Ad Exchange Industry Preview in New York: 2017 Programmatic Trends
I had the chance to attend the “ Ad Exchanger Industry Preview ” which was held in New York on January 18th and 19th.
As a programmatic specialist in the Canadian market; here, in 6 points, what caught my attention for 2017.
1) FOCUS ON BUSINESS RESULTS; ACTUALLY ! :
The conference started with a bang with strong statements from Gary Vaynerchuk, presenter of the event. He is recognized for his outspokenness, his entrepreneurial mentality and the family business he has grown exponentially through web marketing. Basically, he would like us to go back to business results and stop finding new metrics and tinkering with them to look good. This is very much in line with the philosophy of Scott Knoll, CEO of Integral Ad Science speaking on the subject at another of the conferences. When an initiative works, you have to do more, but you also have to know when to stop if it doesn't work. The parallel can be made with the quote “content is king” dictating that brands must develop more and more of it. You have to manage to link all these activities to a ROI. If promoting articles or your blog does not generate sales, in the end, it is not a profitable avenue despite this magnificent quote. This is regardless of the engagement metrics you get.
This also applies to attribution. Last-touch attribution provides a layer of information, but again, that's not what increases sales. For example, buying your brand's search keywords when there is no competition will increase media conversions and lower organic traffic conversions. Does increasing sales attributed to the media cause overall sales to increase? Not necessarily !
2) UNDERVALUED INVENTORY: FACEBOOK, MOBILE VIDEO, INSTAGRAM
Gary Vaynerchuk also mentioned that he considers Facebook advertising to be the most undervalued inventory in the market right now. This is a trend that I have also observed through the planning that we have done in recent months at Adviso. The inventory is of high quality, it is visible and we are in an environment where the user is not necessarily in a hurry. This is the perfect opportunity for “storytelling” through a video that is a little longer than what we are used to promoting. Related to this, Rany Ng from Google commented that mobile video continues to grow, even surpassing desktop consumption for Youtube.
For my part, I consider that a format and a message adapted to the medium, it is the nerve of the war for the video. One should concentrate on recalling short messages in pre-roll while one can lay out a more complex message in a native format. Coming back to Gary Vaynerchuk, he also mentioned that promoting products through Instagram influencers is second for the most undervalued inventory on the market. I have the impression that this trend is reaching Canadians a little less in 2017, but we have to keep an eye out.
3) UNIQUE IDS: THE YEAR OF TESTS AND DISCOVERIES ON THE DMP SIDE
Then, one of the themes that came up several times is the concept of unique IDs identifiable through DMPs . Oracle's Robin Opie, Neustar's Venkat Achanta, Luma's Brian Andersen, and Krux/Sale Force's Chris O'Hara all urged companies to get DMPs and start identifying users across their devices. However, I must admit that none of them has promised that this will be done by the end of the year. This is a long-term process for companies and agencies, and they must increasingly rely on data scientists for these operations. This will be the year of tests and discoveries on this side.
My opinion is that adoption is also done in Canada but with a certain delay. DMPs are expensive tools and represent a relatively larger investment for a company that operates across Canada than in the US.
4) FRAUD, AN OVERESTIMATED IMPACT
I attended a “panel” with the CEOs of the main companies specializing in fraud detection. Among these, I discovered that Integral Ad Science's focus is very much on business results, while Moat is focused on capturing users' attention. White Ops is intended to complement other players, being more focused on identifying bots and false clicks.
Either way, viewability , fraud, and inventory quality are end metrics, not primary goals when running a campaign. These findings were supported by the panel made up of various Trading Desk representatives (Cadreon, Xaxis and Dentsu Aegis Network). These representatives claimed that quality control is more than manageable when equipped with the right tools. It's mostly handled as a facet of optimization rather than a real danger to the industry.
5) THE YEAR OF THE NATIVE?
Both Ari Lewine from Triple Lift and Patrick Keane from Sharethrough presented their native offering . They proclaimed that spending was going to explode this year.
It's been enough years that we proclaim that the next will be that of the mobile and it was time that we change the disc!
At the same time, the native wants to be a logical evolution of this assertion being mainly intended for the mobile. The idea is to adapt the format to improve the user experience. Native formats will need to standardize in terms of image sizes and length of messages required to produce creatives. Especially since I expect them to perform better than the rest of the mobile creatives. We should also see the appearance of private deals for native formats this year. Basically, we want to reproduce the experience found on Facebook within our other applications.
6) BIG PLAYERS MORE AND MORE INFLUENTIAL!
- Amazon 's Seth Dallaire mentioned that 55% of research to purchase a product now begins on Amazon in the United States . This figure demonstrates all the attention that B2C retailers must show towards this site. There is a display advertising offer on the site and a search offer (only available for the American market as far as I understand). Big players should work directly with Amazon to fine-tune their presentation on the site.
- Microsoft 's Rik Van Der Kooi hopes to gain search market share with the rise of voice-enabled searches . This is a new search model that Google must also prepare for. How will you present a sponsored result when it comes to a request for a product or service? Everything is to follow!
- Facebook 's Brad Smallwood returned to the story of measurement issues that arose this fall. I believe the media has exaggerated the impact of these issues and Brad Smallwood said this story hasn't stopped advertisers from continuing to buy. The performance was always there. The problem has since been resolved, but Facebook is opening its data to more and more partners. The subject of cross-device was also discussed and Facebook's position is that they want to support advertisers and the rest of the ecosystem in the process of assigning frequency and overall reach per campaign.