The proliferation of ad-blocking software is forcing advertisers to come up with new ways to snag clicks and views. Another pitfall to watch out for with online advertising: ad impressions that are actually registered by bots instead of humans. Companies need to make sure that their ads are being seen by real potential customers.
Meanwhile, huge advances in big data and artificial intelligence are giving marketing departments plenty of raw customer data to analyze, and new ad tech is offering them the intelligent software needed to hone and target their advertising with this new knowledge. That all adds up to making ad tech a trend to watch in RocketSpace's 2017 Disruption Report.
Content Is King
To make advertising content more compelling, companies are experimenting with new types of content that can reach prospective customers, including virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Startup OmniVirt provides 360° immersive videos for advertisers. This tactic was used to great effect on a 2016 ad campaign for GE on the front page of The New York Times. The ad looked just like a typical banner until the user clicked on it — then they got to explore a VR video.
Such new forms of content up the interest in clicking on ads. Native video and native social media (with its treasure trove of data), sponsored content and influencer-endorsed ads are also gaining interest. For example, Captiv8 is an artificial intelligence (AI) platform that helps marketers to find influencers using real-time audience data on social media like Instagram, Twitter, Vine and YouTube. The AI predicts the influencers that could achieve genuine brand engagement for companies like Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson and Amazon. This information gives marketers a solid strategy to use for reaching more potential customers.
Last year, publishers around the world were expected to lose over $40 billion in revenue because of ad-blockers. The opportunity to scrape back some of that advertising revenue is of great interest to publishers.
Sourcepoint has developed software that slips ads past ad-blockers and back onto webpages. Since the last thing a company wants is to irritate its prospective customers, Sourcepoint has come up with innovative ways to connect with them. The startup allows publishers to simply serve the intended ad, but they can also serve:
- A message reminding users that advertising helps pay for content
- A choice of ads
- An option to subscribe
Advertising Based on Data Analytics
Advertisers also need to be sure that their marketing is being seen by the right customers at the right time. There has been a big rise in programmatic advertising, where machines decide which digital ads to buy based on data while humans take care of the overarching campaign.
Advertisers were expected to spend more $25 billion on digital programmatic advertising last year. That amounts to 73 percent of their total digital spend, and this percentage is projected to rise to 82 percent by 2018. With machines buying the ads, analytics becomes more important than ever.
Pixalate is a platform offering a suite of analytics solutions that monitor ad events in real time to optimize performance and eliminate fraud. A 2015 study by the Association of National Advertisers found that up to a third of ad impressions were actually created by bots. Tracking ads in real time helps advertisers ensure that real eyeballs are viewing the impressions they're paying for and then decide whether to focus on personalizing content or just reaching the greatest number of people.
In addition to data analysis of online data, ad tech innovation in 2017 will focus on connecting the dots between online behavior and offline purchases in retail stores.
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