2013 was a big year for ad tech. With impressive exits and significant technology advances, ad tech has proved it’s mature – and ready to keep growing. The next logical step in the evolution is, of course, the much-anticipated convergence of ad tech and marketing tech. Now that the ad stack is essentially locked in, we need to determine how it fits into the marketing stack – both strategically and technically.
Next week, AdExchanger will host Industry Preview, where ad tech’s thought leaders and innovators will gather to preview what’s coming in 2014. It’s hard to say exactly what will surface at this event, but next year’s innovations will certainly build upon the progress of 2014. Here are four trends of 2013 that will be building blocks for ad/marketing tech convergence in 2014.
Over the past six years, ad tech has been working to create a platform that serves both publishers and advertisers. We’re at a place where programmatic, automatic advertising is a reality, thanks to the combination of DSP + DMP + SSP + RTB + automated workflows. We finally have necessary components to drive renewal ad revenue growth, which has certainly caught the attention of marketers. The new, mature stack has earned advertising a spot in any marketers’ budget.
Comparing cookie retargeting to third-party data-based media buying has revealed one fundamental truth: First party data is where the future is. Of course we don’t want to get rid of third party all together. In fact, the intersection of great third party data combined with first party is where the most value is created. Leveraging that data and building on that value will entail collaboration between marketing and ad tech.
Ten years ago, we were trying to persuade large companies that blogging and creating their own content was ok, now we can’t get them to stop. But if step one was content creation, step two is integrating content management with CMS. CMS UIs and workflows now enable companies to personalize content in real-time, making ad content a critical element of building relationships with customers. As a powerful touch point in the customer lifecycle, advertising should align with marketing to create a connected conversation. In 2014, we’ll see how this alignment measurably accelerates the sales cycle.
Open APIs are finally pervasive in both website technology and ad tech. From a pure logistics standpoint, convergence would be impossible without the API standards evolving to a mature state. These APIs will enable the integration of the ad stack and critical website side technologies such as: Content Management Systems, Analytics packages, Marketing Automation Systems (B2B).
AdTech is ready to stake out a spot in the sales funnel and impact customer retention profiles. Marketing Tech is physically capable of integrating into whatever technologies make business sense. Given the trends and technologies above, it’s clear that we can expect exponential growth in the coming year. More importantly, the innovations we see will be about collaboration, and they’ll impact not just ad or marketing folks, but their entire organizations.
If you’re going to be at Industry Preview, give me a shout on Twitter – @louismoynihan.