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.
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.
This article is very relevant to my upcoming presentation at Digiday’s first EU Publisher Summit in Barcelona. This ‘race to the bottom’ factor is and seems to remain, one of the fundamental risks of an an ever-larger programmatic marketplace. How are premium publishers taking steps to protect their audiences and their inventory?
The ecosystem optimizes for clicks, and we lose the value of branding in the process. We’re making a similar mistake with audience buying.
Since I recently read in the WSJ that only 23% of CMOs both “understand what online programmatic is and use it in their marketing strategy” I think that this AdAge report would be a useful thing to read and share with the CMO in your life.
"What’s driving programmatic is digital delivery and data. If you think about where digital display and digital video are, it’s easier to apply programmatic in those spaces. I have very little doubt that digital out-of-home, digital television and radio will follow." John Montgomery, GroupM
The presentation I gave to kick off the AOP workshop yesterday will be overhauled for my session in Barcelona on June 3. It was a happy accident that I was asked to give two presentations on the state and future of programmatic ad trading within 10 days of each other.
There’s some additional research I’d like to add, a bit more EU rather than UK focus, and some new data that’s come out after the recent spate of programmatic conferences.
Once it’s all done, I’ll pop it up on here for people to view and see. It’s become crystal clear to while pulling this together that the following statements are all probably true:
Mobile is coming faster than you think and the keys to the revenue kingdom there are programmatic and data driven
The cookie is quickly dying as an ad targeting tool
Native will find a home in programmatic in the next 12 months, if not sooner
A tiny fraction of revenue and an even smaller fraction of deals will be done in the ‘traditional’ direct sales-to-sales manner come 12 months from now. Like less than 25% overall.
Without a doubt the next 12 months will see hockeystick growth in the programmatic space and it’ll touch all aspects of online media trading.
I’ll be chairing a half-day event in London for the AOP. Hosted by the Association of Online Publishers, the event will serve as a temperature read on the state of programmatic advertising in the UK and how publishers are faring.
Rather than looking back at where we’ve been and how we got here the focus of the event is on the road ahead. The speakers will be looking at the core areas of growth in programatic — Premium, Video, Mobile, Data Monetisation, and others — and discussing in detail how they are being implemented at their respective organisations.
The event runs from 14:00h – 17:00h Wednesday the 21st of May and is being held at IDG UK Headquarters. More information and registration is available on the AOP’s website.