Programmatic Predictions For 2014

With 2014 right around the corner, many programmatic media-buying experts are eager to share their predictions. 2013 was a big year in the space — heck, RTM Daily didn’t even exist at this point last year — but not just in display. It took hold in mobile, video, social and has started to gain traction in the out-of-home world.

But what’s going to happen in 2014? Could we see more companies bring everything in-house? Will there be partnerships between major publishers to make more "premium" inventory available for automated buying? What will the general trends and areas of focus be? Could it be transparency, mobile, premium, or cross-device?

See below for some predictions on the future of programatic media-buying.

James Aitken, CEO at The Exchange Lab, believes “that the market is likely to see the rise of client-side trading desks as brands take a more hands-on approach to engaging with their programmatic buying. Fueled by industry references to the rise of Big Data and of the ‘Chief Marketing Technologist,’ clients are learning about programmatic along with its value and benefits.



We expects this to spawn an awakening or questioning of the methods in current media-buying systems, and to prompt an exploration of a “better way” to manage the more traditional media spend that is increasingly being digitized. This in turn is likely to create pressure on global media owners from global brands to adopt more data-driven, accountable, transparent means of managing media, and is likely to result in large-scale global clients creating in-house trading desks beyond 2014.

Brett Wilson, CEO at TubeMogul, believes viewability, mobile and ‘premium programmatic’ will all pick up steam in the video space in 2014.

“Viewability will be a wake-up call for the industry, and transparency will take on new importance.

Also, mobile video is growing too fast to ignore. We expect continued development here in 2014 as digital advertising moves beyond cookies toward a long-term solution for targeting across devices.

We also expect large broadcasters to rapidly expand their creation of programmatic sales teams to automate the selling of ads, as they started doing in 2013. Software-driven buying will also likely begin to expand to on-demand TV and Web-based TV services.”

Merlyn Gordon, director of product strategy at Webtrends, believes marketers are going to start trying to answer the question: “What’s faster than real-time?”

“Marketers will begin taking advantage of new capabilities that enable them to act on insights in the very moment they need to act. Time has always been a luxury in short supply for marketers. With maturing Big Data platforms and streaming data capabilities, marketers will be able to reduce the costs, risks and time to market for campaigns.

Hard metrics such as sales, revenue, lifetime value and cost of acquisition will continue to play a significant role in justifying investments. Hard metrics will be programmatically baked into testing and targeting strategies, with new technologies able to ingest pre-defined outcomes, and execute against these objective.”

Alex White, GM of data and trading at DG, believes there will be big gains in programmatic premium spending.

“The buy-side has given every indication that it wants to utilize RTB and programmatic buying to access online ad inventory, rather than deal with the old method of sending in orders. While it’s popular, programmatic is still quite complex and primarily addresses remnant inventory.

Next year, we’ll see more publishers make their premium inventory available through programmatic means. However, expect this to go well beyond the basic (yet technologically complex) private exchanges we see today as publishers understand the bigger boost of their bottom line.

George John, CEO at Rocket Fuel, believes artificial intelligence will “touch a wider variety of industries in 2014.”

“Machine learning is currently being used by farmers around the world to automate agricultural output, by financial institutions to enhance stock investments and by healthcare providers to improve clinical care and other medical treatments.

The proliferation of AI applications will continue to expand across industries in 2014 as the relationship between man and the machine strengthens and evolves.”

Mike Kisseberth, chief revenue officer at TechMedia Network, believes 2014 will be the year native and programmatic "court one another."

“We’ve created a false dichotomy between the two formats, with native on one side, programmatic on the other. Rather than separate the two, we need to understand how they can work together.

The industry is still confused about what programmatic, and especially premium programmatic, really means. As more and more publishers adopt programmatic strategies in 2014, the emphasis will shift from understanding the medium to progressing it. This means more emphasis on ‘premium programmatic,’ mobile and video.

I also expect greater pressure on the direct sales teams in 2014. We might also see direct sales embracing programmatic technologies. As more dollars are ultimately spent within that area, transacting direct sales programmatically could become more common in the future.”

Ammiel Kamon, EVP of product marketing at Kontera, believes marketers will lean on historical and real-time data about audience and content.

“In 2014 we will continue to see a slowdown in the use of traditional marketing focus groups, media consultancies, and the rest of the $8 billion marketing advisory market, as software and artificial intelligence continues to ‘eat their world.’”

Paul Alfieri, VP of marketing at Turn, believes marketers will use “advanced, audience-first strategies” built on what they put in place in 2013.

He expects the technology providers to meet this trend “with more personalization tools, such as better cross-device tracking, targeting, and analytics dashboards; and the maturation of interfaces for programmatic premium and guaranteed.

Andrew Bloom, SVP of strategic business development at DG, believes targeting across screens will be “the new black" and that "programmatic" will become less of a buzzword.

“Over the last three years, the topic of every conversation has been RTB and programmatic. It has all been about audience and new ways of buying. Expect to see more comfort around programmatic; and as more people get comfortable with the practice, they will be talking about it less.

"Sign" picture from Shutterstock.

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