Digital Overload: Why Ad Tech Needs Constant Reinvention


ADOTAS — Back in 2011, The Digital Lifestyle survey by reported consumers and web surfers faced a torrent of data growing faster than ever before. 78% of respondents were technologists, journalists, entrepreneurs, executives, and professionals, with 48.5% saying that they where connected to the web “from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed.” And a 2014 survey by Accenture indicates the pace of information acquisition has not slowed. In fact, they report the more than half of all “digital consumers” plan on purchasing a replacement or an additional digital device through which they can consume more information.

Digital Overload, it seems, is here to stay. Amazingly, 64.2% said that the information coming at them today had grown by more than 50% compared with last year. 72.7% described their data stream as “a roaring river,” “a flood,” or a “massive tidal wave.”

Information has the power to hook consumers and keep them coming back for more. People are missing important news, information, and appointments; friendships and family suffer, says the report.

  • 76.7% read email and respond evenings and weekends.
  • 43.2% answer texts or emails on date/social occasion.
  • 57.4% never turn off phone.
  • 33.0% check email middle of the night.
  • 35.2% answer work emails while with children.
  • 46.9% unable to answer all email.
  • 41.4% miss important news.
  • 39.9% ignore family and friends.
  • 16.9% miss appointments.
  • 62.5% wish they could filter out the flood of data.

Steven Rosenbaum, author of “Curation Nation,” concludes that “… (since) the volume of raw data coming at us continues to increase more than 50% per year… (and) as more digital devices and software services proliferate… data and speed of information increase will grow exponentially.”

There is push-back, however. Rosenbaum goes on to suggest that “… algorithmic solutions, better spam filters, smarter search, and more connected devices will in fact-expand the problem… (while) human data management, shared and community filtering, and personal recommendations will allow ‘content’ consumers… (to) consume curated content… (and) surf less.”

For us in the ad tech ecosystem, it spells an ever increasing demand on speed, accuracy and reach. What worked in our ad tech stack last year may be obsolete next. To stay relevant, R&D investment becomes a constant. Innovation is the by-word in understanding content, consumers, Internet latency, faster databases and smarter algorithms.

If you thought the job of inventing something new for ad tech was done, think again.



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