By Hart Cunningham
Advertising technology is still a hot category for many reasons, but the main story here is that ad tech continues to offer insights and efficiencies to a market that’s long suffered from lack of both.
An antiquated and disjointed advertising system has limited businesses’ access to publishers and a variety of media channels for too long. At the same time, this old system has offered unpredictable results with little accountability. Thanks to advancements in technology, no business has to accept the once-accepted adage, “we waste half of our ad budget, but we don’t know which half” ever again.
The future of advertising lies in performance-based reporting for fine tuning campaigns daily, even hourly, across virtually any media channel.
At its core, advertising is relatively uncomplicated. There are two elements that come into play: method and performance. Method refers to the marketing channel an advertiser wishes to utilize to run a particular campaign: social media, display, mobile, TV, radio, etc. Performance, on the other hand, is a measurement of the effectiveness of the individual advertising efforts, and is vital in determining both the return on investment for the advertiser, and the overall success of the campaign.
As straightforward as this simplification of the process seems, advertisers still face many challenges. Upon determining their preferred method or methods, an advertiser must find quality publishers who can reach the right audience at the right price, which is no small feat in a bloated marketplace. Even then, the smart advertiser seeks to measure the effectiveness of his ads, and determine the individual performance of each publisher he works with in order to maximize budget and weed out those who are under-performing.
The options can be overwhelming: there are literally thousands of companies with single-point-of-entry solutions that service individual marketing channels or performance-tracking solutions! Even at the ad:tech conferences, where the best of the best come together in a collective venue, finding and plugging in the right partners is a time-intensive and labor-intensive process.
For years, advertising has been a game of relationships: either you need to know the right people or have a budget that warrants the best perks. This model is now outmoded. Businesses and advertisers who embrace the opportunities that technological advancement and creative ideas develop will prevail in the coming years. We now have much more transparency into what’s working and what’s not working, and businesses can allocate budget accordingly. No more wasting budget and no more lack of understanding of what works and what doesn’t.
Performance-tracking solutions are gaining ground and will continue to be the way of the future for advertising, keeping ad tech at the center of innovation.
Hart Cunningham is the co-founder of Integrate, a Comcast Ventures portfolio company.