What’s On

5 big changes in Asia’s ad market in 2015

This will be another year where technology continues to reshape the ad industry. Programmatic-powered ad campaigns will drive further efficiencies for agencies, brands and publishers. With that in mind, here are five specific developments we can expect to see in 2015.

Smarter use of the programmatic toolkit:
We’ll see increasing sophistication in planning and inventory management as publishers and advertisers start to harness the full power of programmatic technology. More sellers will employ techniques like audience extension, re-targeting and other programmatic tools to augment their offerings. They will leverage sophisticated targeting, frequency capping, brand safety and other data-driven tools (traditionally thought of as ‘buy side’ technology) to more precisely identify and segment key audiences, enticing a greater number of premium brands to spend through programmatic channels. Those who can best plan, execute, analyse and report — across audiences, screens, ad formats, time of day and content types — will see the greatest ROI.

Data will drive programmatic adoption:
Until recently programmatic platforms have been viewed as automation tools to improve workflows and deliver operational efficiencies. Next year more people in the industry will realise that data is the real differentiator, helping publishers to boost the return from their inventory and providing better outcomes for buyers.

The rise of the “data-driven creative”:
It’ll no longer just be about getting the placement of an ad right, but also allowing the context in which the ad is placed to inform the changes in the creative itself. That doesn’t mean a total shift from “Mad Men” to “Math Men” – creativity is still vital, but we’ll see more content tailored to the audience, with programmatically-powered material becoming increasing common in the digital landscape.

Greater ROI for the programmatic early birds:
In Asia, especially Southeast Asia, early investors in programmatic will reap the benefits, with significantly greater ROI, whilst advertisers late to programmatic adoption will be left behind. Asia has been slower to make the shift, so it’s not too late for starters to make the move and reap the benefits over the next few years. The decision will be helped by overseas examples where programmatic starts to demonstrate very clear results, helping lift brands, create incremental sales and improve inventory yields.

Forward-thinking brands will insist on data ownership:
Data will continue to play an influence in planning decisions and brands will increasingly understand the value of the data they gather. More and more they will see how analytics is an evolutionary process, where the results of each campaign inform the next. Brands will want to retain and own this data, rather than giving it away to third parties. We can expect advertisers to start asking tough questions of their providers and, to the extent possible, take complete ownership of their data.

There’s no doubt, 2015 will be another year of change. Around the world, programmatic platforms will demonstrate significant efficiencies, whilst here in Asia we can expect to see publishers play catch-up to boost returns on their inventory as well as respond to the demand from advertisers looking for more effective targeting and analysis. If we’re looking for one word to summarise what will be different about 2015, it is ‘data management’ and a sophisticated programmatic platform is the engine to drive this change.

The write up is part of the DMA Annual Report ‘What’s Trending 2015′. To book your own hard copy of the Annual, write to marketing@digitalmarket.asia

Alex Khan

Alex Khan is the Managing Director APAC at Smaato.