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A Brave New World of programmatic advertising

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TGB-Andrew-DarlingThere can be little doubt that mobile-first screens have become the preferred choice for consumers and that consequently, mobile advertising has reached an important inflexion point as we enter 2015. Andrew Darling explains where this is going.

With digital ad spend in the UK hitting £3.46billion in the first half of 2014, according to the recent IAB/PWC Digital Adspend study – an increase of 16.6 percent year-on-year – we can be confident that 2015 will continue to see mobile establish itself as a mainstream channel for media spend. Quite simply there will be more of everything mobile-related: more data, more devices, more adtech players and more potential.

Risk and reward
As all these things increase, there is also the danger of a corresponding increase in things like risk, fragmentation, inaccurate data, and confusion within the market. And as media spending continues to rapidly shift towards various programmatic channels, digital publishers must also move quickly to meet the demands of this evolving marketplace.

2015 certainly looks like the year mobile video advertising will take off. Larger and more engaging ad formats should provide a roadmap to more spend on mobile advertising. Brands like video because they understand video and with larger mobile screens emerging with HD quality like the high end Android devices, tablets and the iPhone 6+, bigger and more immersive brand stories can be told across mobile channels in the same way they were on TV and the Internet.

Rise of the machines
As increased mobile usage – as a proportion of other media – continues throughout 2015, more and more audience data, improved measurement and attribution metrics and maturing mobile DSPs, will drive the rise of programmatic spend in media. Publishers are attracted to programmatic by transparency, control of inventory and a more efficient direct business model.

At the same time, as the digital advertising industry continues to evolve technologically, data will become the key to achieving scale of reach, while maintaining quality of targeting. Developing first party data capabilities to enable customers can target audiences directly through rich data profiles is essential. By developing these kinds of data management platforms, advertisers can make cross-device media buying a lot smarter and effective and drive more efficiencies as the industry moves more and more towards a programmatic future.

The untrained eye may think we’re already drowning in data but in reality we’re still walking in the shallows and the data is barely covering our toes. We don’t yet understand the world we live in fully, why things happen, and how policies shape what we want yet. We need much more data and we need it now!

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