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4 AdTech Trends to Adopt in 2018


Advertising has seen a massive shift in recent years. By making the transition from print- and analog-based mediums, agencies have obviously capitalize on the emerging trends in mobile computing, smartphone technology and social media in ways we never thought possible. As such, the future landscape of online marketing is set to benefit from some of the strategies we already see in digital advertising.

1. Header bidding

A relatively new concept in digital marketing, header bidding uses hidden website coding to ensure the highest possible pricing for the best online ad spots. It's an alternative to the model used by the Google DoubleClick platform — but it's already gaining a lot of traction amongst tech-savvy digital advertisers. Despite its effectiveness, only 12 percent of top websites currently use the technology.

One brand, Livingly Media, uses header bidding to bolster revenue and reduce ad discrepancies. Its partnership with Sovrn has already doubled its profitability — and the entire framework was set up, tested and fully implemented in less than 72 hours.

2. Next-gen social media

We're all familiar with the advantages of social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. They're often used by advertisers to target specific demographics and connect with customers in new and exciting ways. But some other sites, like Twitter and Snapchat, are touted by tech-savvy marketing execs as the next major industry innovation.

Both Twitter and Snapchat have put increased investments into ad tech. Twitter's plans remain highly secretive, but officials with the company have hinted at big developments in the works. In the meantime, companies like Greenhouse Softwareare already using the platform to extend the reach of their newsletter, increase brand awareness and direct customers to their websites.

3. Disappearing ads and messages

One of the most offbeat and controversial methods of advertisement, disappearing ads are generating a lot of attention — both good and bad. It's easy to see how this kind of campaign might succeed in today's mobile-centric society. After all, consumers who want access to on-demand services often make decisions immediately and on the fly. If an ad doesn't convince them the first time, it's not likely to have an impact after any further viewings.

But the trend of ads using disappearing stories — sometimes known as disposable or ephemeral marketing — is on the rise. Pioneered by Snapchat in 2011, the strategy uses short-term, temporary content to draw attention, offer flash deals and respond to consumers in real time.

Fast-food restaurants like McDonald's and Taco Bell have both utilized ephemeral advertising to:

  • Promote new or special offers

  • Support innovative product launches

  • Increase engagement among local customers

4. Purchase intelligence

Proactive advertisers use purchase intelligence to reach consumers in new and innovative ways. Bank of America currently uses Cardilytics — one of the most popular purchase intelligence platforms to date — to provide targeted advertising through online and mobile channels. It's the backbone of Bank of America's internal rewards and card-backed discount programs, including initiatives like BankAmeriDeals, and many prominent banks use it in one form or another.

Cardilytics combs data from approximately 2,000 of the world's largest financial institutions. Some of the major clients include Bank of America, PNC Bank and the UK-based Lloyds. Their system processed and analyzed tens of billions of online and in-store records in 2016 in the United States alone, and their customer base is constantly growing.

Digital marketing in 2018 and beyond

According to recent studies, 74 percent of marketers want to work with agencies that actively and successfully use ad tech. With so much potential in the innovations listed above, it's easy to see why. Next-gen ad tech isn't just here to stay — it might shape the world of online marketing and advertising as we know it.

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