One of the most exciting things about the programmatic advertising ecosystem is that it never stands still. And 2018 is not going to be any different. It’s set to be an exciting year both for programmatic and for cutting-edge technologies like AI. Let’s take a closer look at some of the biggest trends that will redefine programmatic in 2018.
Programmatic over-the-top (OTT) and connected TV advertising has come of age
Consumer television viewing habits are continuing to evolve as consumers become more accustomed to viewing content on any device and screen.
In 2017, Netflix hit a new milestone: As per a consumer research study from Leichtman Research Group, 54% of U.S. adults reported they have Netflix in their household, while 53% have a DVR. This was the first time that households with Netflix (including those sharing passwords) have exceeded the level of those with a DVR. The reality today is that consumers don’t just watch ‘TV’ using their TVs.
This changing landscape of how people view television content is influencing how TV ad inventory is traded. This yearwill see significantly more OTT and connected TV inventory being bought and monetized programmatically. While mobile will remain the go-to destination for advertising and consumer engagement, growth in OTT and connected TV inventory will enable highly-targeted video advertising in 2018.
- Ad creatives will be scalable to all platforms
Advertisers will also begin to demand scalable creative experiences that can transfer across platforms. Such consistent creative experiences not only make media buying more efficient and easy but also they ensure better accountability and results. The rapidly-changing TV experience will continue to demand creativity and adaptability from advertisers across the board.
- Omni-channel platforms will keep gaining momentum
Many marketers still work in silos resulting in limited data sharing for both targeting and attribution. This can also result in a less-than-perfect consumer experience. However, in 2018, more marketers will realize the need to leverage data and learnings across different media types, thus attaining omni-channel attribution. This tactic will help local advertisers identify the most relevant audience and reach them with the right messaging at the right time, and on the devices they are using in that moment.
- The rise of AI in programmatic
In a recent interview with eMarketer, Chris Victory, vice president of partnerships at MediaMath, revealed that advertisers have seen the benefits of implementing machine learning into their decision-making and in spending their marketing dollars. He said there are three main focus areas.
- The first is infusing AI into the decision-making/bidding process of how to better spend marketing dollars.
- The second is AI-driven ad creatives. For instance, one can interact with an ad by asking a question, and it will give users different answers based on the question asked.
- The third focus area will be using AI for more predictive analytics. For example, don’t just reveal who my lapsed customers are. Instead, show me who my potential lapsed customers are based off of behaviors. Then one can create audience segments to target with relevant messages related to their potential of becoming a lapsed customer. Going forward into 2018, more marketers and advertisers will embrace and adopt AI.
- The next big push: transparency and fighting ad fraud
Both clients and publishers are keen to know where every dollar is going. This will be a big year for the fight against ad fraud. The entire industry is in the midst of a huge push towards supply chain transparency through the adoption of techniques such as ads.txt, which essentially gives publishers a way to tell buyers who is authorized to sell their inventory. Publishers will also authenticate their inventory with OpenRTB 3.0, giving buyers more confidence in what they’re buying, and from whom. This new protocol could bring more transparency to the digital ad supply chain if it’s widely adopted.
- More awareness about programmatic
Clients are becoming more involved with programmatic and are acquiring knowledge by bringing in experts who can scrutinize what’s happening in the programmatic ecosystem.
For programmatic, 2018 will be a year where we take a step back to improve the overall quality of the existing digital ecosystem, thus setting ourselves up for future growth and longevity. It will be a time to fix existing issues before we take the next big leap.