3 Takeaways from Advertising Week 2014

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Digital media took center stage at this year’s Advertising Week, with more than 90,000 flocking to New York City to attend panels focused on programmatic advertising,  native advertising, and mobile and video. Here are a few takeaways from the week:

1. Programmatic Advertising

What exactly is programmatic advertising and why all the buzz? Interpublic’s Magna Global predicts that programmatic media investments will rise 50 percent this year to $21 billion. Programmatic has transformed digital marketing by allowing marketers to purchase ads through software, as opposed to traditional efforts that involve human negotiation, making ad buying cheaper and more efficient.

According to Suzanne Vranica at The Wall Street Journal, as programmatic continues to evolve, industry professionals worry about trolling bots creating artificial ad impressions and selling them to advertisers across ad exchanges and ad networks. Marketers also fear that content will lose its quality, since programmatic software has yet to incorporate creative performance measurement.

Opinions differ about programmatic, and while some brands are on board with programmatic programs, the consensus is that there are still some kinks and advertisers will be more likely to adopt programmatic when they can measure creative impact and segment audiences accordingly.

2. Native Advertising

Edward Kim, SimpleReach’s CEO and co-founder, joined Nativo’s Justin Choi , VivaKi’s Ben Lampert, TripleLift’s Ari Levine and Belinda Smith of IAB to define what the heck native advertising is and delve into how it is affecting the ad industry.

To address the general confusion about what native ads are, the panelists started by offering their definitions. VivaKi, an ad tech agency, defined native as the marriage of form, function and quality content that delivers a value-based exchange between consumers and brands. Ari Levine added that native is more than just an exchange: it’s location, look, feel, context and behavior.

While native advertising has caused quite a bit of chatter in the publishing industry, Kim reassured the audience that native advertising is indeed saving the quality of digital content. When digital media introduced an unlimited supply of ad space, marketers optimized for short content and quick clicks and in turn, banner ads suffered. Revenue was completely dependent on volume. Native advertising separates the editorial article from the ad product. No longer is a publisher’s revenue tied to any one article. Now, a publisher’s value relies on the content it produces.

3. Mobile

A panel of mobile marketing specialists agreed that a mobile is fundamental to any content strategy. Christopher Reynolds, vice president of digital at Conde Nast, states, “The shift has happened quickly, too—in just the past two or three years. Today, almost half of Conde Nast’s readership is coming in via mobile devices.” Reynolds told content marketers to consider mobile’s ability to target by location and tailor their content to audiences that would enjoy it the most.

He also said even though marketers think screen space is too limited, they should not rule out traditional ad formats. Banner ads aren’t dead yet! In general, banner ads are great for retargeting and should still play a role in one’s mobile strategy.

Tweet us @SimpleReach to share your favorite panels. 

About Alexis Krantz

Lover of startups, tech, fine dining, and french bulldogs.

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