Early on in the week, ad:tech took over San Francisco with advertising experts, the latest in digital marketing and over 200 exhibitors. Of course, Business.com was there to be part of it. Advertising has evolved since its early days and has changed drastically over the past few years with various technological advancements that are becoming more widespread. Smartphones, Big Data and local search all play a significant role. The future of advertising changes as new technologies come to the center of the marketing stage. Ad:tech gave us the opportunity to look into the future of advertising and we've broken down the key points just for you. Data Driven Decisions Jim Yu of BrightEdge began with a shocking, and not well-known fact: 90% of global data has been produced in the last two years. New technologies allow advertisers and marketers to close the loop where it may have been difficult, or impossible, data in the past. Now, those running ads and marketing campaigns can measure and understand which experiences are really working. Marketers want data that can help them optimize campaigns for a greater ROI. As advertisers find ways to more accurately collect, analyze, and report on data, data-driven decisions will become more of a focus. Michael Hummel, co-founder and CEO of ParStream explained how businesses must be able to get real-time data to make optimization decisions with ease in order to outshine competitors. Local and mobile search are more important than ever. Social media is impacting SEO. As we progress with new technologies and platforms, the advertising world will continue to shift. Data will impact how, when and which content is created as well as how and when it is distributed and across which networks. Advertisements will need to have more content that engages consumers. If you take away something from ad:tech, let it be that the nature of advertising is going through a revolution due to data, engagement and the shift in search. Advertising is about connecting with the consumer. Brian David Johnson, the "Chief Futurist" from Intel, left the room he was speaking in with one thought that we want to leave you with now, ""Change the story people tell themselves about the future they will live in. Figure out how to make people's lives better." Engaging Ads A keynote address during ad:tech San Francisco came from Susan Wojcicki, senior vice president of advertising for Google. Advertising is continuing to change as time progresses. We've moved from a push model, where the advertisements viewed by consumers were at the discretion of companies and agencies, to a model where users can choose to see and engage with their ads or not. "Have users say 'these are the things I'm interested in,'" she said. "Have them raise their hand...When we give them control, they take it...For every one that opted out, two actually added interests." To develop a successful advertiser relationship with consumers, visitors must have choice about which ads they see -- especially as they become more prominent on the web. Allowing users to identify their interests and wants produces a healthier relationship that will lead to greater loyalty and success. Engagement ads are the future. Mobile and Local Optimization Michael Lazerow, the CMO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud claims, "The computing revolution is really a customer revolution." Over the recent years, a computing revolution has occurred but, it isn't the only area of business that has evolved. There's been social, cloud, mobile, community, local, experience and trust revolutions as well. There are more and more smartphones in the pockets of consumers, nearly half of all cell phone users, and they're using them as more than a way to call or text a friend. Research is conducted and buying decisions are made from mobile devices. Think it doesn't impact your business by a whole lot? Think again! Approximately 20% of keywords in a given portfolio are impacted due to mobile and local search. Businesses need to be engaging with customers on every channel. Lazerow points out,"It's not about where you want to be, it's where your customers are...Every company has to build communities...how do you build communities where you engage and build assets?" In the future, marketing, sales and product development will become even more integrated. Were you at ad:tech in San Francisco? What did you learn about advertising's future?