OPINION: 5G is here. Is the marketing industry ready?

Back to news26th March 2021

Written by Nick Allen, Head of Media Operations

After years of anticipation, hype, and plenty of controversy to boot; fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology is finally becoming a reality in Australia, laying the foundations for an explosion in technological innovation and a fundamental change to the way we live and interact with each other and the digital world.

With speeds 100 times faster than the current 4G network, the jump to 5G has been likened to the shift from the typewriter to the computer and has the potential to affect our lives more profoundly than any new technology since the birth of the internet itself. The dawn of a network that is essentially latency-free opens up previously unimaginable possibilities for connected devices and the internet of things, from phones and refrigerators to self-driving cars and robot surgeons (yes, really).

In reality, we might have to wait a while before this hyper-connected future becomes a reality as humans grapple with new technology, products, and ideas in the years to come. It won’t be too long, however, before businesses and consumers begin to feel the impact of superfast connectivity, and marketers will need to be primed and ready to take advantage of the opportunities that 5G presents.

Here are five predictions for the future of 5G and the marketing industry.

Mobile eCommerce will reap the benefits.This one is simple; as the rollout of 5G continues in Australia, faster networks, websites, and apps will drive a spike in eCommerce revenue for retailers who are ready to take advantage. Superfast internet speeds and low latency will offer brands the opportunity to create frictionless shopping experiences through streamlined websites and shopping apps. With consumer expectations already sky-high, fast and flawless digital experiences will drive accelerated growth in the eCommerce space.

High-definition video will become ubiquitous.Feeding into a broader trend, 5G will pave the way for a dramatic increase in the quality and quantity of video content consumed across connected devices which will, in turn, impact how marketers engage their customers. According to Verizon Media’s recent study ‘Connecting Physical and Digital Worlds,’ most advertisers believe 5G will lead to improved content production, more immersive ad formats and enhanced video streaming experiences. As new technology pushes the limits of high-definition video, brands will have to adapt their approach to stay relevant as both content creators and advertisers.

AR and VR will take center stage.As 5G goes mainstream, so too will technologies currently impeded by the 4G network, such as augmented reality and virtual reality. When fully realised in a world where speed and latency are no longer an issue, these deeply immersive media formats will provide marketers with the chance to enrich the customer journey and create even more meaningful connections with their audience. That might mean augmented reality appearing in bricks-and-mortar retail stores, on car dashboards, or within next-generation mobile apps. In the VR space where some brands are already playing, it’s expected that the advances offered by 5G will transform the way we consume and interact with virtual content.

Advertising will become more interactive.Faster loading speeds will also give marketers the ability to deploy high-resolution, interactive ads that improve the customer experience with no negative impact on website performance. These new creative formats will drive engagement, improve click-through-rates and decrease bounce rates, making advertising dollars work harder for brands in an environment in which roughly half of consumers are now using ad blockers.

The quality of data collection and personalisation will improve.As 5G begins to connect more people and devices across the globe, it will naturally facilitate the collection of higher-quality, granular data, which will be used to feed better personalisation and a deeper understanding of the consumer. The combination of real-time analytics and detailed customer data will create an almost limitless potential for hyper-personalised customer experiences and bring brands closer to the holy grail of one-to-one marketing communications.

In a continually evolving digital marketing landscape, the rollout of 5G technology in Australia represents a huge strategic opportunity for brands taking the necessary steps to prepare for a hyper-connected world, a world in which marketers will be able to forge more meaningful relationships with consumers than ever before.

Are you ready for the 5G revolution?