First comes the disruption - disrupting beliefs and established models of practices. In the field of online advertising in particular, digital disruption is achieving tremendous success. Think about the programmatic media buying, for example, or the new advertising technologies that businesses are increasingly adopting. From an AdTech perspective we can proudly say we have done this step. We have raised the flag and got the attention of advertisers. Of course, the effort to disrupt is far from being over. Now comes the long-term essential part - bridging the world of technology with the industry and creating a stable relationship between the two.
Looked from a different angle, the disruption in marketing and advertising practices was a natural step towards evolvement. In the classical sense of marketing - it responded to the need. In the last 5 years the digitalization affected our daily lives on a new scale. The number of internet users rapidly increased, brands had to take into account new channels of interaction in their strategies, online advertising became more than desktop - smartphones and tablets became strong part of the advertising equation. Marketers and advertisers needed new ways to keep up with the evolving consumer behaviour and the shape shifting market landscape. As argued by McKinsey, this put forth the pressure on marketing operations to enable brands not just connect with their target audiences but to shape their interactions.
And so it happened that one day advertisers woke up and saw the world changed. One by one the market was populated by various technology vendors, new strategies, new approaches, thousand of possibilities. Although advertising and marketing technologies are gaining significant recognition, there are still companies which evaluate on the business risk should they invest in them or not. The reluctance is caused by several factors that affect even those already adopting innovative tech solutions in their models. There are two main misconceptions when it comes to technology as an advertising or marketing operations partner - the “complexity fear” and the “tech vs human issue”.
Digital marketing and digital advertising have evolved into a new modern type of digital art. No Roger Sterling would’ve had to cope with Big Data, Programmatic Media Buying and Data Management Platforms to name a few. And for some of us “technological” has become a synonym, just another way to say “difficult/complex”. Here is the tricky point - technology solves complexity. The reason why is created at first place is to find the optimal easiest solution to help people be more efficient. In a concrete sense, advertising technologies enable advertisers to navigate through the particularities of the digital space and help them to make the most of the myriad of opportunities there.
In a way this leads to the second reluctance - the tech vs human issue. Automation doesn’t mean taking away the human evolvement in the decision-making process. “Digitization doesn’t automatically cause people everywhere to be replaced by machines. It does, however, lead to changes.”- is a very good remark of dmexco’s white paper “Searching for the “God’s Algorithm” of Digiconomy”. And what is a change? It’s like an unknown territory we hesitate to explore because we don’t know what we’ll find there. In this sense understanding the dynamics of the change and where it leads is essential to overcome reluctance and doubt.
This is not a one-man one-time show but an ongoing process involving all players in the digital market. With events such as dmexco happening now in Cologne and the upcoming Web Summit in Dublin the gap is indeed getting smaller. Such events are milestones for the entire industry and they give forum to innovators to share their ideas with peers and decision-makers alike. Only be sharing knowledge will the bridging of the worlds get to the point we want it to be. Businesses need to invest in knowledge, while we as digital players and AdTech vendors have the important task to help them understand the dynamics of the change we bring.
Skylads team is at dmexco in Cologne, Germany. To find out more about our experience follow our Events Section here.