Ad-tech players are already speculating on what 2017 may hold for one of the most dynamic technologies in our industry: programmatic.
Jason Keith, VP/group director of strategy at Digitas, predicts that “cross-screen video experiences — TV, online, mobile — will be the next big thing in programmatic technology.”
As video consumption soars, brands must deliver their message where consumer eyeballs are. One-off campaigns aren’t moving the needle — meaning it’s up to programmatic. The key is simultaneously developing attribution mechanisms for cross-screen video buys — no small task.
Traditional television ad buys are dying. According to Shael Fryer, VP enterprise, Index Exchange, programmatic television “will look a lot different than programmatic on desktop and mobile, but television can — and will — benefit tremendously from automation.”
Programmatic television has been growing since it first came on the scene. In 2017 it will take a much larger role in marketing strategies, driven by the increasing adoption of smart TVs and the booming popularity of programmatic video. It will also be aided by streaming companies making cord-cutting a more viable option for consumers. Traditional television has to protect its remaining margin, and automation can help.
It’s easy to get lost in the programmatic weeds and lose sight of one’s overall campaign objectives. As AppNexus’ SVP of Product Patrick McCarthy notes, “the once-static Internet of Web browsers and email has graduated to a more personalized and customized ‘programmable’ Internet, comprised of billions of interconnected apps, devices and consumers, each feeding a massive data loop that allows for a more dynamic digital experience.”
In 2015, technologists were at the center of the conversation, with a lot of hype around the prospect of chief marketing technologists.Yet in 2016, data saturation narrowed marketers’ focus.
In 2017, marketers will strive for balance between simplicity, effectiveness, and trusted measurements. Programmatic tech will be about finding the right data to smooth marketing processes. “There’s still a LOT of complexity to make things work between advertisers, agencies, demand-side platforms, data-management platforms, contextual/brand safety, exchanges, supply-side platformss, publishers, measurement / attribution companies, etc.” says David Danziger, VP, enterprise partnerships, The Trade Desk. “Making all of the pieces work together smoothly and seamlessly will accelerate adoption.”
Programmatic advertising was originally thought to be just what the doctor ordered for digital publishers, but over the years it’s created layers of middlemen leading to a bloated ecosystem. Even header bidding is causing more problems than it’s solving. Publishers are becoming increasingly frustrated with adtech, and in 2017 will require greater transparency.
“It’s time for the death of the black box,” says Fryer.“Publishers and marketers alike deserve to know what’s happening under the hood and to work with neutral, objective and transparent partners. Getting rid of the black box means preserving user experience, minimizing latencies and producing an efficient experience.”
A major hurdle for mobile programmatic is the lack of effective ROI metrics. Given that people spend an average of almost three hours a day on their smartphones, mobile programmatic remains a massive opportunity. In 2017, marketers will capitalize by tracking offline purchases motivated by mobile marketing.
“Over 90% of transactions still take place in the offline world,” notes Danziger, “Solving for identity and replacing ‘proxy’ online metrics with more robust online and offline results will unlock the mobile opportunity.”
The days of the wild programmatic west are over, and a bright new future lies ahead.
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