2014 will be a big and exciting year for marketers and there will be winners and losers across the board. The winners will be engaged in programmatic advertising, native advertsing (content marketing), and mobile and will understand the benefits of forming technology partnerships. The losers will be those companies that focus on legacy ad networks and standard media.
The "new" programmatic direct transaction model follows the same pricing mechanism as the traditional guaranteed inventory model. Thus, buyers find themselves in an automated landscape in name only, where they are locked into the same guaranteed contracts with publishers, without help from a sales team to identify which products best map to the their target audience. Fortunately, there is a solution, which we call "inventory discovery."
"Mobile-first" is a term we started hearing in 2013, and one we'll be hearing a lot more in the year ahead. As mobile factors more and more heavily into everyday life, publishers and advertisers alike have to start thinking much more progressively about their mobile strategies. It might sounds clichd, but this is the year mobile has to become a priority. No more dipping toes in the water; time to dive in.
Big data is a big deal, both in and outside the advertising world. Conventional wisdom holds that there's unlimited value in data, and marketers are sitting on top of a treasure trove of insights that they didn't even know about. In the online ad space, marketers are being pushed to bring their offline data online so they can improve their targeting and tap into those insights. This is the data marketers use for making real-time bidding decisions, helping them find those offline customers in online auctions.
As reported in Online Media Daily, last week, the IAB released its Native Advertising Playbookto help guide practitioners to the best possible path. The Playbook defines native advertising as paid ads that are "so cohesive with the page content, assimilated into the design, and consistent with the platform behavior that the viewer simply feels that they belong." Native ads are divided into six categories: in-feed units, paid search units, recommendation widgets, promoted listings, IAB standard ads with "native" element units (these are the "open" native units I favor - standard native ads that can be traded programmatically), and "custom/can't be …
The agencies of old are akin to redwoods: beautiful, massive trees that take decades to grow and can leave you in awe. But the rise in programmatic has created several smaller companies with the potential to fill many of the needs heretofore fulfilled by agencies. These smaller firms seldom compete with larger agencies. But, together, they are building an entirely new programmatic segment that is focused on audiences and efficiency.
For Samir Arora, the CEO of Glam Media, good advertising starts with good content. That's why Glam offers super-premium native ads, units that consumers find as engaging as any editorial content. "To be successful in advertising, you have to not only create the right ads and target the right consumer, but most importantly, you have to do it in the right context, and with the right placement," comments Arora.