The Future of HTML5 — and Why Marketers Should Care


ADOTAS – If you don’t know much about HTML5 yet, you’re not alone. Still a relatively new language (it was only introduced just over a year ago), HTML5 is still very much a work in progress. It could be 10 years or more before it receives its World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Recommendation, which would codify the language’s standards. But it’s not too soon to pay attention. In fact, this might be the perfect time for marketers to start using — and learning — HTML 5.

Get In Early

Anyone who’s ever invested in real estate knows that the real money isn’t in the neighborhood that’s been popular for a while — it’s in the neighborhood that’s just beginning to get trendy. A new restaurant, a few new bars and quirky shops are much more telling of an area’s potential for a return on your investment than that an in-demand ZIP code. Similarly, successful marketers know that being
ahead of the curve means bigger results for their clients. By harnessing the power and flexibility of HTML5 in your strategy implementation now, your campaigns will stand out and achieve results — especially on mobile devices. After all, what kind of ad do you think would be more effective: a static banner ad with a link to a website, or an interactive rich media experience with games or video?

Embrace the Potential

With any new technology, there’s going to be a Catch-22 when it comes to implementation and utilization: Do you use the technology at its most basic level so that everyone can see it in action, or do you embrace its more advanced features, with the understanding that not everyone will then be able to access what you’ve spent so much time and energy (and probably money) working on? Here’s
my thinking on this scenario as applied to HTML5: If you stick with the former all the time, HTML5 will never be more than a niche language, used for very specific platforms. If we’re serious about employing HTML5 as an alternative to, or even a replacement for, Flash, we need to do everything we can to show off what it can do. It’s good for designers and coders (who get to push the boundaries of the new language and produce creative material the likes of which has not yet been seen), it’s good for marketers (who get to think big about their campaigns), it’s good for consumers (who get a more interactive brand experience) and it’s good for device manufacturers (who get to sell new devices that can handle increasingly in-demand technology).

Sneak Previews

To address curiosity, a lot of developers have started releasing free “preview” editions of some of their most popular paid apps so that potential buyers can try before they buy. The only problem is, these free apps still take up space on a mobile device’s already limited (compared to a desktop or laptop) capacity — space that you’d probably rather see occupied by your paid download. HTML5 allows
consumers to have a similar preview experience, but doesn’t require a download. Marketers can take this even further, inserting app previews into interstitial ads (as our company, InMobi’s Sprout, did with SEGA’s Samurai Bloodshow mobile app) that not only allow consumers to preview an app’s functionality but also provide near-instant access to the sale page for their device’s platform.

Be a Sculptor

One of the most exciting things about any nascent technology, especially if it’s a coding language, is how malleable it is at first. In its present form, HTML5 is quite easy to learn, so there’s no time like the present to pick it up — and then to make it your own. Wide deployment of custom coding means that your shortcuts and fancy tricks could end up codified in the final WC3 Recommendation. You could literally be a little part of technology history.

What’s Next?

In 15 short months, we’ve seen HTML5 grow from idea to actualization — and we still have 10 years to mold its final shape. Expect to see rapid adoption of rich media ad campaigns — advertisements that don’t feel like ads, but rather create an interactive consumer experience with high levels of branding. Developers and marketers will soon start clamoring for platform-agnostic HTML5 ads that can be built once and deployed anywhere, rather than needing extensive re-coding for compatibility. And I wouldn’t be surprised if we see an increase in the number of people learning to code in order to be able to fully embrace and understand all that HTML5 can do for them. It doesn’t mean that there won’t still be a need for high-level coders — just that some of the basic skill set will be more readily found, increasing deployment of the language across the marketing sphere.


  1. Not sure this is for everybody but it is intriguing. Things are evolving rapidly and who knows…someday we may be looking at holograms on our displays. It’s not out of the question I guess.


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