With digital ad spends surpassing TV ad spends in 2016 for the first time since 2004; 2017 seems to be the year of digital with everyone focusing on what’s the ‘Next-Big-Thing’. Here are some of the ad tech trends that you should look out for:
1. Header Bidding
The ability to allow multiple advertisers to bid on the same ad spot simultaneously to determine the best price is called header bidding.
When people started growing tired of how Google’s ad server favoured its own exchange, publishers reworked their tech stacks to offer inventory to multiple ad exchanges simultaneously before making their ad calls. This was the advent of header bidding. What started as a short-term hack is now considered as the next evolution towards improving revenue for publishers.
2. With new techniques comes new Ad fraud
With header bidding spreading faster than a forest fire, it is essential to nip this one in the bud - domain spoofing.
Domain spoofing creates the illusion of buying premium inventory when in actuality; the programmatic buyers are buying imposter sites through the open exchange. Over time, misrepresented inventory can cost the legitimate inventory sold by publishers reducing eCPMs as imposter sites can never deliver on the same quality.
This activity will become harder, thanks to IAB Tech Lab’s new tool call called ads.txt. Similar to robot.txt for websites, publishers will need to now put a text file on their site listing all the exchanges they work with. Buyers can send crawlers to scout publishers’ sites and collect these lists. DSPs can then choose to filter inventory so buyers only go through those listed exchanges.
3. Viewability - the next great metric
For all branding campaigns, the first metric that is now being most valued is viewability i.e. the ability for an advertiser to determine if the ad was actually seen.
Simply put, it is a way for an advertiser to gauge the quality of the impressions that they are paying for. This is being considered as a welcome move by everyone. Advertisers can now start demanding for inventory that’s actually seen and pay only for viewable impressions. This should reduce the available inventory for qualified impressions. Once the impressions volumes decrease, the publishers will demand higher CPMs in order to retain revenue.
But there are some issues which still loom around this metric such as the right percentage over which viewability will not impact campaign performance, standardisation of measurement as numbers vary across vendors since each claims to use a superior technology than the other. We shall find soon enough how this pans out in 2017.
A quick tip for advertisers, a solution to viewability is to go native with the ads.
4. Cross device tracking
The digital consumer has always had a habit of spreading his/her behaviour across devices, now more than ever with 3.6 devices on an average. Companies such as Drawbridge and Tapad are now claiming to aggregate information about ads served on smartphones, tablets and desktops, and then use statistical models to infer who is using which device. Most of these work on probabilistic models and the exact accuracy of these are unknown at the moment. We shall wait to see what 2017 holds for us.
5. More focus on the user
Publishers want to clean up and improve user experience while maximising monetisation opportunities. Advertisers realise that what’s best for everyone—cleaner ad tech, improved focus on ad experience and better ad creative.
Advertisers want effective ads, not wasted spend. The year 2016 saw advertisers leaning higher towards social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat in order to combat their fear of fraud. This resulted in driving up CPMs but driving down advertiser ROI.
In 2017, advertisers are expected to index back to the broader media market to gain lift in ROI and rebalance pricing. The trend will be further accelerated because of doubts planted by Facebook’s metrics mistakes, the decline of Twitter growth and the exposure of large botnets throughout these platforms.
(The author is Chief Business Officer at GreedyGame)
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com