Programmatic advertising made enormous headway in 2014 and now 89% of European publishers, advertisers and agencies state that they believe that programmatic trading will have a significant impact on digital advertising, according to data-driven and programmatic advertising firm Turn, which here outlines its predictions for the global ad-tech industry in 2015. This article is copyright 2014 The Best Customer Guide.

However, 2015 will probably not be a year for programmatic providers to rest on their laurels. Marketers have the opportunity in the coming year to develop creative, strategic and highly personalised campaigns, spurred on by new innovations and the interpretation of valuable data insights through programmatic.

The company's global predictions for the ad-tech industry over the coming year are quite specific. Its top three predictions are:

  1. Identity is imperative
    We will see broad adoption of identity solutions by advertisers and their digital providers. Major industry players like Amazon, Facebook, Yahoo and Google that own PII and niche players that specialise in "ross-device" will debate the scale, accuracy and privacy compliance of their IDs. This will cause some minor adoption delays, but ultimately budgets will shift to players with sound identity solutions.

    It's unlikely that we'll see a marketer willing to put their data into many different systems, so there will only be a few winners. By the end of 2015, identity won't be a standalone product or niche business, but rather an integrated and core component of larger solutions so that marketers can map IDs from any digital touch-point.

  2. CRM meets PRM: Prospect Relationship Management
    More brands will use their customer relationship management (CRM) data assets to inform their anonymous marketing. Some brands have been utilising CRM onboarding (the process of bringing anonymous and aggregated CRM data and appending it to a cookie or mobile ID), but friction in the market, lack of training and standardisation of ID matching and fear of privacy compliance has slowed down a marketer's ability to actually take action with the data.

    Partnerships that bridge CRM and marketing will allow brands to think about coordinating their messaging and getting smarter with their ad spend. In addition, the increase in available data (both third-party and onboarded first-party data) will take customer profiling away from small-scale experiments into real-time implementations. Marketers are thinking about customer lifetime value and how to find more audiences that look like their ideal customers. The pieces are in place for marketers to use important consumer information in a secure and anonymous way to make their paid media more effective.

  3. Programmatic goes vertical
    Over the past three years the ad-tech industry has built the infrastructure needed for programmatic buying to develop, starting with open auction real-time bidding (RTB). Now, with the necessary systems in place, there is the opportunity to develop more sophisticated approaches to programmatic.

    Over the next year or so, we will most likely see more custom solutions for specific verticals, for example, CPG, B2B and Financial Services. Applying data to content strategies that go beyond traditional advertising can help change customer behaviour and eventually encourage buying behaviour. This will go well beyond the packaging up of some inventory, to offer solutions truly tailored to the workflow and needs of specific industry verticals.

"Ad industry thinking changed dramatically in 2014. Video advertising is no longer considered a separate 'channel' and brands are beginning to think about the creative for TV and online video in the same way, now focusing more on the audience they are targeting," concluded Pierre Naggar, Turn's EMEA managing director. "We can expect more innovation in programmatic over the next 12 months; marketers will have a better indication of their target audience's behaviours, both ahead of time through CRM systems, and across numerous touchpoints using cross-device identity solutions. programmatic's integration into the wider marketing mix will open up completely new opportunities for marketers to serve more targeted and personalised experiences, including those based on vertical specialisms."