With the festivity and merriment of the holiday season over, it’s time to get back to business and execute 2018 plans. But before kicking off the new year, IAS is providing you with a few predictions and trends to consider for the year ahead. Here are our top 3 trends to keep top of mind throughout 2018:
1.) Viewability standards pay dividends
The IAB Tech Lab simplified viewability in 2017 by assuming governance of the Open Measurement SDK, a software development kit that will help to standardize viewability measurement. 2018 will be the year that we see the benefit of the SDK for mobile viewability. App developers who utilize the SDK will be able to use a single standardized approach to measuring viewability making it so much easier to gain consistent viewability metrics on mobile. In 2017 the industry focused on testing and implementation of the SDK, but in 2018 we will start to see the benefits of a single consistent measurement standard applied at scale.
2.) Walled gardens continue to open up through third-party measurement
P&G chief brand officer Marc Pritchard made headlines in 2017 with his public denunciation of “complicated, non-transparent, inefficient, and fraudulent media supply chains.” His statement was seen as a call to arms for marketers and brought renewed pressure on walled garden platforms to open their doors to third-party measurement. With pressure from brands and agency holding groups growing, and a series of brand safety scandals making waves throughout 2017 that demand for openness isn’t likely to go away. Look for walled gardens to continue to open up through third-party measurement technology integrations within their platforms.
3.) Collaboration will be the key to confronting big challenges
In 2017 we saw digital advertising face a range of challenges–ad fraud, brand safety and viewability to name a few–that no one advertiser could tackle single-handed. These obstacles required a collaborative approach. The industry collectively raised its standards, following the lead of major brands to embrace third-party verification and brand safe practices. In 2018 we hope to see this trend continue. Industry-wide cooperation provided the best answers to move transparent trading forward and we can not afford to become complacent now. A continued proactive approach, one that sees advertisers and their partners present a united front, will be critical to confronting new challenges in the coming year.
The bottom line
Digital advertising experienced a year of major transformation in 2017, and given that pace of innovation in the space, 2018 is likely to feel much the same. For marketers, the central question of 2018 will be how to drive performance in a rapidly changing landscape. Ultimately, no amount of foresight can prepare us for every challenge, but marketers who are engaging in trust-based relationships and transacting within transparent environments will be the best prepared to anticipate and adapt to whatever curveballs 2018 decides to throw.