1. Programmatic advertising will be understood by the majority of marketers.
According to at least one survey, more than two-thirds of marketers are now using programmatic in one form or another. Based on the number of panels at Advertising Week this year, programmatic might have become mainstream over the course of 2014. It’s a safe bet that this trend will continue in 2015 as more marketers realize the benefits of programmatic in their paid media programs.
2. Programmatic will expand beyond paid media.
By now you’ve probably noticed that enterprise marketers are looking for unified marketing platforms. We think that CRM-based marketing (at the user level) will be an exciting development for marketers and ad-tech vendors alike next year. Most marketers have been sitting on valuable CRM data for years, and many of those data signals haven’t been fully put to use as of yet.
3. Viewability and fraud won't be entirely eradicated.
Awareness of viewability and fraud has grown recently and that’s a good thing for programmatic. Many organizations, including the IAB, have made efforts to address this issue. Important new technologies are helping media sellers identify bot fraud, double iframes, and other nasty creations of scam artists. Sadly, not all fraud will be eradicated in the next year. Media sellers who aren't doing more to address this issue will soon be blacklisted by media buyers.
4. Content marketing (and the way we measure it) will keep improving.
Content marketing isn't new, and yet many marketers are still catching up. Creating valuable content is very different from creating ads, requiring a different frame of mind. As more marketers become publishers, we'll see better ways to assess the true value of content marketing beyond reach and CTR. If we get really lucky, we may even see attribution marketing companies beginning to measure how earned media affects the consumer's purchase path.
5. Brand dollars will at last move to programmatic.
Site buys and large native programs won’t disappear quite yet, but, for the first time, we may see programmatic spends that are higher than the rest of the media budget. Agencies will need to move more resources to programmatic, but they’ll find a way to succeed. We are positive that media agencies are here to stay.
6. Marketers will want to get closer to the data.
In 2014, we saw a number of major brands move their programmatic operations in-house. The need to get closer to the data will push more marketers in this direction. Alas, not all of them will be successful. In particular, companies with small marketing teams may struggle to find sufficient resources to go in-house.
7. Behavioral advertising on mobile will be (mostly) fixed.
Advertising and marketing technology platforms will continue making inroads into iOS Safari tracking and measurements (the first-party-cookie issue), particularly as mobile visits continue to grow.
8. Beacon messaging will continue to be exploratory.
Macy's will be launching iBeacons across the US in the last months of 2014, but it's not yet clear if all retailers are ready for mass adoption of the in-store communication technology. The big question: Will messaging be helpful and relevant, or merely annoy customers?
9. Programmatic TV will continue to make progress.
With new technologies and companies aiming to make TV advertising better and more efficient, 2015 could see programmatic playing an increasingly important role in the delivery of TV ads. Still, there’s a long way to go. The technology is not real-time and the ads don’t offer the same automated workflow as other digital programmatic media, such as display or mobile.
10. The CMO will NOT become Chief Programmatic Officer.
As much as we love it, there's a little more to marketing than programmatic. Today’s CMO needs to be both a storyteller and a data geek.