Lisa Utzschneider, Yahoo's chief revenue officer, gives her opinion on what's likely to be top of the agenda for marketers that are increasingly trying to get to grips with digital, as well as prove the efficacy of these efforts. The core components of this include: adtech; data; measuring success across platforms, and client services.
There’s no question that publishers and platforms are reshaping the media landscape. If you need proof, look no further than the hundreds of brand, agency and media executives at the recent IAB Annual Leadership Meeting who gathered to debate the industry’s biggest topics with a special focus on what’s ahead for publishers and platforms. So how can marketers excel in this new world order? With that in mind, here are five trends that will dominate the conversation in the months ahead.
1. Programmatic platforms
Did someone say programmatic platforms? You can’t dip a toe into the platforms debate without acknowledging the incredible rise of programmatic buying. Without a doubt, programmatic will continue to take center stage in 2017 as brands step up their strategies to drive efficiency at scale. That means we'll see even greater consolidation in the ecosystem, as marketers focus on fewer platforms and bigger investments. It’s the next evolution of programmatic, with advertisers moving from open exchange buying to more sophisticated transactions including private marketplaces (PMPs) and guaranteed buying. For some advertisers programmatic is still intimidating, but it shouldn’t be. What brands really need is better guidance from their partners to make their programmatic efforts more successful. It’s time to help marketers demystify programmatic, which brings me to the next big topic.
2. Client service
Client service will be a major theme and differentiator this year, especially when it comes to programmatic, but that’s just the starting line. At a time when marketers are demanding greater transparency and stronger partnerships, the companies that prioritize client service and deliver will win. That spells further changes within the agency landscape too.
Speaking of transparency, open measurement has been a clear demand and rallying cry from advertisers of late. At the heart of this discussion, brand and performance marketers want to be able to trust that their ads are being seen by their target audiences. That’s why advertisers are calling for better, independent third-party verification for their campaigns. Talking with advertisers, the frustration with 'walled gardens' is readily apparent and third party measurement is especially critical in the rapidly growing video ad space. To address this, the industry needs to work together to support open measurement across platforms to deliver value, results and transparency for advertisers. As an industry, we can do better!
4. Mobile (still)
No predictions list would be complete without acknowledging the changes in the mobile landscape. Mobile app usage grew 11% year-over-year and time-spent in apps is up by 69%. But when you think about mobile marketing success this year, the key word will be optimization. Mobile optimization is critical and the focus will be on getting the creative right, especially with native video ads across devices. What native video ads really represent are more opportunities for better brand storytelling, while enhancing the experience for consumers. We're seeing tremendous growth and you can bet brands will continue to step up their game this year.
5. Better use of data
Finally, data is at the root of nearly every marketing discussion this year. So what’s ahead? It's time to better leverage commerce data to connect digital ad spending with actual sales, both online and in store. As an industry, we can raise the bar for better campaign analytics that demonstrate the massive and direct impact of digital ads on consumer purchasing behavior.
As you navigate the first half of 2017, take note of these trends that are changing the way we partner, deliver successful campaigns, and engage consumers. Most importantly, brands, agencies and publishers all have an opportunity to redefine the way we put technology, data, and content experiences to work for better campaigns this year. Let’s set a higher bar.