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Programmatic Digital Disruption

Programmatic: Five tech disruptions set to shape advertising in 2015

AOL Platforms


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December 23, 2014 | 5 min read

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While the term 'disruption' has become a cliché, there’s no denying that technology is radically reshaping the ad industry.

As investments in programmatically-powered ad campaigns continue to climb, agencies, brands, publishers and even broadcast players are realising significant value from automation.

And the expansive amount of data now available is truly game changing – poised to influence every aspect of advertising, from how creatives work to how TV advertisers serve up campaigns.

With all of this in mind, here are five developments we can expect to see in 2015:

The rise of the 'Data-driven creative'

There’s been a lot of ink spilled on the convergence of the CMO and CTO roles in recent years and the shift of the ad industry from 'Mad Men' to 'Math Men'.

In digital advertising, we’re beginning to witness the marriage of creative work and strategic execution – not just getting the placement of an ad right, but also allowing the context in which the ad is placed to inform the changes in the creative itself. The ultimate goal, of course, is to use technology to bring stories to life for people in a way that’s relevant to them.

Successful creatives will understand this unique dynamic, placing a greater focus on audience optimization and scenario planning – and begin to generate programmatically-powered creative.

The early bird gets the worm: Brand advertisers will see the fruit of their programmatic investments

In 2014, brand advertisers and agencies invested heavily in programmatic, incorporating automated systems and processes to drive efficiency and impact.

In 2015, those investments will begin to see significantly greater ROI and advertisers late to programmatic adoption will be left behind.

Having bought in to the promise of programmatic, advertisers are now experimenting with different solutions and architecting technology strategies that support their businesses.

For example, marketers are simplifying their buying process, moving from managing dozens of technology systems to consolidating all of their efforts into one or a few core systems.

Baking in that strategy now allows their teams to focus on how to maximize their ROI moving forward.

The majority of tv companies will begin to employ audience driven, programmatic selling

TV is still the largest and most powerful ad medium, but it is on the verge of experiencing meaningful disruption.

The technology to power automated data-driven ad decisions, campaign optimization and measurable attribution, enjoyed by digital for many years, is here now for TV.

In 2015, we will see broadcasters, cable networks and MVPDs begin to open their systems, adopt programmatic technology and transact on more precise audience segments – beyond just age and gender – to expand the value of their TV programming.

This will align with the overall ad industry’s movement towards data-driven marketing, enabling advertisers to seamlessly plan, buy and measure their spend across all screens and understand what is driving ROI – all from one platform.

Forward-thinking brands will insist on data ownership

One of a marketer’s most valuable assets is data. It’s at the core of their ecosystem and fuels their business. Smart brands will become increasingly aware of the negative impact of 'giving away' data and the real need to own it.

The reality is that some large third parties often take ownership of a brand’s data. This walled garden inhibits brands from accessing critical data — facts as core as who saw and/or clicked on their ad.

This situation cripples a brand’s ability to develop accurate campaigns in the future, as data analytics is an evolutionary process where the results of each campaign inform the next.

In 2015, we can expect advertisers to start asking tough questions of their providers and, to the extent possible, take complete ownership of their data.

Publishers will start to leverage programmatic platforms to drive meaningful ROI

Programmatic platforms have much more to offer publishers than the automation of their operations and workflow.

While streamlined process efficiencies enabled by automation are certainly valuable from a cost-savings standpoint, programmatically-charged data will also begin to empower publishers to boost the return they are getting for their inventory.

By leveraging sophisticated targeting, frequency capping, brand safety and other data-driven tools to more precisely identify and segment key audiences, publishers will be able to entice a greater number of brands to spend through programmatic channels.

At the end of the day, the publishers who can best plan, execute, analyze and report — across audiences, screens, ad formats, time of day and content types —will see the greatest ROI.

Bob Lord, chief executive, AOL Platforms

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7092 2000


Twitter: @AOLUK

Programmatic Digital Disruption

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