WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES FACING DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS TODAY?
Given the pace of change in digital communication, there will always be challenges and areas that we as an industry need to take alternative approaches to addressing. The list is long, but by looking at the foundation of these obstacles we can see a common thread, which sits in the category of knowledge.
We need to look at building up the knowledge and education of talent, and to develop our knowledge as an industry when it comes to pricing.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHANGES HAPPENING NOW IN AD TECH?
Ad-tech’s biggest change at the moment isn’t about the tools, per se. It is more about the developments taking place in the ecosystem due in large part to the rise in data regulations and safety measures. For the tools to do what they were made for, everyone across the supply chain must know how to use them and to abide by a
consistent standard. Data regulations such as GDPR, which came in last year, will help drive these standards. In the MENA region, the IAB has recently arrived, and I’m sure that will drive an uptake in self-regulation and
industry guidelines. We can expect to see more consolidation on both the supply and demand side, among
smaller players and global giants alike.
And AI will continue to shape the industry, which means we will continue to see push and pull as we figure out how humans and machines can best work together. AI can provide actionable insights for humans to act on.
WHAT ARE BRANDS AND CLIENTS ASKING FOR?
It’s a love-hate relationship really. You want what you can’t have, you want it for less and you want to keep everything else to avoid disrupting what you’re familiar with. But the reality is, like anything in life, you can’t have it all, and it will never be the perfect solution for everyone.
What we do know is that from brand safety, measurement and transparency to performance and ROI, these are standards that are expected and can be delivered on, but there has to be a conversation about the true value of those methods and means.
There are plenty of tools out there, but we need to see more understanding of how to use them, and there will be a steep learning curve as the industry looks at how to use them to their maximum potential. Not just in terms of ROI, but also when it comes to brand safety, transparency and metrics.
HOW DO YOU EXPECT TO SEE DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS AND AD TECH TRANSFORM IN THE NEXT YEAR OR SO?
It will definitely be a different future for brands.
Signs have already pointed to a shift towards closed and private marketplaces that are fully transparent and can bring more value and control overall with publishers.
Agencies will give more share to publishers outside the walled gardens of Google and Facebook. Other digital ad inventory suppliers can be more accommodating, and this industry doesn’t naturally gravitate towards all-inclusive solutions, so that flexibility will pull advertisers away from the giants.
At the same time, the industry will be wary of brand and data safety, using technologies and standards such as MOAT, IAS, DoubleVerify and ads.txt. As standards converge, we can expect to see more productive conversations between everyone within the digital advertising ecosystem