These programmatic numbers keep going up and up! Good thing my presentation is done at 12:20 PM today. It’s getting tough to stay on top of the upwardly-adjusted forecasts and estimates that are coming out.
The revision, which comes via an analysis of multiple studies performed by eMarketer, estimates advertisers will now spend 75.3% more on programmatic advertising in 2013 than they did last year. The previous estimate, a 73.9% increase, was apparently not ambitious enough. In dollars, that means $3.37 billion will be spent on programmatic in 2013 and $4.66 billion in 2014.
Well this is encouraging. I’m presenting at Digiday’s European Publisher Summit tomorrow on the future directions of Programmatic ad trading. This piece, which they ran on May 14th and only now popped up in one of my feeds, certainly backs up a lot of key points. That’s reassuring.
The only point in this piece that I don’t particularly dwell on in my presentation is the (social) platform aspect. Mainly because it’s an area I don’t know too much about. Except how to annoy people in the UK with with pictures of Barcelona whilst here for a conference.
The main points the author, Taylor Davidon, a venture capitalist with the agency-backed KBS+ Ventures, calls out are:
Marketers are getting smarter about programmatic.
Programmatic works, therefore it will get more dollars.
Native is going programmatic
Platforms have embraced programmatic.
Programmatic is going far beyond the banner.
“The real challenge around programmatic is not around using the pipes to send more banners,” he said. “Instead, it’s about marrying new formats with content, targeting and data to create a different model for ad deployment that’s native to the experience.” — Taylor Davidon
The one aspect of programmatic that he doesn’t call out that I pay close attention to is the use of and continued availability of increasingly rich and deep data. It think data + mobile will be the oxygen and fuel that will help the programmatic fire burn brightly in the next 12 -18 months.
Charlie Fiordalis, managing director-digital at Media Storm, makes a pretty blunt case for dropping the bill for fraud prevention on the publisher’s front door. I can sort of his point but his suggestion to publishers to look at it as a form of insurance leaves me a little bit uneasy. I’m not sure it’s as cut and dry a case as he puts forward.
Why shouldn’t it be more even-handed across the industry with buyers putting pressure on pricing by not paying as much for blind, non-transparent inventory and paying more, i.e. rewarding, the behaviour they want. There must be a market force from the buy side that can be brought to bear on this issue. Further, I’d think that the lions share of the burden needs to sit with the networks (DSPs and SSPs) to vet the inventory they are managing. They’re the ones that are building billion dollar businesses here and there should be some costs involved in ensuring that what they are brokering is what it appears to be. Finally, the publishers, who it would be hard to say have been the big winners in the online ad revolution, for their part should bear some responsibility for keeping a ‘clean’ site and, in particular with regards to viewability, offer up the most desirable inventory to buyers.
…The buy side has operated with the assumption that we are getting what we have purchased. Ad fraud is a threat to that assumption, and I think the responsibility for direct payment should come from the publishers. There, I said it. Someone had to. I realize this may not be what the publishers want to hear, but they can look at it as a form of insurance on their side. —Charlie Fiordalis
This is an interesting concept but sometimes it really feels like we take two steps forward and one step back in this industry. Our greatest strengths — measurability, laser-targeting, accountability — are also our greatest weaknesses.
“We can now report back to a client and say ‘we served you a thousand ads, and of those, 500 were seen for one second, 250 were seen for 10 seconds and 250 were seen for 30 seconds,” Slade went on. “The next obvious step is to sell blocks of time.
“We can sell a thousand hours of exposure to a chief executive audience in Germany, for example, or we can give clients 500 hours of exposure to finance directors in Belgium. That currency has a lot of merit.
All the noise around the RocketFuel and Mercedes-Benz fraud issue may be just that — noise but the problem of online ad fraud, particularly in relation to RTB and programmatic trading, isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
One of the reasons I’m so excited to be working the ridiculously clever team at Pixalate is that they saw this issue coming from a mile away. They were building solutions to help buyers and sellers combat the effects of fraud before all the hype. In a way, they were fraud-fighting hipsters, battling the bots before it was cool.
Jalal Nasir, co-founder and CEO of Pixalate, has a great piece, complete with some very funny terms for the types of Fraud his platform can detect, in this week’s ExchangeWire.
Forecasts suggest ad fraud could cost marketers as much as $11bn in 2014, a 22% increase over 2013. Notwithstanding any unintentional inflation in these stats, it’s clear that ad fraud is running amok. At the same time, RTB display advertising continues to grow quickly. Jalal Nasir, co-founder, Pixalate
Over the last two weeks I’ve been doing a ton of research online about the state and future of Programmatic Ad Buying. For sure there are a ton of tech prognosticators out there talking about optimised algorithms, probabilistic multi-screen story telling (dibs on the band name), conquering the In App challenge, integrating 3rd and 1st party data into decision engines, and more. Yet, not one article I’ve come across has discussed the importance of the creative itself.
This is a consistent issue in our industry: we are so enamoured with our own tech and math genius, we often overlook the emotional quotient in advertising. We talk a big game about getting the right ad to the right person on the… etc. etc. but we never talk about getting ‘the most beautiful ad’ or the most ‘compelling ad’ or really anything else to with the quality of the creative itself. For those of you who watch Mad Men, it’s as if we’re all Harry Cranes and none of us are Peggys or Dons or Teds.
Imagine if Mad Men was just about Harry. I’m reminded of a classic Roger Sterling line from the most recent episode: “Cutler won’t be happy until this agency is just Harry Crane and his computer.” It only now struck me how heavily we have bet on the numbers, leaving the creative and the quality of the message behind for someone else to worry about. I searched for some thought pieces on the state of programmatic creative and it’s pretty slim pickings. This piece, from AdExchange, though, I thought was a good start. The new breed of ‘Math Men’ need a new breed of creative lead to really succeed.
A marketer who chooses to could employ a strategy of “right message to the right person at the right time on the right device on the right operating system at the right geofenced location during the right weather conditions …” In other words, the possibilities of highly relevant, “context-aware” advertising have never been greater. And yet, a one-size-fits-all creative strategy largely reigns supreme.
A very timely piece of research and data to be released as I put the final preparations on my deck for Digiday’s European Publisher Summit. Strong growth across Europe and the the mobile tide is coming in as fast, if not faster, than the soothsayers were forecasting.
Very interesting to see that:
Spending on display ads continued to gain momentum, logging higher growth than any other format, at 14.9%, and a total value of €9.2 billion ($12.27 billion)
Although I must wonder how much of that is Facebook.
Granted, this piece is authored by someone with some skin in the game (and, full disclosure, so do I) but still, some compelling stats. Paid content as engaging (on a click basis) if not more than ‘straight’ editorial. Just because it’s paid for doesn’t mean it isn’t good. I mean, just look at the Lego Movie for the ultimate example of this.
A United Airlines interactive graphic—produced in partnership with The Times—that showed how far athletes traveled to compete at Sochi. The result was nearly 200,000 clicks—well above the average editorial article.