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New terminology has emerged in the interactive advertising space: ad tech or advertising technology. The demands of the 21st century, an age where most people use their phones to perform simple everyday tasks, demands that businesses meet the customer within the customer’s space. Such customer-centric advertising requires the use of specific technology created for this purpose, and this is how the terminology advertising technology has been coined.
So what is Ad Tech? Ad Tech or Advertising Technology is used to describe digital tools that are used to create targeted, customer-centric advertising campaigns, as well as the back-end systems that are used to achieve such targeting. The technology can, therefore, cover things like:
- marketing platforms
- analytics systems
- management and reporting tools
In this era of mobile engagement and mobile-targeted advertising, the use of ad tech is the bridge between companies and their customers. It can be said that due to increased mobile usage and changing consumer behaviours, advertising technology (Ad Tech) is the evolution of advertising to suit the 21st century digital age.
The advertising space itself has undergone tremendous changes. We have moved from an age where media agencies were the predominant managers of the advertising market (pre-digital advertising). Then came Google and Facebook with pay-per-click advertising, which altered the face of advertising as the world knew it. But even then, the next set of innovators is poised to disrupt this market: these are the ad tech innovators.
2017 marked the year when digital advertising revenue finally beat the revenue from TV, which highlights the changing face of advertising in the 21st century. Digital ad spending accounted for 41% of global ad revenues, hitting $209 billion. TV ads brought in $171 billion, or 35% of the market. But it does not end there. Magna, which is the research arm of IPG Mediabrands, a media buying firm, expects the gap to widen in 2018 with digital ads adding 13% to its 2017 tally, while TV ads will add a modest 2.5%.
Harnessing the input of innovators, media and publishing agencies and digital marketing companies is the purpose of organizing industry meetups. It is important for businesses that operate within the advertising, publishing and media space to understand what the revolutionary trends of advertising technology are, to be able to reach customers in a more personalized way and command better customer loyalty. Therefore, meet-ups which bring together captains of industry are an excellent place to get information on new trends, new technologies and new methods of customer-centric advertising.
An example of such a meet-up is the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting which happens this week in Palm Springs, California. This meeting typically brings together top players in media, publishing and advertising. Participating companies, especially those who are in need of the relevant information, can leave such meetings with new information, new networks, contacts and partnerships.
Media publishers attending this year’s IAB Annual Leadership Meeting should take note of a few companies who are changing the way publishers monetize their site and engage their audiences:
The IAB Leadership Meeting, which is now in its 10th year, is a gathering of top executives and business leaders in the media, publishing and digital advertising ecosystem. Meetings such as the IAB Annual Leadership Conference are an important avenue for businesses in the advertising technology and publishing space to network and form symbiotic relationships.
Purch Media is one company that has already seen success by partnering with Revcontent. According to Vice-President Business Development and Operations at Purch, Michael Hannon, their partnership with Revcontent has improved user experience and helped grow revenue.
“As a branded organization, brand protection is at the top of our list when we decide who to work with for a content recommendation. Revcontent is by far the best network we have worked with. They offer full brand control over the content that displays on our site, which has translated to better user experience and higher revenue returns.“
Here is a brief profile of some of the companies of note that will feature at this year’s IAB event, and why they are emerging forces in the ad tech ecosystem.
OATH is Verizon Communications’ multi-brand company which oversees 24 of the media, advertising technology and business-to-business (B2B) interests of subsidiary companies such as AOL and Yahoo! According to Chief Marketing Officer Allie Kline, the name “OATH” was chosen to represent the deep commitment the brand has to fulfil its obligations to customers.
Revcontent is an industry leader in content marketing, deploying techniques that improve user engagement and drives sales using customer-centric techniques. Revcontent delivers more than 250 billion content recommendations per month and is now considered a powerhouse in content recommendation. Taboola and Outbrain, two of Revcontent’s competitors, had a 7-year headstart on Revcontent but have now lost ground to the rapidly growing company. Revcontent grew about 900% in 2016 and partners with companies such as Purch, Newsweek, The Atlantic fast Company and more.
AppNexus is an internet technology firm that powers real-time purchase and sale of digital advertising. AppNexus offers solutions for buyers and publishers alike. You can set up private marketplaces using AppNexus’s enterprise solutions, or perform analytics using the Publishers’ Suite. AppNexus presently boasts of 9.3 billion daily impression transactions, which is huge.
So how do media publishers, ad tech tools and industry meetups all converge? The meet-ups bring together the media publishers who want to monetize their traffic and engage their loyal audiences. Brand advertisers want to know the best ways to target customers on a granular level to grow their customer bases. Companies that provide such data, the ad tech tools and the media partners also find themselves at such gatherings.
Apart from being able to gather information, these meet-ups allow the players within these companies to form partnerships and discuss on a personal level, how to take on bigger projects. For instance, AppNexus has combined with 260 publishers to try to break the stranglehold that Google and Facebook have on the digital advertising market. Such partnerships are what is needed to break the hold of companies that have dominated the digital ad space and open up the ecosystem for new players that can bring some innovation to the process.