It’s a Great Time to Work in Ad Tech

January 2, 2015

2014 has been a great year for ad tech. Brands are beginning to understand and invest in programmatic, and better data and increased transparency has continued to fuel digital ad spend.

We’ve been fortunate to be a part of this exciting time of the ad tech industry – we’ve learned (and grown!) a huge amount this year and are already turning our attention to 2015.

Top 3 learnings from 2014

  1. Online video has made huge strides in 2014. Tech giants Yahoo, AOL and Facebook all spent significant sums of money to acquire BrightRoll, Convertro and LiveRail, respectively. These investments made by influential companies signify continued interest in understanding the impact of advertising campaigns in both traditional and emerging media platforms.

  1. 2014 brought some much needed disruption to the stagnant TV ad buying model. Though it’s a small start, major TV networks are working with adtech companies to start automating buying for online video for their streaming services, and has trickled into mobile advertising through programmatic direct.

  1. Many have long hailed the death of display advertising, courtesy of a rebrand to native advertising, it is now thriving. But, with this resurrection, the Better Business Bureau has stepped in and it now is demanding that companies providing ads based on browsing history need to provide increased transparency and control to viewers. This is likely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to regulation on targeted advertising.

Top 3 predictions for 2015

  1. Viewability will be the new standard: Video viewability has continued to be a sticking point in 2014, as both marketers and publishers tackle problems caused by fraud viewership rates. The latest headlines show that nearly 25% of ‘people’ viewing online video ads are in actual fact robots used by fraudsters, which has made advertisers cautious around ROI measurements. Those who can prove that eyeballs are really viewing ads will prove extremely attractive to marketers.

  1. Data collection will cause a headache: As an industry, we are lacking guidelines around data collection and informed user consent. The aforementioned policy from the Better Business Bureau will go into effect starting next month, and 2015 will likely bring additional concerns over clearly informing consumers about targeted advertising, and how the user data is collected and disseminated across different platforms. In fact, Google may also adopt a no cookie policy in the next 12-18 months and, if so, belief that “all cookies are bad” will continue to grow.

  1. Companies will compete to recruit the best talent: Demand for data analysts and data scientists will continue to skyrock, as ad sales revolve more around data mining. as Additionally, software engineers will be high in demand as companies are trying to staff their fast-growing teams. On top of that, more companies are becoming more culture-driven, becoming much more selective in their hiring processes from a cultural aspect.

Ad tech is one of the most fast-moving, exciting and innovative markets to be in and the opportunities for businesses are countless. The incumbents are only five years old and they’re still figuring it all out – the process, the technology and the best way to measure success. The market is wide open and there’s plenty of money out there to fund business. Here’s to 2015!

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