Digital Trends and Predictions: Q4 2016

Brands and publishers are constantly innovating new ways to compete and win the attention of consumers. Brands need to capitalize on a limited number of digital touchpoints to connect with their customers and prospects, while publishers have to balance that same user experience with a tightening revenue model. This common challenge creates a cyclical evolution of the underlying technology. Innovation drives the advancement of technology, and the new functionality enables further innovation.

Advertising technology vendors sit at the equilibrium of the ecosystem, and can source knowledge from both the buy and sell side.

The holiday season marks a traditional surge in advertising spend, which means increased competition in any paid medium for consumer attention. A trend we’re seeing is the increased use of year over year (YOY) first-party data to better inform the dollars spent on those valuable touchpoints with consumers. The ability to identify and segment against not only shoppers, but gift givers, can be a game changer. Not only retaining, but maintaining and updating your customer data between seasonal purchases can create stress free shopping experiences for your users.

Publishers will, by default, reap SOME benefit from the surge in demand – but they can do more. Same strategy applies here, but on the sell side. First-party data is always crucial for publishers, but having highly valuable segments built out will amplify the benefit during surge periods in the marketplace. If you’re a consumer technology site, sure, you’ll see increased demand from tech brands on your entire audience. But do you have shopper intent built into your data? Do you have product and brand specific segments? If you’re seeing a 10% lift in CPM’s on your entire audience based on the natural adjacency to a product category, how are you capitalizing on the high value users in that audience?

The technology powering header bidding and premium buying channels (private marketplaces, programmatic guaranteed) allows publishers to realize a dramatic lift in yield and user engagement with ads. If you’ve got header bidding in place, that’s awesome, and you’re ahead of the game. If you’re fueling that auction process with first-party data to prioritize exchanges and optimize ad latency, you’re crushing it. Why wait for seven bidders to respond after 2000ms when you know which exchange is willing to pay the most for your ‘in-market’ segments in product category X? For private marketplaces or ‘deal IDs’ – why have just one generic or ‘always on’ deal ID at an $8 CPM with a buyer, when you could set up an additional deal ID at a $14 CPM targeting your ‘in market’ or ‘high purchase intent’ audience?

These are just a few of the advancements we’ve seen, and we’ll continue to share what we learn.

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