While 2016 has been all about mobile and video on the rise, 2017 is expected to continue supporting the growth of innovative and intelligent marketing trends. The biggest chunk of this growth pie continues to be the inevitable adoption of programmatic, for brands and agencies alike. No doubt there have been highs and lows, but it has been a memorable year for the digital fraternity.
So what is one to expect from the coming year? Here are a few predictions that will shape the programmatic landscape and the digital industry at large:
Programmatic As a Standard
We have arrived at the point of inflection where programmatic has gone mainstream and is now a widely preferred channel for a majority of display campaigns; at least in countries like the US. Agencies and brands that are buying programmatic media are now rather sophisticated about the whole ecosystem.
This year, we’re going to see a lot more transparency in partnerships and tie-ups between brands, agencies and tech providers. Greater efficiency in tech and automation combined with a surge in demand for premium inventory will ensure advertisers are investing their dollars in the right place. Additionally, as companies focus more on the quality of inventory on which their advertising is being served, real-time bidding will reduce as marketers start favoring private marketplaces.
Header bidding will no longer be a matter of bewilderment to publishers either. I’m positive that 2017 will be the year when header bidding overcomes the challenges it presently faces concerning usability and accessibility.
Programmatic – A Crucial Tool for Every Marketer
2017 will see programmatic break out of the ‘martech’ mould. The technological enablement and benefits that programmatic offers can be efficiently utilized to asses markets globally and to understand what consumers need; serving as a tool that powers core decision making across businesses.
Mobile and Video Continues to Dominate
A recent report by eMarketer shows that programmatic was responsible for two-thirds of all ad spend, and that mobile video would eclipse desktop spends in 2017.
Video has already taken over a large share of the digital advertising landscape. Social media is where all the consumers are and hence it is no surprise that video spends on social is currently on the upswing. With social media platforms enhancing their video capabilities, newer technologies enhancing video delivery on mobile, and with innovative, immersive experiences now being widely embraced, 2017 will see video play a huge role in marketing strategies as more brands increasingly take to video to communicate with their audiences, through creative storytelling.
Mobile video is one of the fastest-growing ad formats at present. With Google introducing native video ads to make mobile formats more effective, further advancements in tech and innovation will grant mobile video advertising the leeway to be highly creative and engaging. We’ll be seeing a lot more brands focusing on native experiences on mobile to reach out to their consumers. This is a major cue for mobile publishers to take notice of. If you aren’t paying attention to your mobile strategy, you’re surely going to fall behind.
In the coming year, mobile will be all about native and video ads. We will need to ensure the right kinds of investments are being made into improving timing, relevancy and scalability of these ad formats.
OTT Advertising To Be More Targeted
OOT advertising grew significantly this year; especially video. In the US alone, OTT campaigns have nearly doubled since 2015, and by 2019, nearly 72.1% of its population is expected to use OTT services. As adoption increases, marketers will find all the more a reason to invest into rich data and media. And while presently there are a few challenges when it comes to realizing the full potential of OTT ads (reasons such as slower development of targeting capabilities on the supply side), makinginventory widely available via programmatic channels would ease this challenge and amplify opportunities. In 2017, I can foresee a number of OTT suppliers embracing programmatic as a part of their strategy to elevate and offer a higher level of data-driven targeting within their suite of products.
Last But Not the Least:
Some players in the ecosystem will rule the roost and dominate the industry at large. Companies such as Verizon have much to gain with its recent acquisition of Yahoo’s core business, including their advertising, content, search and mobile solutions. With AOL’s solutions already a part of Verizon’s suite of offerings, the company is soon on its way to accelerating its capabilities in mobile, video, native & social, increaseits revenue streams in digital advertising, and offer tough competition to the likes of Google.
In an ever increasing programmatic ecosystem, the need for responsive and fluid advertising solutions is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but a necessity for all players alike. I believe 2017 will see programmatic media buying further strengthen its reach and firmly root itself into the digital landscape, and also foray into traditional channels such as TV. Indeed we have come a long way but the onus of no longer treating programmatic in silo rests upon the shoulders of the 2017 marketer. This applies not only to large-scale media conglomerates exploring the idea of developing their programmatic strategy in-house, but also to SMEs who are looking at navigating themselves in this big, bad, and often complex world of programmatic.
(The author is Co-Founder, Andbeyond.Media)
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com