Verizon Wireless and Turn were caught with their hands in the cookie jar, but what does the incident tell us about the future of tracking? With consumers spreading across a myriad of devices, marketers are trying to keep pace. As a result, cookie-less targeting is on the rise, as is probabilistic audience modeling.
At the risk of beating a dead horse, Millward Brown has released its own set of 2015 predictions. The research agency reserved several of its predictions for programmatic, data analytics and ad tech in general. Millward predicts that brands will dive deeper into the programmatic well, something that had a visible impact on the market in 2014. As a result, Millward believes bidding algorithms could be tweaked in the year ahead as brands guide consumers down the "funnel."
If "programmatic" is the father and umbrella term under which real-time bidding, programmatic direct and other terms live, then "data-driven marketing" is the grandfather. Being a "data-driven marketer" gives advertisers confidence that revenues will increase (whether it's a false sense of confidence is another topic entirely, but the confidence is there nonetheless.) And now AOL Platforms has released a report contending that being "customer-centric means being data-driven," with multi-touch attribution sitting in the passenger's seat.
ESPN ran its first programmatically sold ad during the Saturday 1 a.m. edition of "SportsCenter," per "The Wall Street Journal," and the fact that it was purchased (by Turbo Tax) via an online auction wasnot the only unconventional aspect of the ad. Thanks to some photoshopping, we can tell you that the ad took up about 31% of the TV screen's pixels.
Despite "programmatic" being voted 2014's word of the year, at least one analyst thinks "2015 is shaping up to the most significant year for ad tech yet." That's what Brian Wieser, senior analyst at Pivotal Research, wrote in a note on Friday. And if the rest of 2015 goes the way these first 12 days have, there's no doubt that prediction will come true.
Just days after a report noting that Verizon was talking to AOL about a potential acquisition or partnership, Starboard Value, which owns a significant stake in Yahoo, has sent a letter to CEO Marissa Mayer advising her to "reconsider a merger with AOL." "Media Daily News" speculates that despite Verizon's CEO "reject[ing] the rumor of an AOL bid ... perhaps it made investors at Starboard a bit jumpy." In fact, that's exactly what IBISWorld analyst Sarah Kahn predicted would happen.
Viewability and ad fraud dominated the conversations late in 2014, but a third quality roadblock -- transparency -- had been lurking in the shadows. A new report from Forrester and Index Exchange, the media marketplace division of Casale Media, sheds light on transparency in programmatic from the publisher's point of view. It must be noted that Index Exchange is a publisher-focused entity. Publishers have taken a "woe is me" attitude toward transparency issues.
Verizon is exploring the possibility of teaming with AOL, per Bloomberg, via a potential acquisition or joint venture, though Verizon's chief Lowell McAdam asserts it's "not accurate" to say Verizon is having "significant acquisition discussions" with AOL. However, McAdam did not rule out the possibility of a partnership. But what would a Verizon-AOL partnership look like, and why would the companies be interested in one another?
Apple had been relatively quiet in the programmatic space until late 2014, but it finds itself tied to ad tech news to kick off 2015. The Apple Watch, which isn't expected to launch for a couple of months, already has programmatic support. Mobile ad exchange TapSense this week announced a programmatic ad platform that will support delivering ads to apps on the Apple Watch.
As if we needed to further muddy the acronym well, one ad tech platform has proposed a new meaning for ROI: Reports on Investment. "Programmatic has become the new normal, but our reporting and analytics remain stuck in the old normal," writes Anand Das, co-founder and CTO of PubMatic, in the company's 2015 programmatic outlook report. "In the future, we will need more sophisticated visualizations to help us identify partners, trends and outliers in our clients' and customers' data - enabling faster, more informed decision making." There is some irony in this prediction.