Programmatic technologies are changing at warp speed. Innovations are being made on a daily basis – and will continue to accelerate. Here are five predictions about the way programmatic advertising’s technological landscape will continue to evolve.
Although a long road still lies ahead, programmatic advertising is advancing steadily: In Germany, for example, the programmatic share of digital advertising was just 23 percent in 2015 but is projected to increase to 32 percent by this year. While this may not seem like much, it actually constitutes a 45 percent increase. With a programmatic market share of over 60 percent, our American colleagues are already considerably ahead. So why is it that we’re lagging behind in Europe? On the one hand, the application of new technologies always takes a bit longer here; on the other hand, many of the technological preconditions are still being developed. The good news: We will overcome several major hurdles in the foreseeable future.
1. The Advertising World Will Become 100 Percent Programmatic
In three to four years, we will manage all advertising formats programmatically. Traditional ad servers as we know them today will merge with supply-side platforms (SSP). Advertisers will be able to access all inventory types through a single dashboard – from TV spots to Spotify ads and outdoor advertising along roadways. Even print advertisements will be linked programmatically via publishers’ content management systems. Not only will this increase the programmatic share of advertising expenditures to almost 100 percent, but the pace of innovation will increase significantly and lead to a better advertising experience for everyone involved.
2. Customized, Real-Time Targeting Will Become Mainstream
What Facebook and Google are already able to implement thanks to flawless user recognition will spread to the entire programmatic landscape: a personalized approach to addressing users based on individual interests, regardless of the time and place. It’s the dream of all advertisers to reach their target audience at the right time and touchpoint with the right message. New platforms with unprecedented strength in data processing will make the right decisions in less than a hundredth of a second – programmatic advertising in real time!
3. Geotagging Technologies Will Become Ready for Practical Application
In the past, we’ve lacked an important piece of information in order to convey messages accurately and in the appropriate user context: the exact location of the user. But this technology has become so well developed that there are some nice application examples. For instance, the San Francisco 49ers recently had 2,000 beacons installed at the Levi’s Stadium in their hometown of Santa Clara. An app gives stadium visitors customized real-time updates when the line at the nearest hot dog stand is shortest. Of course, beacons aren’t the height of sophistication. But soon, geotagging will be fully developed. The call for data protection will once again be loud in this context. But there’s no doubt that a multi-billion-dollar industry will find a solution for this, too.
4. Artificial Intelligence Will Allow for Interconnection
With programmatic advertising, the degree of automation in the planning, configuration and management of ad campaigns has already markedly increased. Nevertheless, those involved still perform many tasks manually, which has the usual undesirable consequences: Campaigns aren’t optimally managed. Artificial intelligence – AI for short – will take over these tasks step by step and eventually allow for the complete interconnection of campaigns.
5. Big Data Will Enable Customer Lifecycle Management
Those who want to appeal to their target audience with customized messages in real time need one thing above all: a sound database. The kind of cookie-based targeting we’re familiar with from retargeting isn’t a solution. Where exactly advertisers can acquire useful user data remains a challenge. While big data has been a part of the tech world for many years now, it hasn’t quite found its place in the advertising world yet. But this is sure to change as some vendors are already beginning to collect, aggregate and distribute data. Advertisers will then be able to access valid user data – and in real time, of course.
The bottom line: The advertising world is turning towards programmatic and putting users at the forefront. To reach audiences with personalized messages in real time, many technology developments are underway. This will eventually turn the desire for comprehensive customer lifecycle management into reality.