No industry is as prone to sweeping predictions of massive change as the ad tech industry. But when making predictions about what will happen in the coming 12 months—rather than the upcoming five or ten years—it helps to measure projections with a bit of skepticism. This means as we reviewed eMarketer’s recent report on the 10 Key Digital Trends for 2017, we looked at the numbers, talked with colleagues, and analyzed what else is trending in the programmatic market—all in order to bring you a digest of their top four digital trends that we believe will truly shape the ad industry in 2017:
- More than half of marketers will move to multichannel attribution models. As more and more advertising budgets move into the digital space from other channels, marketers are calling for more sophisticated attribution modeling. Most conversion attribution models favor the last-ad-seen approach, which gives credit only to the user’s last interaction with an ad. Savvy marketers realized long ago that this leads to disproportionately giving credit to sites like email clients, which users visit throughout the day, and ignores all other sites that a user visited prior to converting.In 2017, most marketers will catch up, and the days of agencies painting reports with broad, generic brushstrokes will be long gone. We predict many will indeed turn to algorithms focused on full-path conversion analysis. Spend levels and channel diversification necessitating detailed reporting stories to provide accountability into ROI and ROAS will become requirements as well as lay the groundwork for the next (even more successful) programmatic campaign.
- Mobile Messaging apps will continue to make headway. Are you a good juggler? You’ll need to be this year. Gone are the days when all of your messaging was in a single app. Now you are Snapping puppy dog replies, group chatting with globe-trotting friends via Facebook Messenger, and instantly sharing your NYE party dress through Instagram Direct. According to the recent eMarketer digital trends report, messaging apps will reach a tipping point with more than half of mobile users on messaging apps in 2017.Go ahead and glue that smartphone to your hand now. Authentically mobile, mobile-first, mobile-centric—no matter your favorite catchphrase—the mobile experience will continue to grow in popularity in 2017. We agree that this will be especially true in the development of new apps and games, but it will also greatly influence strategy, as marketers realize mobile programmatic advertising can’t just be an extension of desktop anymore. So what does this mean for your campaigns? Even if you’re not participating in this ever-multiplying conversation, you’ll want to get educated and educate those around you on how to best use these messaging platforms to deliver your message to their expanding, engaged, and high-frequency audiences.
- Many marketers will cash in on social influencers. While influencer marketing is still a fairly nascent medium, more and more brand marketers are allocating budgets to YouTubers, Instagrammers, Snapchatters, and bloggers with a strong following. Their target audiences are swayed by the influencers’ opinions and thought leadership, increasing both awareness and favorability of promoted products.While eMarketer is hesitant to put a specific forecast to influencer marketing spending in 2017, they do suggest continued growth in the multibillion dollar industry as consumers grow weary of digital display ads. In the meantime, it’s critical for marketers to learn more about influencer marketing and increase their comfort level with influencer experimentation, or regret being a late adopter of these digital trends.
- Must-see streaming TV will surpass primetime programming. According to eMarketer, live digital video streaming will prove its worth in 2017, with audience sizes rivaling those of prime-time TV. Twitter’s NFL Thursday Night Football and streams of the presidential debates in late 2016 proved that live TV streaming can work. With Hulu, YouTube, and others also looking to launch live TV services in 2017, we’re betting that “appointment viewing” will be back in your life, sans rabbit ears or a cable TV box. As digital video streaming increases, we predict viewership numbers on a few will reach the heyday of a late 90’s Thursday night must-see TV.I could go on and on—virtual reality, chatbots, and online grocery shopping—but with so many solid ad tech innovations to watch for in 2017, I’ll keep a few in the peripheral view. Regardless of whether we’re spot on or completely off the mark on the above predictions, it’s exciting to watch how it will all unfold in 2017!
Want more 2017 ad tech predictions and digital trends? Check out this AdExchanger article, where Jay Friedman, COO of Goodway Group, shares what the last 10 years in programmatic media can tell us about the next 10. Then contact us, to talk live about how we can make the most of your media dollars in the New Year.