Programmatic in the ad tech industry has become a bit like Big Data and mobile – everyone knows they should be adopting, but no one quite knows how to do it.
This year has certainly seen the rise of RTB (real-time bidding), and with consolidation in the sector set to follow, the likes of Omnicom, Publicis to Xaxis and 24/7 Media will be looking to scratch that programmatic itch. That said, while programmatic might take centre stage in 2014, we can also expect to see content marketing become more important as more global brands move towards publisher content models and technology becomes a real enabler to helping them directly engage with and reach their desired audiences.
Here are three trends we can expect to see in 2014.
1. Brands will shift investment to programmatic.
The advertising industry is slowly moving towards an ethos of everything that can be programmatic is programmatic, including video and mobile. According to the Q4 2013 State of the Video Industry report from Digiday & Adapt.tv, programmatic video spend by brands more than doubled in the past two years, and projections for ‘premium’ mobile RTB have been rising at an impressive rate. These factors, along with the rise of technology that will allow for increased customisation, plus the fact that the regulatory threat on the cookie is still very real, mean brands can no longer hesitate to move towards a new channel and shift budget to programmatic.
2. Beyond the cookie, targeting will be crucial.
As the online world becomes more complex, audiences are harder to find. This means advertisers will have to start looking much more aggressively for alternative ways to reach their audiences – they can no longer rely on third-party cookies and a narrow white list to assign value to an impression. As clients demand more from their campaign data, making audience and environmental data attributes visible at the impression level will become a must-have. Impression level data transparency will also allow publishers to increase CPMs while also unlocking valuable inventory that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. With channels like mobile and SmartTV on the rise, Twitter’s acquisition of MoPub, and Google’s recent news on its potential move away from cookies altogether, there has never been a time where moving beyond our reliance on the cookie as an industry has mattered more.
3. Content marketing will move up the agenda.
Leading brands like AMEX, L’Oreal, and Red Bull are already successfully moving towards publisher content models. As more brands like these start to show more interest in user engagement and building communities, creating good content regardless of the channel will become key to reaching and engaging with the right audience. The sticking point for content marketing has always been distribution. For it to be truly successful, it will need be seamlessly integrated and distributed through advanced targeting technology via ad exchanges and RTB platforms to fully move us from the ‘right ad at the right time’ to the ‘right content at the right time’.
Overall, these are more than just trends. We’re working hard to help change the way that advertising technology companies do business, the way that brands reach and engage with audiences, and most importantly, the way consumers are reached through online advertising.
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