Fraud, Viewability Lead Ad Tech 'Trends To Watch'

Ad fraud, transparency, viewability, measurement, data and consumer intelligence, omni-channel marketing and best practices for adapting to programmatic are the trends to watch in the ad tech space in 2015, according to DataXu, a DSP.

The company compiled its list of seven “trends to watch” -- many of which overlap with one another in some way -- after hosting a dozen roundtable events across the country about programmatic in 2014. DataXu teamed with the Business Development Institute to survey 300 marketers about programmatic.

Nearly half (44%) of respondents identified themselves as “intermediate” programmatic pros, while 37% identified as “advanced” and 19% identified as “beginner.” The report is expected to be released Wednesday.

On the topic of fraud, one agency executive is quoted in the report as saying: “It’s impossible for us, as an agency, to go out to the dozens of vendors to find out where the fraud is.”



Perhaps part of the problem is that there are, indeed, dozens of vendors that marketers are working with. In fact, the average “tech stack” is comprised of just over one dozen technologies, according to a Winterberry Group and IAB report, with nearly 10% of marketers saying they use 31 or more technologies.

On the viewability front, DataXu notes that, in the words of one agency executive, it’s “the most uncomfortable conversation” they have with clients. “The industry can’t get agreement on what it is.”

While the Media Rating Council (MRC) standard of viewability of “50% of the ad’s pixels being in view for one continuous second (two for video)” has been in effect for over half a year, viewability rates haven’t risen as a result, and several are still operating on their own definition of “viewable.” DataXu notes in its report that several marketers believe the standard is “paper thin.”

It’s no surprise, then, that viewability is the number one concern digital marketers have in 2015. 

Looking ahed to the future of the programmatic ad market, those surveyed by DataXu do not believe the open exchange model is here for good, and that a future of 100% programmatic buys is “a long way off, if it ever happens.”

“Open exchange as a concept is not long for this world,” one agency exec is quoted as saying. “We’re circling around a three to five publisher inventory universe.” The lure of private deals carried out via automation is reflected in projections, as well.

DataXu's full report can be found here.

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