In this guest opinion piece, the managing director for AdRoll, APAC, Ben ‘Sharpie’ Sharp, looks back on the year gone by, forward to 2017, and tries to make sense of what the industry can expect.
2016 was a pretty full on year with huge global changes. We lost legends like David Bowie, George Michael, Carrie Fisher and Gene Wilder. We’ve seen huge political changes such as Brexit and a shock presidency in the US.
We’ve also seen huge changes in the technology industry with VR becoming more mainstream and being used in exciting new ways such as Pokemon Go, successful tech IPOs and the resurgence of email marketing.
2017 is going to be another year the industry focuses on attribution and the importance of data across a range of subjects such as security, hygiene and how and where we store it.
But I don’t want to get stuck in the weeds predicting specifics, instead this year I’m going to give two examples of really interesting things happening in the world that will affect our industry.
The changes in US government
While the social impact of Trump’s inauguration as the new President of the United States is highly concerning, I’m interested to see the impact on business and the stock market. We have already seen some serious buoyancy over the past month or so with the market and I’m sure that will continue well into 2017.
The technology community in the US relies on two things, venture capital and human capital. While there was a dip a few years ago in those investing heavily in tech, if the idea is good enough venture capitalists will come out of the woodwork to help fund a growing company with awesome potential.
That leaves human capital. The alarming part for the technology community is that Trump has proposed some polarising changes to US immigration laws which could affect many technology companies based in San Francisco.
The tech companies in the US, mainly Silicon Valley, have been luring international professionals across for years and these new laws may not only restrict that from happening but could also send many people on a working visa back home.
Tech businesses IPOing
My other interesting and exciting prediction for 2017 is that we will see more ad and martech companies successfully going public.
Since the success seen from Criteo when they went public in 2013 there has been a plethora of ad and martech companies that have gone public with less than desirable earnings. Many have failed or been snapped up for a steal by another player in market.
At least that was the case until The Trade Desk IPO’d at the tail end of last year, they debuted on the Nasdaq for a whopping $28.75. A huge jump from the predicted $18.00 share price. The whole ad tech world sat up and read every article they could! Amazing to see that kind of success again.
All in all 2017 is going to be another year of growth and exciting strides forward in ad/martech and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next!