If 2017 was the year of debate in digital advertising, 2018 needs to be the year of action. The industry has expressed its strong concerns about issues like ad fraud, brand safety, and transparency. This pressure has forced the industry to adopt concrete measures to create a more open, mature and controlled digital advertising ecosystem. Here are five trends that will get continued focus in 2018.
A Continued Battle for More Transparency
Transparency will continue to be a big matter of discussion in 2018. Selling counterfeit inventory across the ecosystem is thankfully becoming harder with the introduction of the simple but highly effective solution of ads.txt.
In its simplicity, ads.txt easily enabled publishers to publicly declare what sellers and re-sellers are authorized to sell their inventory. While adoption may have started slowly, the industry rapidly picked up the pace and it became a priority for the majority of publishers. While effective, there are still gaps that need to be filled.
Ads.cert is starting to make more noise as the evolution of ads.txt as it will take a step further in promoting more transparency in the industry. In this new initiative, cryptography will be used to validate information between the seller and the buyer, thing ads.txt cannot provide at the moment. While it’s not a silver bullet that will solve all issues, it will leave less room for human error and for manipulation from fraudsters.
2017 was a trial year for solutions to the transparency issue and I think 2018 will be there the year we’ll see those initiatives crystallize.
Mobile Advertising to Get Bigger and Better
Mobile advertising continues its explosive growth, taking a larger percentage of all digital and traditional advertising each year. In 2017, global spending on mobile advertising was $143.54 billion. In 2018, this will jump to close to $185 billion.
With the proliferation and enhancements of smartphones and tablets, I think creative efforts to enhance mobile advertising will be heightened. With bigger screens and greater website compatibility, there’s more opportunity to create highly interactive and engaging mobile ads that attract the attention of today’s ’on-the-go’ consumer.
This doesn’t mean that desktop is dead. Particularly for large e-commerce campaigns, desktop continues to be important. Consumers will just expect the same level of creativity on both types of devices.
New Payment Models
The industry has so far primarily relied on CPM model but with advertisers wanting to invest in engagement and interaction with their customers, some new models are rising. It’s interesting to see cost-per-second gaining traction as a measurement tool, enabling advertisers to only pay for the amount of time that consumers choose to spend with their message.
This time-based approach to advertising measurement offers advertisers a more interesting insight on their campaign, but its growth will first and foremost rely on DSPs making it accessible to ultimately allow for more scale with this payment model. I think that all it will need is one big player adopting it and the rest will follow.
Rise in Self-Serve Platforms
While the big players will continue to dominate the industry, I think we’ll see a shift in how the smaller companies compete with them.
We’re already seeing more innovative approaches to how those smaller players can enter the programmatic advertising industry with platforms and solutions designed to fit their needs.
I don’t think it’s necessarily a shift in gear but more a diversification of solutions to become complementary and cater to, mainly, the internalization of processes we are seeing in a lot of agencies.
Better, More Targeted Creative With Dynamic Creative Optimization
One of programmatic’s biggest strengths is the huge scale it offers to deliver highly targeted digital ads on a global scale. Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) tools are bringing exciting new creative opportunities, enabling advertisers to automatically and simultaneously create and test hundreds of different creative options and optimize the best one that is getting the most consumer engagement.
In 2018, I’m sure we’ll see greater use and adoption of DCO to create highly personalized and targeted advertising matching individual consumers’ specific interests. The fast-paced evolution that programmatic advertising faces speak to the rapid growth of our industry. Every year brings a new set of best practices and methods.
I think we’re starting to see a maturity in the industry with the wider adoption of standards and regulations.
Coupled with the rise in technology solutions and expansion of creative possibilities, it’s an exciting era for the programmatic industry.
2018 promises to be just as thrilling.
Recommended Read: 3 Innovations Driving Out-of-Home in 2018