Decoding The State of Programmatic Advertising and Ad Formats in 2018

In Our Latest Predictions Series 2018 Article, We Explore How the AdTech Companies Will Increasingly Seek to Create Value and Solve Industry Problems with Disruptive Technologies

In 2018, brands are super-sensitive towards publishing anything that could be labeled as ‘extremist’ content. As advertising technology companies join together to fight against fraudulent ad inventory, amidst an already acknowledged disruption in the form of GDPR, we are slated to witness another dynamic year.

2017 was the year the entire industry woke up to the need for increased transparency and stricter quality standards. 2018 will be the year we will come together to address these issues and restore trust.” – Richard Kidd, VP, Head of Business Development, EMEA, OpenX

To understand how the adtech landscape would react to the latest disruptions in the tech world, we spoke to top executives from the industry. We chatted with representatives from OpenX, Mobfox, TVSquared, Tremor Video, and Urban Airship to know what they see as the biggest disruptions within the adtech ecosystem.

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Deep Learning and Programmatic Capabilities to Maximize Adtech Returns

Gil Klein
Gil Klein, MD, Mobfox

Gil Klein, Managing Director, Mobfox, spoke to us about the multipronged disruptions likely to challenge the adtech industry in 2018.

Ads.Txt: Are You Ready Yet?

“In 2018, we’ll witness a growing adoption of ads.txt by DSPs beyond Google. Adtech companies will increasingly seek to create value and solve industry problems with disruptive technologies such as blockchain and AI. The ability of deep learning to perform human-like tasks combined with AI’s mass computing power has already begun to be a game-changer for the industry and will bring programmatic advertising to a new level of optimization.”

Is Deep Learning the Future of Programmatic Advertising in 2018?

Gil added, “Deep learning will continue to derive meaning from descriptions with Natural Language Processing (NLP), especially in situations where data is sparse, will extract features automatically from applications’ user interfaces, and will enhance globalization by helping to better map the subtleties between users of different cultures or geographic locales. In the coming year, we’ll see these features of deep learning coming together to become a single model that maximizes the results of programmatic mobile advertising.”

Seismic Shift to OTT To Add More Dollars to Adtech Budgets

Gil further explained, “Another trend we foresee becoming even bigger in 2018 is the shift to over-the-top (OTT) advertising. Currently, OTT accounts for 26% of Video Ad-Spend, and it’s not slowing down. Video streaming on both desktop and mobile devices has had a true explosion recently, offering a new opportunity for advertisers to target niche audiences through ad-supported OTT and track anonymized user data elsewhere online, painting a holistic picture of media consumption, digital behavior, and ad exposure. This, combined with increasing personalization and interactive ad formats, will begin to form an even larger, more important piece of the pie in advertising budgets in 2018 and beyond.”

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Better Measurement Standards to Analyze TV Marketing for Audience Targeting 

Marlene Grimm, TVSquared
Marlene Grimm, TVSquared

Marlene Grimm, Analytics Director, TVSquared, predicted a very adventurous roadmap for the adtech industry, especially within the TV Marketing stacks.

Is TV Dead?… No…

Marlene said, “In 2018, I think we’ll finally see the end of the “TV is dead” scaremongering. This year the industry has continued to evolve, bringing realistic, fact-based TV talk with it. TV is increasingly accessible, it’s still watched by the masses, and it’s effective. TV is now highly measurable and optimizable, and for many advertisers TV has quickly become the primary generator of digital response.”

Marlene added, “To build on this, 2018 will see brands creatively leveraging TV marketing for targeting – thanks to increasingly sophisticated targeting options for advertisers. While addressable and programmatic TV are still developing technologies they have sparked an industry-wide discussion, which in 2018 will prompt networks and channels to call for an industry standard for targeting and measurement.”

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‘We Need to Restore Trust in Programmatic Advertising’

Richard Kidd, OpenX
Richard Kidd, OpenX

Richard Kidd, VP, Head of Business Development, EMEA, OpenX, said, “In 2017, brand safety, ad fraud, and transparency dominated the headlines, making the need to restore trust in programmatic advertising essential to continue its rapid growth. And while the industry took steps to address these challenges – such as the launch of ads.txt – 2018 will be the year digital advertising really ‘cleans up’.”

He added, “There’s much at stake. With all sides of the ecosystem – from publishers to marketers – demanding their partners meet strict quality standards, any who fall short will find themselves struggling to stay afloat. In particular, programmatic exchanges should be assessed on their ad fraud prevention measures, their commitment to protecting the brand safety, and the transparency of their processes, including the auction methods.”

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Connected TV Could be A Very Promising Investment for Marketers and Mobile Advertising Companies

Lauren Wiener
Lauren Wiener

Lauren Wiener, CEO, Tremor Video DSP, said, “Connected TV has gone mainstream – with cord-cutters and cord-nevers driving the move from traditional TV to digital devices. But, as we know well, ad spend always lags behind user behavior and it hasn’t caught up yet with the shift to the connected TV. In 2018, we will see advertiser spend and demand for connected TVs increase dramatically as advancements are made in targeting and measuring.”

Lauren added, “Connected TV has tremendous promise for marketers: the ability to combine the targeting capabilities of digital with the scale of the big screen. And while the challenges connected TV currently faces mirror those mobile faced in its nascent stages, so too will the solutions. Just as mobile players worked, and continue to work, to address these problems, so too will the connected TV industry. In the year ahead, marketers and industry players will work through these challenges together to start fully delivering on the promise of connected TV.”

Could Collaboration Apps Save the Day for Advertisers Working in Large Teams?

John Reese, MavenLink
John Reese, Mavenlink

John Reese, SVP, Marketing at Mavenlink, said, “Although we’ve witnessed a tremendous proliferation of new marketing technology in recent years, collaboration apps have been around for some time to help marketers communicate, share files, and hold meetings. What’s different in 2018 is the more rapid adoption of a new class of digital workspace and workstream technology to facilitate more efficient and effective planning of, execution of, and communication around project-based work. Market analyst Gartner forecasts unprecedented adoption of Collaborative Work Management and Collaborative Workstream technology over the next five years, and for good reason.”

John added, “More than ever, companies are seeking to digitize their work as project and functional teams become more distributed, work hours become more flexible, workforce demographics shift to millennial, and technology innovation presents new possibilities for facilitating modern business practices.”

Explore the Scope of Voice and Data-Powered Services Within AdTech

Mike Herrick
Mike Herrick

Mike Herrick, SVP, Product and Engineering, Urban Airship, stated, “2018 will be the ‘Year of Voice’, as Alexa, Google Home, and Siri not only get much better but reach critical mass. This will create new opportunities for brands to connect with customers in new ways and build new data-powered services. It will be the wild west for a while, and as marketers begin to build new experiences for these devices there are things that they must take into consideration like: privacy, divulging personal information, and timing. Voice will allow marketers to deliver relevant information immediately, but marketers must tread carefully.”

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