Google streams apps to Android handsets

Google has started streaming apps to Android phones so people can use them even if they are not installed on a handset.
It said it had introduced the technology to help people get better results when they search.
Often, it said in a blogpost, the best answers to a query were found in an app rather than a web page.Initially nine apps have been selected to work with the streaming system as it is tested.
Bad experience
Jennifer Lin, Google engineering manager, said the firm started indexing information found in apps two years ago to bolster its larger corpus of search data.About 40% of searches done via Google now turn up content found in apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Airbnb or Pinterest, she said.
Until now, Google has only answered queries with information that is available both on the web and in apps. Now, however, it is starting to show results that are only found in apps.One example of when these results would show up might be when someone is looking for hotels during a spur-of-the-moment trip to an unfamiliar city, wrote Ms Lin in the blog.
Google said it was using an in-house developed streaming system to give people access to results in apps they do not have installed on their Android handsets.This lets people try the app and use it as if it were installed, said Ms Lin. An experimental cloud-based virtualisation technology Google has developed underpins the streaming system.
Apps from HotelTonight, Useful Knots, Daily Horoscope and Gormey are among the first to be available via streaming.
Danny Sullivan, founding editor of the Search Engine Land news site, said the streaming system made visible a lot of information that was hard to get at easily.
“It’s a bad experience to show links to an app that no-one can view unless they install an app,” he said.Plus, he added, it could mean data found in apps was now more widely available and could be put to other uses.
“Potentially, the new system could even cause some apps that might seem to lack linkable content, such as games, to consider app-only links,” he wrote.
Streamed versions of apps are available via Google’s own app and on its Chrome browser. Users must also be on a fast wi-fi connection and be using a handset running Android Lollipop or a more recent version. Lollipop was released in November 2014.
The test of the app streaming and search responses is currently only taking place in the US. Google has not said when, or if, it will be expanded to other parts of the world.

Three Trends Shaping Advertising in 2016

More than half of all UK adspend is predicted to be digital next year, with the Carat Ad Spend Report predicting the total market to grow by 6.4 per cent in 2015. The same study reveals that programmatic buying is expected to grow at 20% year-on-year, after making enormous headway in 2015.

For years, programmatic advertising has been considered too robotic and impersonal to be an effective brand-building tool. However, improved technologies and techniques are making it possible for brand marketers to take advantage of programmatic’s reach and efficiency without losing the personal touch that connects brands with their customers.

The future is promising, but the true power of programmatic is yet to be unlocked – there are many efficiencies, integrations and innovations that need to be realised.

Here are some of the prevalent trends that will impact the marketing industry in 2016:

1. Bringing creative to the data-driven programmatic table

Data-driven marketing is firmly established now; it drives the media process in ways we only dreamed about just a few years ago, both across the industry and inside the agency. Campaigns are more intelligent, accurate and personal than ever before, giving rise to the data scientist. However, the creative side is too often still not fully taking advantage of the data-driven insights that can be harvested from this approach, leaving us with less pertinent messaging and content.

For instance, the data can be used to understand the wider interests of the audience segment and inform wider campaign creative. If the audience segment enjoys travel in their spare time for example, why not style your clothing brand campaign on holidays to different countries? Alternatively, through cluster analysis the data can be used to reveal distinct subgroups within your audiences. This insight can be used through the planning process to make different creative available for different clusters and this can be extended into other tactics like content marketing, and so on meaning your campaign is highly targeted across the board.

Merging creative with programmatic operations will be key in driving customer engagement to its full potential in 2016 and beyond. Bringing programmatic and creative teams together throughout a campaign’s lifecycle will bring about a whole new level of relevancy and personalisation. But it will require a dynamic approach from all parties; there must be no cut-off point where the creative agencies hands over to the media agency.

2. Marrying advertising and marketing technology

In today’s complex digital landscape, it is more challenging and important than ever for marketers to deliver a unified, relevant experience for consumers throughout the entire customer journey. To do so, marketers need to connect their digital advertising with their broader marketing activities, from customer relationship management to ecommerce and beyond.

Bringing the worlds of digital advertising and marketing together means that brands can engage consumers in long-term conversations, delivering consistent experiences throughout every interaction, and consider a customer’s lifetime value, rather than individual transactions. The marriage of ad and martech will see marketers apply insights, execute campaigns, and measure results – end-to-end, from prospecting to relationship management, with greater success than ever before. It’s all about sharing accountability rather than outsourcing effort to media or creative agencies.

3. Predicting customer intent to purchase

Predicting the future is no longer science fiction. Brands today need to know what customers are about to buy, before they even know themselves. With smart analysis of data and predictive analytics, marketers can now pinpoint and target shoppers who are about to make a purchase, long before they even enter a store. This will enable marketers to accurately predict who is interested in their brand or product, and grow their addressable market quickly.

It’s time to draw a line under the composite customer and target based on previous online actions, preferable demographics and attributes, or purchase cycle timing. As the consumer journey replaces the sales funnel as the construct for how marketers view engagement, discussion around advertising technologies and algorithms will evolve.