So it’s 2015 and I just read my 14th “2015 predictions” article since the start of the new year. The beauty of prediction articles is that if you do them early enough in the year, people are bound to forget the predictions you guessed poorly on. And thanks to the digital recording of this ‘ole contraption we call the Internet…if you are lucky enough to call a home run to right field, you can always bring it out of the woodwork at the next conference happy hour.
So let me add the 15th set of predictions to your reading list. If they end up being wrong, I will be sure to bury this blog entry with a flurry of late-in-the-year and hyper-relevant blog entries that will make this nearly impossible to find. And not to worry, if I hit the moon shot, you won’t be able to miss it. (I will be sure to write multiple blog entries this time next year to remind you of my soothsaying.)
Without further ado, the winners of 2015 digital predictions in digital advertising are:
1. It’s, like, totally the age of 2 screening: I remember when 2-screening was like Hansel from Zoolander…”so hot right now.” Then it became multi-screening because folks had more devices. Now with the advent of smartphones that act more like phablets (I swore I wouldn’t say phablets), the number of screens is likely declining. And dare I say, we’ll be back into a single screen world before you know it. So if you don’t have a connected device strategy…get on it.
2. DMP’s are like opinions…everyone has one: DMP’s (data management platforms) are a fantastic solution-set for optimizing media. However, the price has typically locked out all but the heavy display advertisers. As more and more DMP solutions start to solve some of the basic needs such as audience segmentation, cookie pool splitting, and custom audiences, at more economical prices…advertisers will start to landgrab en masse. I do expect the definition of DMP’s to change and for an evolution of the offering and who brings it to market.
3. Opaque business models will see even more disruption: Comprehending the economics in digital today is a full-time job. Technology fees, service fees, media margins…how all of these tally up to give some of the public market ad tech companies the gross margins that they achieve is a mind blowing exercise. Advertisers will press their partners for more visibility. Those minor questions like, “Ummm, so how much did the media actually cost?” will get answered. This does not benefit a lot of the solutions currently in market, but this does benefit new business models which lean on transparency both in their solution and their pricing model. A CPC or CPA is not transparent if only 40-60% of the “media budget” actually goes to media.
4. Fraud will force a metrics change: While as an industry we have bemoaned the use of basic metrics such as impressions and click-throughs, there is still a shockingly high proportion of advertisers that use them as a basis for success. There are also many performance advertisers that still don’t de-duplicate their performance data, so even those metrics allow for shenanigans. The amount of press as of late tied to fraud will open eyes and cause advertisers to demand new and more accurate metrics.
5. Holistic mystics rule: In my final prediction, holistic data will make organizations competitive. That may sound like a “duh,” but after many years of hearing about holistic data, I believe this year will be a turning point. Data points such as economic indicators, cross-channel interaction, and omni-channel consumer rates can no longer be ignored. Business has become too challenging, too fast, with way too much available data. Organizations will look for help both internally and externally to make sense of their data. These holistic mystics will be a new breed, leveraging cloud computing, ever-evolving and new API’s and sound data science. The days of waiting 6 weeks to obtain the demographics of your CRM database are (thankfully) coming to a close.
In the words of Dennis Miller, that’s just my opinion…I could be wrong.