online advertising industry endured major changes in 2013, such as new creative ad units like native ads. In the coming year, brands will focus on accountability and more demanding test and
measurement performance metrics.
Expectations will be heightened around human audience requirements, cognition, user experience and effectiveness. Ari Jacoby, CEO at Solve Media, which provides interactive CAPTCHAs, runs down 10 predictions for the year ahead.
1. Publishers Will Go All-In on Verified Human Audience Technologies
In the next 12 months, publishers will take a stronger stance against bots and fraudulent traffic. Expect to see a significant increase in the use of human verification tools and security solutions.
2. The UX of Native Ads Will Improve
In 2014, native ads will be the norm. Good user experience will be table stakes as brands work to have their messages treated as valuable content.
3. Personalization Will Trump Retargeting
Personalization will allow brands to deliver timely messages that speak to a consumer’s preferences, interests and activities. Basic retargeting will look like simple brute force by comparison.
4. Marketers Will Demand Human Audiences
Marketers will increasingly demand assurances from agencies they are paying to reach a living, breathing human audience. At a basic level, bots can't buy products or services.
5. Programmatic Will Finally Split into Premium and Remnant Camps
A barbell strategy will take hold: guaranteed effectiveness for those interested in impacting executions, and remnant/"cheap reach" for those who simply want to "spray and pray" to as many unverified users as possible.
6. Cognition Will Trump Viewability
Viewability was all the rage in 2013, but top publishers will begin to guarantee audience cognition in the year ahead. Top agencies will lean in to this premium level of engagement.
Premium Mobile Inventory Will be Tough To Come By
Generic mobile inventory will experience a precipitous drop in price. The demand for premium, effective mobile inventory will outstrip supply 5:1 and garner eCPMs in excess of $40.
8. The Massive Shortage In Click-To-Play Video Inventory Will Continue
Auto-play videos turned consumers off with their arbitrary user experience in 2013. Well-known publishers will start 2014 with less than 10% of the Click-To-Play video inventory they need for the year.
9. The Internet's Four Horsemen Will Go to War to Develop the Most Effective Brand Advertising Solution
In 2014, the company that ultimately claims dominance in online brand advertising effectiveness will inherit the biggest growth opportunity the industry has seen to date.
10. Undifferentiated Ad-Tech Companies Will Struggle for Enterprise Value
Pre-IPO ad-tech companies will struggle to get rich multiples in the public market. The best private companies will differentiate through exclusivity of inventory, security technology or guaranteed effectiveness.