With double digit growth figures across the board, 2017 was a strong year for digital advertising in Australia, particularly considering the spectacular growth in mobile and video from July 2016 to June 2017. There’s not much time to stop and celebrate, though, as 2018 is just around the corner and I for one, think the coming year will be the one to remember, as ad tech continues to hit its stride in Australia.
Here are the key trends I see emerging in the next year:
1. Agency 3.0
In 2017, the question I heard repeatedly was 'how will Aussie agencies rationalise their fees and maintain margins?' There is still an integral place in the advertising ecosystem for agencies – if they are smart about where they direct their resources. This will become clearer in 2018, as more agencies build customised programmatic solutions, or APIs, for their clients.
APIs are the best way to keep their IP in-house, given the transient nature of human capital in the Aussie ad tech industry. But more broadly, it’s key to ensuring that clients understand how agencies actually add value – via custom solutions that fit their digital needs and goals.
2. Internet of Things finds its feet
As of early 2017, the average Australian household contained almost fourteen different internet-connected devices. So, while Australian marketers have been somewhat hesitant to implement strategies that incorporate data derived from IoT thus far, I expect 2018 will be the year a few brave brands make significant inroads into IoT advertising – and enjoy great results in the process. This is a crucial step for the industry, as every connected device is collecting valuable information in real-time, and the technology is there to empower unprecedented customer personalization and engagement.
3. Free-to-air meets Programmatic
In 2017, The Trade Desk delivered targeted ads during Aussie broadcaster Channel 7’s livestream of the Rugby League World Cup. This was a natural step, considering free-to-air, or terrestrial TV, has a dominant market share in Australia.
I expect to see more advertisers finding ways to access free-to-air inventory programmatically in 2018, as ad tech providers continue to innovate and deliver targeted advertising.
4. Connected TV streamlines one-to-one targeting and measurement
Connected TV streams grew by a whopping 351% across the four major free-to-air broadcasters from January 2016 to March 2017. So, as we head into 2018, I think content providers and advertising technologies will band together to create a universal standard when it comes to CTV and OTT targeting and measurement.
Especially at a time where audiences are rapidly shifting their viewing habits to internet-enabled devices, the need to streamline targeting and measurement is undeniable.
So, in summary, there's plenty of innovation, ideas and fresh perspectives on the horizon for Aussie ad tech. I’m ready for a big year of moving the industry forward and giving our clients and advertisers the best results yet. Bring on 2018.
By Mitch Waters, general manager, The Trade Desk Australia and New Zealand
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