Ad Tech is re-imagining how content should be consumed to bring in a more personalized route to reach the audience through automation and audience intelligence.
Have you ever wondered how the ads you watch have chosen you? Why do you keep coming back to your favourite streaming app, e-commerce player or video-sharing platform? Is it out of choice or have you been guided down a path by technology that leads to your favourite content?
If you are a fashion aficionado you might have seen Balenciaga’s fall collection launch as a video game in December 2020 on Twitter. We saw a well-known burger brand launch a gamified campaign that reached the famous ad blocked generation. Epic Games launched a three-week interactive concert with leading artists and plan to make virtual concerts and a tour stop on the island part of the band’s brand.
Closer to India, we all watched live sports events, especially the IPL that was supported by gaming and e-commerce partners to engage with die-hard cricket fans. Recently a leading food delivery app introduced a new way for Netflix to get our attention without making us feel guilty about binge eating – you can now watch what’s coming up on Netflix as a video while you watch your food come closer to you all in the same window. With all of us held captive by the pandemic, audio apps got a new lease on life and saw us discover new podcasts, sponsored by brands and we consumed more data in 2020 than we ever have.
If you are not obsessed with decoding ad placements, these ads might not even be noticed, as you went on with your day. Stop for a moment and think about how and why an ad was placed before you. Why you? Why that brand? Why that platform? Why that content?
Welcome to a new world of native advertising, tech stacks and experiential marketing on overdrive! Native advertising is moving beyond paid advertising that mimics the look, feel and function of the content and the platform to complement your experience, in an effort to increase content consumption. While this is still entrenched in the basics of brand engagement – today, we live in a world where all the bits and bytes of data become pillars of audience intelligence and addressable advertising. The outcome is a complex network of ad tech, automation and artificial intelligence that makes you a marketer’s dream, designed to bring to you information about brands; both new and well-loved.
Here’s how digital dollars are spent, with technology being a driving force. There was a time when brand advertising was relegated to the CPM only game. Where volumes were needed to make a difference to the brand, innovation was largely relegated to contextual placements and a customer’s experience was not the focus of this game.
With new ways of understanding audiences through technology and platforms being able to innovate faster, well-spent ad dollars to approach your consumer at the right time with the right content, instead of a mere volume game, becomes far more rewarding to both advertisers and consumers.
There are myriad tech interventions that serve an ad in ~200 milliseconds to a targeted audience. This begs the question of how scalable creating hooks within virtual concerts, games and content is, and how demand will be generated and serviced. Programmatic advertising is a way of selling inventory and can be as scalable as your technology stack that supports it. The beauty is that direct deals can also be programmatic and programmatic deals can also be direct.
At Voiro, one of our favourite product interview questions is to break down the Netflix homepage with certain questions. How would you build the page, if you were the product manager? How would you dice data such as viewer history, viewing time of day, need for editorial control, driving organic discovery, cross-category discovery and so on? Content platforms have this information first hand and similar fundamentals come into play with advertising, so what is the best way to design, analyse and make inferences from your data?
Creativity and great content have always existed. We have favourite brands right from our childhood days. We remember their campaigns, endorsers and of course the jingles! But then again everyone didn’t like the same things and this is the point of contextual advertising.
Enter Audience Intelligence, the bedrock of recommendation engines, design grids, and the silent navigator of all your information. This is your guide through the incredible amount of choices we make every day and the content creators and distributors who serve this content to us – whether as our favourite shows or our favourite ads! That’s the power of content, technology and advertising in a consumer’s life. And why a well-known ad tech company just raised ~$ 100 million in a target topping IPO, validating the rise of ad tech, automation and advertising as models that will continue to be the beating heart of the industry.
Article First Featured in Business World Online.