Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 | 5 min read
Headlines declaring the death of the advertising technology industry aren’t new – people have always loved to pronounce TOD on one industry after another — it’s practically a national pastime. Recent articles even claim that Facebook and Google are stifling new innovation in the AdTech industry — nothing could be further from the truth. As a Chief Experience & Marketing Officer currently working for a software company which has a significant presence in the AdTech space, I can confidently say that these articles aren’t painting an accurate picture of AdTech opportunities, which IMO have never been greater.
There are three reasons why AdTech will be one of the most exciting technology spaces over the next few years:
Marketing is going through a Copernican Shift — our worldview is shifting from product-centric to customer-centric. And just like Copernicus’ discovery that the earth is not the center of the universe, customers have always been at the center — but until customers gained the power of the network to make and break brands, many brands didn’t really take it seriously. At the same time, we’re evolving from “Mad Men” to “Math People” as marketing increasingly becomes a technical discipline and as brands have realized that they can’t rely on traditional marketing methods to reach people who are no longer on traditional channels. Engaging with consumers via relevant, automated, and effective channels is now a top priority for marketers.
To deliver the best business results, CMOs are turning to technology. In fact, CMOs are expected to increase their technology spend by 10X in 10 years, from $12 billion to $120 billion – a huge opportunity for AdTech vendors to help companies understand and engage with customers.
Until recently, advertising followed a long-established formula: create a clever message, broadcast this message widely, hope that someone saw it and then rinse and repeat. It’s classic 20th century broadcast thinking. Then along came social media, and everything changed. Now, instead of passively receiving messages, people want to interact with their content and with each other — a shift to a 21st century stimulus-response model of communication which mirrors how we interact face-to-face, but is now done on a global scale. As a result, social media, unlike any other channel the world has known, is fueling incredible AdTech innovation as brands try to figure out how to have 1:1 conversations with millions of customers.
For marketers, this means they need new AdTech technology to manage the complexity of social at scale. And because today’s consumers expect a unique experience on social, AdTech is moving away from a one-size-fits all approach. Instead, innovations in AdTech are helping marketers provide personalized, relevant experiences for customers on the social channel of their choice.
Given that the future of marketing is data, the services needed in the AdTech industry are dramatically changing and expanding. This is resulting in more innovation and new companies entering the ad tech space. To provide a comprehensive strategy for reaching, engaging and listening to customers across channels, marketers are realizing they need expanded AdTech capabilities.
I’m proud to say that Forrester named Sprinklr a Leader in social advertising technology for a reason – we’ve adapted to changes in the AdTech world and have created a platform which is dedicated to helping brands reach customers in personalized, relevant ways. Sprinklr integrates with a variety of social platforms (including Facebook) to provide brands with cross-channel analytics, the ability to optimize ad spend dynamically based on performance, and the ability to centrally manage teams, budgets, approvals, and permissions.
For example, Sprinklr’s social media advertising capabilities helped Dell generate 2x their initial return on ad spend goal while also surpassing its revenue achievement goal by 8 percent and break through the noise to reach its customers during Black Friday. Additionally, Sprinklr helped Sonos introduce its new home theater speaker via Facebook video ads. As a result, Sonos achieved a 19x return on ad spend during the promotion period and established itself as a leader in home audio.
Clearly, AdTech isn’t dying, but instead it’s evolving and thriving as the rules of marketing change. Prior to joining Sprinklr I enjoyed a 7+ year run as CMO for Microsoft U.S., where I was one of Sprinklr’s first customers. At that time, they interviewed me for this Sprinklr whitepaper where I said that “every company is structured 1980s style” and needs to reorganize its culture and technology stack to reach customers in new ways. I still stand by that view, and believe that the majority of successful marketers will support a booming advertising technology industry by pushing for the innovation they need.
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