Every new generation of wireless technology is met with great fanfare. The jump from 1G to 2G, 2G to 3G, and 3G to 4G have seen headlines like “Why Investing in 3G Will Pay Dividends Far into the Future” and “How 4G Will Change Everything.”
But it can be hard to see the specific impact that a new generation of wireless will have on your life. Especially as a marketer.
A list of ways that 5G will change marketing and advertising. Here’s what you can expect to see in the future of mobile marketing:
1. Better User Experience
Above all else, 5G will make the mobile experience better for users. The speed, bandwidth, latency, and availability of 5G will fundamentally change how people interact with mobile devices. And that change will be for the better.
Download speeds will skyrocket. Latency will drop to almost zero. The internet of things will expand dramatically. Content creators will be able to develop immersive experiences that just couldn’t be delivered with 4G.
Almost every complaint about 4G and LTE networks will be solved. And by 2024, 45% world will have access to 5G. Companies are racing to figure out what they can do with the power provided by 5G. The possibilities, at the moment, seem endless.
2. Near-Instantaneous Content Delivery
5G is fast. Like crazy fast. Deutsche Telekom gives this example: a 50-megabit DSL line will download a DVD in 13 minutes. Over 5G, it will take four seconds.
We’ve seen speed increases before, but this is a new level of fast. Real-time data transmission means marketers can create online experiences that 4G is just too slow for. We’re talking about very near real-time data transmission, and that opens up a lot of new opportunities.
Scott Singer put it this way in an interview with Digiday:
Imagine hopping in an autonomous vehicle and calling up Amazon Alexa to prep for dinner. A holographic display appears on your dashboard and directs you through the steps of a recipe, based on your diet preferences and meal history, as you drive to Whole Foods to pick up the ingredients, which are already being assembled robotically.
That’s the kind of experience 5G will let marketers and advertisers create.
3. Higher-Bandwidth Experiences
Pokémon GO’s augmented reality (AR) interface made a huge splash in 2016. And AR will continue to grow (as will VR).
But augmented and virtual reality requires a lot of bandwidth. The server that sends instructions to a device has to send a lot of information to make the app work, and the device may have to access a database remotely. At 4G or LTE speeds, that could cause problems. But 5G will eat AR and VR for lunch.
Huge bandwidth numbers mean augmented and virtual experiences will be available to almost everyone. These experiences are of interest to marketers now—but they’ll be invaluable in the 5G era.
There are other advantages of high bandwidth, too. It’ll be possible to stream 4k—and maybe even 8k—videos with almost no lag. That could change how people think about remote event viewing (along with how they’re marketed).
4. More Connected Devices
Higher speeds mean that more devices will have access to a lot of data. Not just phones. Connected glasses, car windshields, store windows, TVs, and dozens of other internet-of-things devices will become commonplace.
Each of those devices provides new opportunities for marketing. Increased bandwidth could mean that the ad panel on a bus shelter could recognize consumers’ phones and tailor advertisements to them based on their mobile browsing habits.
Or think about a running shoe that’s connected to a 5G network. Not only could it capture and analyze a huge amount of data that’s helpful to the runner—but it could also give marketers the opportunity to market products that address that runner’s specific gait pattern.
There’s no limit to what could be connected on 5G. Or how it could be used by marketers.
5. Conversation-Based Digital Assistants
Digital assistants like Siri and Cortana are great tools for consumers. And marketers are increasingly tailoring their campaigns for voice search. But 5G will take this idea to the next level.
Instead of interpreting single commands, digital assistants will be able to have entire conversations. They’ll interpret facial expressions, tone of voice, body language, and much more. Bandwidth and higher speeds will make this possible.
This shift will again force marketers to reconsider how they target searchers. Voice search changed SEO forever—and conversation-based assistants will change it (and other marketing fields) again.
5G Is a Big Deal
Whenever a new generation of mobile network becomes available, people become giddy with possibilities. 5G is no exception. But this may be the most groundbreaking mobile network advancement yet.
There’s no question that marketers stand to gain a lot from the advances in speed, bandwidth, and connectivity. It’s just a matter of how soon they’ll be ready to take advantage.