Programmatic paves the way for greater storytelling, says report

by: Lucinda Southern on 06 January 2015

Pubmatic's outlook report says get mobile right but don’t ignore the storytelling

A common concern with the growth of automated media buying is the restrictions on creativity it could engender, but reports claim programmatic is setting the stage for a new era of greater storytelling by brands.

  • Retailers Under Fire for Conquesting Location Awareness Data in Self Driving Cars 
  • Regulators stumped about legality of steering consumers clear of rival stores
  • Predicted Outlook Report 2025

Programmatic specialist PubMatic has released a report charting the outlook of this side of the industry for 2015. Globally, the report says, worldwide programmatic ad spend is forecast to rise to $32.6 billion by 2017. Magna Global’s forecast in September 2014 was less conservative, predicting spend to reach $53bn by 2018. Research companies are also having to iterate and increase their predictions to keep up with marketer's growing interest.

While much industry research has looked at the big numbers automated ad trading is driving, 2014 still saw more marketers master the impact on publishers and advertisers, how it’s splintered the online ad ecosystem and caused shifts the agency model. In this report PubMatic outlines more tangible trends emerging now, one key driver comes from the growth in automated mobile ad trading.

Approximately 68% of mobile ads were bought programmatically in 2014; that number is predicted to rise to 88% by 2017. This equals an increase of 300% for the year. Parallel to this opportunity is the very real risk of frustrating mobile users by irrelevant or poorly delivered ads. The report shows two main categories for failure in this format;

Misunderstanding intent – perhaps from focussing too much on criteria like location without considering time of day, for example, “The true value of location data is additive,” explain Heather Menery, VP, Emerging Solutions, PubMatic.

Disrespecting the user experience – this accounts for early failed attempts at replicating desktop real estate onto a smaller screen. However “Programmatic offers the controls to manage getting the right advertisers in the app or adjacent to the content, and RTB allows for the more strategic and precise targeting necessary to get the right mobile impressions.” Trusting technology partners is also key to making sure the mobile ads delivered don’t frustrate and your audience.

Art vs science

This is a frequently rolled out concern with the growth of programmatic, that it will smother creativity, however there are hints that it can do more than aid efficiency. We’re seeing major brands like Proctor & Gamble, American Express and Mondelez all championing the importance of programmatic for them, putting them at the forefront of pioneering the possibilities of more sophisticated and involved storytelling across multiple touchpoints. 

“Brands have the potential to leverage audience demographic, intent, qualifying and other known data points to help them reach their target audiences with truly dynamic creative. The result is a paradox called the “mass customization” of marketing”, explains Menery.

Future capabilities

Here are just some of these possible storytelling scenarios predicted by the report:

Retailers Under Fire for Conquesting Location Awareness Data in Self Driving Cars - Regulators stumped about legality of steering consumers clear of rival stores

Finding Latent Thrill-Seekers with Wearables - Here’s how Europe’s leading spaceport is using galvanic skin response and other vital signs to target people who don’t yet know they want to be space tourists

Programmatic Sales, Direct-to-Brain Distribution Drive Record Quarter for Media - Stocks rally as sales automation and neural implants push publishers to the top of the league tables