What do you think will be the next big thing in programmatic in the next year?
Definitely data and analytics. About half of marketers say they have little to no transparency into what they spend on specific brands within their portfolio, what works and what doesn’t - and that has to change. Companies will have to develop or hire the ability to ingest large amounts of data and then translate it into actionable insights - they’ll be the success stories.
What are the biggest changes you think we will see in the industry over the next year?
There will be quite a few to watch. Brands will have more transparency thanks to partnerships with third-party data providers. We’ll also see reciprocal data sharing with tech platforms, giving advertisers access to vast amounts of programmatic data. Those shifts will naturally affect the role agencies play in the ecosystem. I think we’ll also see an increase in computational creativity. AI and machine learning will be increasingly combined with human capabilities for planning and big-picture strategy.
In the 12 months ahead what medium, in your opinion, will be the next to go programmatic? E.g. TV, outdoor, audio
In an addressable media environment, everything will be traded programmatically, whether it’s television, outdoor, or audio. Programmatic TV, for example, is growing fast. Instead of relying on ratings for specific shows or channels, marketers can use programmatic tech to reach a more specific demographic or subset of consumers. Marketers can be less concerned about programming and more focused on audience.
Even digital billboards can be programmatic depending on macro factors like the weather, location, day, and time. Retailers can now capture and measure who drove by which billboard and then shopped in one of their stores. Similarly, Clear Channel brings customized pop-up ads to the interstate depending on drivers’ locations. Brands like L’Oréal and ExxonMobil have already started to make this shift. We’re entering a fully programmatic display era, which offers great opportunities for brands to target more effectively.
How can an adtech company differentiate itself in this time of disruption and agency consolidation?
I think the key is to always be at the tip of the arrow and the first one to offer what advertisers need next. Bigger companies can’t be as nimble hereditarily, so smaller and more nimble companies will be able to quickly pivot to meet emerging marketer needs.
There have been a lot of negative headlines in the programmatic sector in recent months, with layoffs, etc, what would you describe as the top 2 things for the sector to be positive about?
I think new opportunities in analytics should give us all reason to be upbeat. Every day, we are able to uncover and apply insights with greater speed and acumen. That’s where ROI will come from for advertisers in the next year. There is also a lot to be excited about in online/offline. With technologies like probe requests and beacons, for examples, retailers will be able to see what displays consumers linger over in a store, see which ones tempt consumers to make a purchase, and optimize store displays as a result.
Why do you think the DTAs are beneficial and add value to the US ad tech industry?
The Drum Awards shine light on the best work in the industry and give us all a chance to raise our glasses and toast one another - which is always a delight. It’s valuable for leaders and innovators in our space to gather, share successes and look toward the future - especially after a tough period of change in our industry.