Mobile Advertising: The Year That Was, and the Year Ahead

Mobile Advertising The Year That Was, and the Year AheadIn recent days, our colleagues at MAW caught up with one of the top executives at AOL Platforms to chat about the year in advertising ahead.

So in terms of 2015 trends and 2016 predictions, what did Seth Demsey, Chief Technology Officer at AOL Platforms, have to say?

Check out his comments below.

First-Party Data will Rise Above

“2015 was the year first-party data began to be more coveted than third-party data. There is significant value in proprietary, first-party data, which is more powerful than aggregated and blended stand-alone third-party data.”

Ad Blocking is More Headline than Barrier. Better Creative is Key

“Ad blocking ruled headlines for the better half of 2015, but the actual barrier to click was less of a problem. The concept does, however, speaker to an underlying issue. Customers are telling advertisers and publishers that the experience provided is substandard – and that they’re willing to do something about it. Half – if not more – of the ad blocking blame falls on the advertising industry as a whole. From everything from ad experiences that are too heavy or too slow, to creative that isn’t appropriate, high-quality, relevant, or well-targeted, the customers are saying, “We’ve reached a breaking point and it’s time for you people to fix it.””

Big Data + Data Science

“This is more of a hope than a prediction, but the industry needs to stop using “big data” as a catch all for “data science.” Just because you have it, doesn’t mean you need to use it. And if you’re good at using it, you might not even need that much of it. So this an inconsistent application of the word big data to also mean data science, optimization, and prediction. The buzzwords are hopefully going to lose steam in 2016 and people will understand that this is an application of math to make things better. It’s not an end in and of itself. You don’t become a big data company. You become a company that does what you do better because you leverage data and data science at whatever scale is appropriate.”

Multi-touch Attribution & Media Mix Modeling to Unify in 2016

“Two concepts that will be transformative in 2016 are multi-touch attribution (bottom-up) and media mix modeling (top-down). They’re on a collision course for a single unified model. That’s going to be a megatrend in 2016, and while many are going to claim to do it, few are going to be able to do it accurately. Even fewer are going to be able to do it in a way that holds up to replace the dual models. AOL will be one of the few that actually succeeds in enabling this.”

Multi-Touch Attribution Will Drive Data Spend in 2016

“In 2016, advertisers will continue to spend more money on things like multi-touch attribution. This started as a wonky direct response advertiser solution to help them not credit channels with acquisitions multiple times to save money. Now, big brands have been knocked into this world and understand that it can help them materially optimize their ad spend. We’re going to see this extend across the chasm and fill up the head of the market, then flood into the mid-markets for brand advertisers and agencies.

And the remarkable thing is the technology is here and has always been here, but it’s the organizational change and the willingness to break down silos within agencies and companies that’s actually making it possible to use and activate on this data, rather than just have it on a dashboard sitting there, looking pretty. People are coming to the understanding that they can’t have a mobile team and a social team, and a display team, and a search team. Yes, you can have specialists but if you view it all separately and budget separately and look at ROI separately, then you’re doing yourself a disservice. Again, it’s more about the internal organization than it is the actual technology, which has been here for a while. But we’re finally going to see advertisers take that jump.”

Brands Owning Their Data

“We’ll also see advertisers become less and less willing to let their data into the hands of their agency as the controlling owner. They recognize that this data asset is in fact their asset, which they want to control and own. So we’ll see more brand-led agency-operated deals with the brand the owner of the analytics and data relationship, rather than having them deferred into an agency-led, agency-operated world.”