Article

Dale Lovell
Dale Lovell 12 May 2017

Ad-Tech: The Solution to Your Advertising Woes

Recently, ad-tech has come under harsh criticism. Like any big time Hollywood blockbuster, it’s time to realise that we’re the good guys, not the villains of the piece.

Undoubtedly you would have heard that recently several programmatic campaigns featuring top brands have come under fire for inadvertently funding terrorism and placing ads next to other inappropriate content. This, of course, led to heated discourse and has prompted criticism of the ad industry and their technology suppliers. However, it’s time for ad-tech companies to stand up for themselves and their solutions.

The precursor to this debate came during last year’s U.S. election, when the newly coined term “fake news” became a hot topic propelling Donald Trump to the presidency and leading the Democrats to blaming the media for their loss. The build up of this situation and the more recent controversy  both affecting YouTube and Google, saw brands pulling their ad spend and demanding better brand safety guidelines. We have yet to see how these guidelines, already put in place by Google, will positively affect advertisers.

In light of this truly disastrous few months, some are now saying that ad-tech is doomed. I’d argue this is an opportunity for the industry to take a position with key societal issues and actually become part of ways to combat these issues in the future. Firstly, using new technology to enhance user experience will do wonders in repairing ad-tech’s reputation. With recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI), we can advance our understanding and prediction of the human mind to provide more relevant and effective ad placement to all users.

In addition, AI will revolutionise brand safety through its capacity to scan and monitor thousands of web pages instantly. By providing real time feedback, brands and ad-tech providers are empowered to take control should changes be needed. This new technology spans beyond digital advertising, enabling wider social issues to be addressed, including the nebulous and ever-present “fake news”.

Using AI to police and place ads will protect brands and strengthen relationships currently being weakened by ‘fake news’ and the universe of misinformation. It will also remove the financial motives behind placing fake news.

Now is the time for implementation: digital advertising is dependent on ad-tech vendors providing successful campaigns. We see this in ad-tech’s relationship with agencies - agencies know what their clients want and how best to get it for them. Ad-tech can help by providing breakthrough technology - this should be celebrated, not feared or demonised. It seems that agencies are catching on to this. A recent survey from Adroll found that 90% of agency marketers maintain close relationships with their ad-tech partners.

The first quarter of 2017 has been rough, there’s no denying it. However, with the recent breakthroughs in AI and the increasing confidence in ad-tech suppliers from agencies, brand support isn’t far behind. Ad-tech’s future is bright.

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