These days, AdTech firms must see the future in order to keep up with the programmatic advertising and real-time bidding that now spans multiple mediums.
The latest and greatest frontiers? TV, radio and outdoor. The move to radio kicked off circa 2013 when digital media platform Xasis broadcast real-time ads targeting New York-based Laker fans listening to a game and directed them to a local bar for future events. Meanwhile, ad agency Fliphound was pioneering RTB for space on its billboards in Wichita, Kansas. And by 2014, firms like Xasis, App Nexus, Infectious Media and Media IQ were devising holistic ad campaigns with TV commercials that corresponded with digital ads across search, banner, mobile and social.
Different Mediums, Different Features
All three mediums offer the possibility of time and cost savings via related campaigns across multiple platforms. Other advantages by medium include:
- TV: Buyers can apply data-driven software to hyper-target subsets of customers nationwide. While RTB has yet to take root, current systems allow for quick strategic changes along with quantifiable results. Experts point to significant improvements in efficiency in the medium now generating more than $70 billion in annual ad sales.
- Radio: RTB and hyper-targeting similar to TV are now in effect. Broadcasters can price, package and sell inventory seamlessly from their desktops to maximize volume and yield.
- Outdoor: Less detailed user-profiling is possible, and results can be more difficult to measure. But digital billboards still allow for quick adjustments spurred by external factors.
AdTech Taking Advantage
Agency specialization is expected to become a trend, either by format (i.e. video, TV or mobile geo-targeting) or by industry (i.e. retail or travel). “These hyper-focused companies will innovate faster by concentrating on becoming a ‘best of breed’ in their space,” predicts Craig Teich on Connexity.com. “Programmatic will empower these companies to apply their expertise at a new scale and efficiency.”
Each medium is grappling with making the transition to programmatic. Examples of their struggles include:
- Ninety-five percent of the billboard industry is still reliant on the manual changing of posters, limiting its flexibility in offering real-time solutions in ad form.
- Not enough TV viewers use smart TVs or two-way, web-enabled digital cable boxes, which allow for dynamic ad insertion. Additionally, many digital TV systems lack capacity to support real-time delivery in a scaled way. Supply has yet to keep up with demand.
- Technology that accurately measures the performance of a given radio spot has yet to be developed.
In the future, industry experts expect programmatic to dominate the ad world, with significant increases in TV spending and better interactive TV ads that closely incorporate consumer demographics and behavior. That will require more efficient capturing of audience data.
“Soon, every display will be an addressable medium — each will be individually targetable by device and, in many cases, down to a specific user,” predicts Jeffrey F. Rayport in Harvard Business Review. “Interactive displays will not only deliver ad messages, but also track consumer response. The result is a new era of marketing accountability.”