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. As we find ourselves already in the midst of 2018, there’s not much time to stop and celebrate. Besides, 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 next year:
1. Agency 3.0
In 2017, the question I heard repeatedly was: how will Aussie agencies rationalise their fees and maintain margins? But, with apologies to Mark Twain, I think the reports of the death of media agencies are greatly exaggerated. 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. CTV goes mainstream
With connected TV streams growing by a whopping 351% between January 2016 and March 2017, there’s no doubt that connected TV and OTT advertising represents a major scalable opportunity for Aussie advertisers. Especially as the streaming audience continues to grow in 2018, connected TV’s core value — offering digital’s precision with the impact of traditional television — will become all the more true.
Not to mention, as the transition to connected television continues, advertisers will be challenged to overcome the fragmented state of consumer behaviour, as audiences continue to engage across multiple devices and channels. That said, I think we’ll see an uptick in holistic buying strategies this year, as advertisers take an omnichannel approach to media plans to better reach consumers everywhere with seamless brand experiences.
So, in summary, 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.