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Trend Focus – Programmatic Advertising

According to the latest statistics from eMarketer, digital ad spend in the US will reach an incredible $58.6 billion in 2015 (up from $50.7 billion last year), of which almost half ($28.5 billion, up from 2014’s $18.9 billion) will be spent on mobile. As digital continues to grow its share of the overall ad spend (an estimated 31% of total spend in 2015 vs 28% last year), so do the number of technological solutions to help manage this spend and optimize results.

Programmatic Advertising

The latest development you may have heard about is “programmatic advertising,” also known as “programmatic marketing.” At its essence, it’s an automated way of buying (largely online) advertising. Traditional, non-automated digital advertising requires negotiations between media planners / buyers (either in-house or agency-based) and sales teams, RFPs and a number of other often labor-intensive stages including manual insertion orders and so forth. Programmatic advertising aims to streamline the process and provide a more efficient way for companies to secure the ad space they need. Adoption of programmatic advertising is gaining momentum – for example with news this week that iHeartMedia is partnering with ad-tech platform Jelli to enable companies to buy ad space on their 800+ radio stations via an automated, online tool.

Automation, and (as I discussed at the recent WBENC conference) digitization can bring major upheaval to any industry – benefits as well as challenges. And it’s clear with this new development that the shape of agency teams will change as elements of current roles become automated. But what is exciting from a digital marketing agency point of view about this is the opportunity to truly demonstrate our value by bringing our expertise in strategic planning and optimization to the fore. I’ve written before that, with so much of our time spent online, just because we have the potential to advertise to our target audiences 24/7 doesn’t mean we should, and relevance is absolutely key. The ability to find and buy relevant ad space through automation means a more efficient dollar spend, more engaged audiences, and better results for the business. For more on this subject, Digiday.com has a great round-up here.

One to Watch: Video – with Mobile Focus

The announcement by Facebook at the start of the year of its acquisition of San Diego-based video-processing firm QuickFire Networks as part of its mission to make video “an essential part of the Facebook experience” was a clear sign that mobile and video would be a key trend in 2015. Mobile video ad spend is estimated to top $2.6 billion this year, with an aggressive rise to over $6 billion by 2018 (according to eMarketer, cited here by Venture Beat). For B2B companies in particular, I think this is a really exciting development. Specific, segmented and engaging short-form video content can really help drive cut-through and ultimately customer conversion.

If there are any online or communications trends you’d like us to review, we’d love to hear from you.  Further, if you’d like our expert opinion on your online strategy we’re here to help.  As ever, please get in touch.


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