectively eliminate the issue of ads slowing down page load times.
What marketers should be planning for
5G technology is still in its infancy and will take years to roll out in full. Still, the time to prepare for its arrival is now. Failing to plan for the changes 5G’s implementation is expected to bring will result in lost opportunities to connect with consumers in more effective ways and may mean playing a painful game of catch-up later on.
New content opportunities and ad formats
5G’s incredibly fast speeds will bring new content formats to consumers, and to our mobile devices in particular. With 5G consumers will be able to enjoy things like 4K video and reliable video streaming on mobile and it will be up to brands to keep up with the demand for this type of content. Though mobile video’s growth has been well documented over the past few years, faster speeds and better stability will likely to contribute to even greater growth.
Expect innovative new ad formats to also begin appearing, include 4K video and AR and VR formats.
Instantaneous personalized experiences
More connected devices means more data about consumers -- way more. 5G promises to deliver deep insights about consumer desires and behaviors. Improvements in location-based data will provide further insight into where consumers are and what they’re doing at any given moment. Marketers will be able to use these insights to deliver instantaneous personalized experiences, promotions, and ads.
Consumer comfort with this level of personalization remains to be seen, and there’s still a lot of speculation about whether companies will have to offer additional benefits to consumers in exchange for access to the kind of data 5G will be able to deliver.
The time to prepare is now
Marketers should be paying close attention to 5G’s rollout, and looking at how brands are planning to adapt to the changes its implementation will bring. Developing a future-forward strategy for the era of 5G is the best defense against getting left behind by the competition.