It’s the end of advertising as we know it . . . at least for digital and display ads, which wasted roughly $7.4 billion in 2016 due to poor-quality ad placement. Of that ad spending, only 40% was actually seen by a real human. Meanwhile, a growing number of US online adults have installed ad blockers to avoid these types of interruptions.

In response to this trend, Forrester’s James McQuivey examined the impending downfall of digital advertising and the rise of a new medium that will fill its place: intelligent agents.

The findings indicate:

  • A shift from ad spending toward branded relationships. Some 56% of consumers are now seeking deeper connections with brands through intelligent, conversational relationships.
  • The emergence of branded intelligent agents that offer a customized experience. The majority of advanced consumers are expected to adopt intelligent agents by 2025. To prepare, brands like Starbucks and Domino’s are already joining early intelligent agent ecosystems like Amazon Alexa to begin collecting data on their loyal customers.
  • The impact this shift will have on the advertising industry. If the top 10 US advertisers shift just 10% of their ad budgets to branded relationships, it will cut $2.9 billion from the current ad business. Digital ad giants like Google and Facebook will lose the most, most quickly.

The image below demonstrates how consumers and marketers are turning away from digital ads and toward more interactive experiences. Click here for more information, and please contact us if you’d like a copy of this report.