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Is Our Industry Finally Maturing? Thoughts From Internet Week NY
For many a year at many a major seasonal conference, seasoned attendees would look around and see no end to the hype.
While legitimate, long-standing business themes — integrated marketing, leveraging your media mix, standards, attribution and allocation and, of course, ecosystem “complexity” — always get their airtime… we often see sort of a hazy frenzy around a few new bright shiny objects.
For a while, that was search, and then social had its day. Then it was mobile. It stayed mobile for a while. Next up, we swirled around programmatic. Then it was Big Data. But, it seems to me, as Internet Week begins this week in New York, there’s less of that mob mentality.
Yes, there are a few areas, little neighborhoods within our industry, that are somewhat nascent. But there are a number of conversations that have truly advanced and are enjoying quite the state of ripe maturity. Or, even where there is nascence, there is a more sober, less frenetic focus. We keep our exuberance in check just a bit more.
A Maturing Marketplace For Programmatic
Take, for example, programmatic. It’s a far more integrated, presumed part of the conversation than it has ever been. Entities are sorting themselves out and making choices about what they want to be when they grow up: DSP, DMP, SSP — what? The best, most sustainable ones are deciding and contributing heartily to the industry.
On a related note, the stature of audience-based buying and the supporting tools set have reached a promising place. The infrastructure is strong; the data science advances every quarter; the supplier set is coming into its own with long-standing buyer relationships with both agencies and brands, delivering performance after performance.
And, creativity and all the specs to accompany it have finally arrived to the scene. This includes the entrance of dynamic creative to the option set — often with large form, big-canvas choices that are being optimized just as religiously as other campaign elements. It’s exciting to see the fear dissipating somewhat, as supplier/agency/brand teams tackle all that can be optimized within the programmatic, audience-based mix. It’s high time.
A Sober Look At Big Data
I also feel that the very concept of Big Data has reached some sort of more sober state. It’s less aggrandized, less awful-ized — and marketers and agencies seem to know where to go to get the support they need to aggregate or model the right data sets. They recognize, based on where they sit, that if they don’t make the right choices or they assume that the right choice is too complex and out of reach — they’ll make a big mess.
In looking around, you see it can be as simple as choosing the right data partners and doing the right, most appropriately innovative thing with that data partnership to service your specific client universe. And, during weeks like this one, we are seeing fewer panels and discussions over-dramatizing the Big D. Time to calm down and get on with it. Data orientation is the new reality for us all.
Mobile Video Has Become A Reality
You can’t talk about the relief of realized maturity without mentioning mobile and particularly, mobile video. Content quality and production, the infrastructure and supporting ad tech, the clear confidence and investment… it’s all there.
I look forward to a number of panels this week–OMMA Video, APPNATION NYC and numerous others, where we will no doubt see an elevated level of discourse, with our peers delving into topics such as mobile monetization, viewability and, of course, cross-screen.
That brings me to two areas that I’m flagging for this time next year: programmatic approaches to TV and cross-channel itself. As the buy side embraces both, data science will continue to advance, which will improve our ability to measure, attribute and optimize. We’ll be far less confined, defined by channel and platform, and doing the whole shebang far more seamlessly.
Make note of these two conversations this year; scribble a few things down. Just like those noted above — programmatic, Big Data, mobile video — I expect you’ll notice them taking great forward strides before too long.
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