How can marketing managers make the most of ad tech in 2018?

Advancements in technology are changing all industries inside-out, and our media industry is no different. It has become necessary for brands to develop agile strategies and deploy a future-proof approach to anticipate and execute operational efficiency.
After joining Campaign Middle East’s panel discussion on the future of Ad-Tech, Waseem Afzal, GM of Transact (OMD’s e-commerce unit), shares his key takeaways from the conversation.

Future Tech landscape

  • The technology landscape will continue to become even more fragmented. The media industry saw the list of vendors grow from 150 in 2011 to nearly 5,000 in 2017.
  • We are starting to see a convergence of ad tech and mar tech. Marketing and advertising technologies should be assessed in the same light to drive on both operational efficiency and business performance uplifts.
  • With the improvement in the adoption rate of platform solutions, we see an increasing number of clients who are prioritizing data, including CRM and other digital programmatic offerings that are now in place.

Future Media trends

  • Thanks to the emergence of ‘voice’, we are moving towards a future marketplace where screens will not be as dominant as they currently are. This shift will require brands to adopt a whole new mindset and use inventive ways of integrating their ‘voice’ into their core strategies.
  • We will also see how advancements in technology will unlock richer location targeting capabilities on mobile, enabling advertisers to develop a 360-degree view of their customers.
  • By 2020, m-commerce will represent up to 45 % of total e-commerce globally. And we see a very similar trend in the MENA region; so for brands to win, a mobile-first business focus is no longer a competitive advantage but becomes a necessity.

Future Marketplace

  • The arrival of Amazon’s advertising platform will challenge the duopoly of Google and Facebook, as brands will be able to leverage transaction data.
  • These giants’ will be held more accountable by marketers in 2018.

Key industry challenges

  • Media quality in the supply chain was the #1 issue faced by marketers and publishers in 2017. Key concerns will continue to hover around ad fraud, brand safety, viewability, and transparency. At OMD, we have addressed this challenge by deploying a layered approach in our strategies, which include human expertise, and technology. In addition to the prior, our partnership with Moat allows us to fully look over viewability, attention, and brand safety across display, video, mobile, and more.
  • Cross-media measurement was another challenge faced by many advertisers. To overcome this, we have built partnerships with local and global providers to measure and report a singular view of the consumers. For instance, TVSquared helps us combine and understand the relationship between digital and TV, and we’re also developing a bespoke footfall measurement framework with Bionic.

About Author

Waseem Afzal

Waseem oversees the digital agenda across OMD’s regional offices. From marketing strategy to partnership development and digital operations, Waseem has a natural talent for spotting new channels and approaches. In his current role, Waseem leads on 'Transact', a full-service ecommerce unit within the agency.

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