Programmatic, Automated – and let’s ignore the Puff Daddy part of ad:tech 2014

I was at ad:tech last month, and back in Cologne, it’s been awfully busy and thus it’s taken me some time to write down what I believe are the most noteworthy trends of that great show in California.

But finally, here is my summary, and if you’re in a rush, you just need to memorize two words that are already changing the mobile advertising landscape.

Programmatic and automated.

Sean Combs at ad;tech in San Francisco

Sean Combs at ad;tech in San Francisco

And let’s ignore Sean Combs aka Puff Daddy on stage. Okay, you got me, I use the picture anyways. Looks good, attracts people, so fair enough. And, yeah, he had some drinks and talked some stuff. Pando Daily has covered all there is to say about that appearance.

So now: Remember when, maybe two years ago, people where skeptical about the potential of mobile to allow for really targeted advertising. The reasons cited where manifold, among them the vast variety of OS, handsets and tablet models, network restrictions, etc. etc.

Well, it seems you can forget this. Major players in the mobile marketing industry are delivering proof that successful targeted campaigns are a reality on smartphones and tablets. It’s because they are using programmatic technology. Based on technological progress that we didn’t expect to kick in so soon, it is now possible to achieve targeting with the same power known from the desktop and combine it with the obvious strengths of a mobile device that can be addressed at the right time. And, to back this up, ad spend is exploding on mobile. In the US it will be less than two years before mobile ad spend overtakes the desktop. All this happens with automated solutions.

Programmatic and automated: Mobile Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) are fueling a growth sector in the digital marketing field. Using technology to automatically buy and run campaigns is a huge factor. User sessions and behavior are now so transparent that advertising will be displayed at the right price and in the right context, based on software that matches real time bidding with advanced tracking information.


What this means is that the biggest challenges to successfully operating targeted advertising campaigns aren’t technological any longer, but rather are the implications of intelligently having to interpret the Big Data saved in a company’s, hopefully well-kept, storage.

And to make advertising an even more seamless experience, AOL announced its new technology: AOL One will allow ad buyers to plan, purchase, and measure ads in various formats across desktop, television, and mobile devices.

Advertising is also getting a lot richer on various levels. Look, for instance, at the option of “showrooming”, that is approaching mobile phones with specific offers sent out location-based with Bluetooth Low Energy. Or see the very obvious trend of engaging users with video advertising formats also on mobile. Tim Armstrong, AOL CEO, expects video to be responsible for 60 to 80 per cent of all mobile browsing in 2018.

Automatization will also help make banners a lot more intelligent and successful. The context of your session and the information you are looking at will determine, in real-time, what ad banners you experience. It’s a cornerstone of turning mobile campaigns ever more successful.


One more thing: With the rise of smart mobile devices comes an unwelcome trend: Fraud is an enormous factor, especially on the two leading platforms, iOS (33 per cent of all impressions are fraudulent) and Android (45 per cent!!!). This is a huge showstopper if you want to convince people to spend more on this powerful channel. Spyke has learned its lesson well and is leading with anti-fraud policies. We have integrated fraud protection, such as security tokens and IP white listing. So we’re very optimistic that we’re preventing the negative effects, and that we’ll be able to enjoy the many hopeful trends that were the subject of ad:tech in San Francisco.

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