Mobile data as a critical currency: Mobile advertising now accounts for the majority of digital media spending. As publishers, media owners, and app developers see continued growth, they will become more sophisticated in their collection and use of mobile data. Location data, sensor data, and other forms will become a normal trading currency for improving content and advertising. Those that embrace this trend will be long-term winners.
We finally say farewell to opaque inventory: The challenges of transparency and fraud haven’t played out as quickly as we expected, but in 2017, we should see the demise of the low quality ad network. Some buyers are already mandating that all media should be traded on 100% transparent inventory. If this plays out, it could result in one of the biggest shakeouts in history of the ad-tech ecosystem.
Programmatic and its inexorable climb to 100%: Agencies are saying it openly now: 'Programmatic will be 100% of media buying in the next three years." We’ll see the continued growth of programmatic in 2017. There will always be a place for the non-programmatic campaign, but these will be the vinyl to programmatic's online streaming.
The Google and Facebook hegemony solidifies: Google and Facebook will continue to execute well, and more than 60% of ad spend will be consumed within these ecosystems. Google and Facebook will take shots at each other's businesses, but they won’t really make much of an impact. The winner from these skirmishes will most likely be Snapchat.
Brands increasingly dictate tools and tactics to their agencies: Brands meet with tech companies as much as their agencies do these days, and they’re smart.
Whether launching their own trading desks or exploring new ways to target consumers, the brands know more about digital than ever. In 2017, we’ll see more innovation from brands that aren't
afraid to give direction to their agency partners.
Agency holding companies will look more different than the same: Structure and strategy will continue to diverge at the major holding companies, as they think through the growth of programmatic and their brands having stronger views on how their budgets are spent. By the end of 2017, they will look markedly different from one another, creating more choice for key accounts and continuing the account shifts we've seen in recent quarters.