2015: Programmatic Gets Personal

2015: Programmatic Gets Personal
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Next year programmatic is going to get interesting. Users need to make sure they’re keeping on top of user identity, brand partnerships and becoming sophisticated, says Turn’s Cindy Deng.

Trends don’t emerge out of thin air each December and I will simply be one of many making an educated but calculated guess at what is to come. My goal is that, as a company, we listen to market trends and get it “right” for our customers.

Truth is, anything that’s going to happen in ad tech over the next 12 months has already been taking root for some time. That said, over the course of a year things can and do evolve dramatically. Programmatic, for example, has made enormous headway during 2014, and video advertising is no longer considered a separate “channel” – brands think about the creative for TV and online video in the same way, now focusing more on the audience. What are we going to see in the next 12 months? Here are three movements that I believe will gain serious momentum in 2015, and drive even more epic change.

Identity becomes an imperative

This has been brewing for some time, but in 2015 we will see broad adoption of identity solutions by advertisers and their digital providers. Major industry players (Amazon, Facebook, Yahoo, Google, etc.) that own personally identifiable information (PII) and niche players that specialise in “cross-device” will debate the scale, accuracy and privacy compliance of their IDs. This will confuse the market and cause some minor adoption delays, but ultimately budgets will shift to players with sound identity solutions. Since it’s unlikely that we’ll ever see a marketer willing to put their data into many different systems, there will only be a few winners.

There will be more acquisitions and strategic partnerships in this space, and I predict that by the end of 2015, identity won’t be a standalone product or niche business, but rather, identity will be an integrated and core component of larger solutions. As this market shakes out, marketers will want a solution to map IDs from any digital touch-point consistently and safely.

CRM meets PRM: Prospect Relationship Management

In 2015 we’ll see more frequent and larger-scale use cases of brands bringing their customer relationship management (CRM) data assets to bear on their anonymous marketing. Some brands have been utilising CRM onboarding (the process of bringing anonymous and aggregated CRM data and appending it to a cookie or Mobile ID), but friction in the market, lack of training and standardisation of ID matching and fear of privacy compliance has slowed down a marketer’s ability to actually DO things with the data.

Partnerships that bridge the two sides of the marketing spectrum are now allowing brands to think about coordinating their messaging and getting smarter with their dollars. The increase in available data (both third-party and onboarded first-party data) will take customer modelling away from small-scale experiments into real-time implementations. Marketers are thinking about customer lifetime value and how to find more audiences that look like their ideal customers. The pieces are in place for marketers to use important consumer information in a secure and anonymous way to make their paid media more effective.

Programmatic goes vertical

Over the last three years we in the ad tech industry have built out the infrastructure needed for programmatic buying to take root, starting with open auction real-time bidding (RTB). This took a lot of work and a lot of thought about what the pipes had to look like and what the business rules between buyer and seller should be. Now, with our systems in place, we have an opportunity to develop more sophisticated approaches to programmatic.

I predict that 2015 will see more custom solutions for specific verticals – FMCG, B2B and Financial Services, for example – using programmatic channels to drive education. Applying data to content strategies that go beyond traditional “advertising” can help change customer behaviour, eventually encouraging buying behaviour.  Don’t be fooled by fancy site lists though – this should go well beyond the packaging up of some inventory, to solutions truly tailored to the workflow and needs of specific industry verticals.

Cindy Deng is the managing director, Asia-Pacific, at digital ad solution company, Turn. 

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