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Closing the circle: connecting the world of programmatic advertising

By Ekaterina Rabe, vice president programmatic


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August 21, 2019 | 5 min read

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80-90% of people in the most advanced markets own a smartphone today – and this number keeps growing, allowing mobile advertising to dominate digital ad spend since 2015. With this, other trends are continuing to soar, such as Connected TV and digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising, opening up an omnichannel world for advertisers aiming to create a unified user experience across multiple devices.

Can mobile be the one device to connect them all?

Can mobile be the one device to connect them all?

But is this idealistic approach achievable given that user behavior is so fragmented across media channels? What if all media channels were interconnected to deliver ads that are tailored to individual users no matter what platform?

Beyond mobile and desktop: enhancing the entire customer journey

Mobile and desktop already make up the ideal programmatic pair, with advertisers successfully executing effective cross-media campaigns between these devices for years. As the industry evolves, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with the constantly changing consumer behavior across newly emerging platforms. One thing has not changed, however, and that’s users’ need for meaningful and personalized ads.

Historically, advertising channels functioned in silos, completely separate from one another. The glue that brings digital advertising together as a cross-platform offering, which will enable the closing of the circle of a customer’s journey, is data and programmatic trading. For the first time, one trading platform that is already enabling most traditional digital advertising buying and selling on desktop and mobile channels is also powering advertising on emerging digital channels including CTV and DOOH.

Connected TV: a separate ecosystem?

Connected TV is one of the most discussed topics in adtech and for good reason, too. The massive shift from traditional linear TV to over-the-top (OTT) streaming platforms is delighting publishers and advertisers alike, as the new medium provides an exciting and profitable avenue for targeting highly engaged users programmatically. There remains a disconnect between advertising platforms and devices, however, as, despite CTV’s promising capabilities, the market is highly fragmented in terms of measurement, inventory, and new industry players. What works on one platform is not guaranteed to work on another, and this is certainly the case for CTV.

There needs to be a universal standardized solution, as the technologies are already in place for a successful cross-platform advertising set-up. It must be defined how to accurately measure and track which users are watching when there may be multiple people in one household. Just as mobile and desktop are already so well connected, mobile data can also assist to enrich buys on CTV. Individual user profiles can be created based on a multitude of data points, from mobile device IDs to wifi and even IP addresses. By combining this data, advertisers will be well equipped to deliver the best possible ad experience to users no matter the device. Every ad experience should succeed in adding value, from the moment someone searches a product on their mobile to watching a movie on their connected TV. Ideally, and perhaps not so far in the future, there will be a holistic product that would allow individuals to be accurately targeted on CTV.

The possibilities of digital out-of-home

On a larger scale, DOOH is making leaps forward in the programmatic marketplace, with mobile location data, in particular, accelerating its growth. In an ideal world, advertisers could create a single campaign to be run on multiple platforms, from desktop to digital signage. In reality, the messaging, ad placement, and user experience differ from such varying channels.

Hyper-personalization is indeed possible for DOOH viewers, although it is more likely and viable for successful audience-based targeting as opposed to individuals. Relevant ads can be displayed to consumers based on geotargeting, facial detection, time-of-day data, mobile device ID, and more, whereby audiences can be segmented and targeted accurately based on the collected data within a matter of milliseconds when traded programmatically. As DOOH is a one-to-many advertising approach, the goal would be to reach a percentage of these consumers and offer ads for products people are interested in, providing better discoverability and pricing. In time, advertisers will be able to improve the quality and relevancy of delivered ads based on collected data points to achieve the ultimate cross-platform user experience.

Can mobile be the one device to connect them all? It remains to be seen.

But what is certain is that the same programmatic exchanges which power mobile advertising will be driving digital advertising across other channels. With data privacy policies becoming more prevalent in today’s digital advertising universe, access to user data will be limited, but if the consumer perspective shifts and starts welcoming more relevant ads, we’re bound to see a unified user experience across connected devices.

Ekaterina Rabe, vice-president programmatic, PubNative GmbH

Tel: +49 (0) 176 621 59011



Twitter: @PubNative

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