23 Thought Leaders Offer 51 Predictions for 2014


ADOTAS — With the first full business week of 2014 rapidly coming to an end, so too is our coverage of predictions for the year ahead from online ad industry executives.

If your opinion on what we should expect in this new year has not been expressed on ADOTAS, please feel free to leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

George John, CEO/Co-Founder, Rocket Fuel

  • “According to a recent study by the Winterberry Group and the IAB, within two years, 91% of advertisers and 83% of publishers expect to be using programmatic. Real-time bidding (RTB) and programmatic buying are here to stay and will continue to dramatically change the way companies and brands advertise. Marketers now have access to tens of billions of daily opportunities to precisely bid for and buy digital media in ad marketplaces to capture key moments of consumer attention. In a highly fragmented media world, the use of Big Data to predict the right moments of attention that drive brand is a must for 2014. Big Data’s big partner is artificial intelligence, which can mine patterns of consumer behavior in milliseconds and optimize advertising toward real results.”

Walter Knapp, COO of Federated Media

  • “In 2014, programmatic advertising will become unstoppable. The aperture for what defines “programmatic advertising” has increasingly been opening since the start of 2013 and in 2014 the programmatic evolution of ad buying will be unstoppable. Programmatic advertising has already started to evolve past using the banner ad for direct response and in 2014 we’ll start seeing increasingly intelligent ad placement across all types of media – even including radio and TV – to target the right audience at the right time. Consumers will start seeing ads that are more relevant to their buying needs than ever before. Contrary to what some believe, the banner ad is far from dead – it’s thriving and becoming more and more sophisticated every day.”

Jud Bowman, founder and CEO of Appia

  • “Lifetime Value of Users Becomes Critical on Mobile: The focus on high-quality, higher lifetime value (LTV) users will become mission critical for mobile advertisers, publishers and developers in 2014. Hyper-targeting and localization will shift from “nice-to-have” to “need-to-have.” Obtaining quality users — not just a quantity of users and downloads – will be a pressing focus of mobile marketing. A user that is regularly engaged and finds high value in an app is one that ultimately brings the most revenue over the life of that engagement.  Marketers will adjust their strategies accordingly, and the numbers game is going to become more complex in 2014.
  • “Use of Mobile Banner Ads Will Diminish: As mobile advertising spend increases in 2014, brands andmarketers will continue to discover and explore more creative mobile ad solutions, and banner ads will be on the decline.Marketers will gravitate more heavily to video and other new media ad forms to utilize the mobile interface. In 2014, mobile marketers who forfeit banner ads for mobile-first ad strategies will ultimately engage more users and have a larger return.”

Shashi Upadhyay, CEO, Lattice

  • “In 2014, marketers will realize that they can harvest the buying signals from the web, social media and 3rd party data-sources to improve every aspect of demand generation and selling activities. The prize will go to those who do this first by following the practices of Internet-scale companies like Google, Facebook and Netflix and focusing on drawing insights from data to make predictions about who is likely to buy next. All the pieces are now in place – the cloud, large installed bases of CRM and marketing automation systems and the exploding data volume. Predictive marketing and sales applications will democratize the power of buying signals for everyone, no team of data scientists required.”

Brian Kardon, CMO, Lattice

  • “We’ve all had a front row seat to the marketing transformation over the past 10 years: digitization, real-time, social media, content marketing, inbound, marketing automation. These were not ephemeral ideas. They transformed marketing. Predictive analytics is now emerging as central to the modern marketing organization and a top focus for 2014.  Leading marketers are leveraging data science to market and sell more intelligently. They are bringing every relevant buying signal — from the web, social, CRM and marketing automation sources — to find, prioritize and close their next customer. Inspired by the awesome predictive analytics engines of Google and Amazon, we are seeing a marketing arms race emerge— powered by data. Making sense out of the complexity of big data is what predictive analytics was born to do.”

Elizabeth Harz, VP of business development at Chegg

  • “Millennials customize their world, brands need to continue to let them modify: Millennials are used to customizing the universe to suit their worldview vs. altering their style or consumption habits to fit existing rules.  Brands that have figured out how to offer customization or personalization at scale are already succeeding with this demo.  Think Converse or custom burgers from The Counter.  Appealing to the ‘Made to Order’ generation doesn’t have to eat into margin, in fact, small tweaks with product offerings and great marketing can acquire new millennial customers and the friends, tweens, parents and neighbors they influence.
  • “Millennials take their TV to go: While it’s not news that traditional TV habits have been dramatically changing, the prediction of consumers that never have a home landline phone or a cable subscription has come to fruition with this generation of young adults.   We’ve been following millennial TV consumption closely at Chegg and college students’ cable subscriptions and traditional TV viewing have been steadily declining over the past three years in favor of  services like Hulu and Netflix, often on mobile devices or through Roku. As millennials take their TV to go and are simultaneously engaging with Twitter or other social sites regarding the content they’re watching, it’s essential for brands to rethink how to break through when consumers are the programmers.
  • “Social networking is a state of mind, not a destination for millennials – While the majority of college students and young adults are on Facebook, there’s an increase in young adults turning to other platforms. Instagram. Vine. Snapchat.  The ways millennials connect and share is growing more diverse by the day.  Social networking through technology is as natural to this generation as marathon telephone calls and paper note writing were to the previous one.  As new options arise monthly for students, they will explore and adopt them in order to have new ways to connect with their networks and express themselves.  As brands devise marketing communications strategies, it’s essential to plan for platform agnostic digital activity.  Students will take great products, services, and creative and share them regardless of platform.   When planning for 2014, ask yourself how an offer or campaign can be shared via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, etc.  Or ask a student and they will show you.”

Patrick Keane, President of Sharethrough

  1. “We will see a continued growth in advertising within content feeds, a la Facebook and Twitter, and it will become the new dominant ad format for mobile across the open web.
  2. “Highly produced long-form video will give way to consistent snackable low-tech videos.
  3. “Brands will become media companies, and they will create more content than ever.
  4. “Shift from monologue to dialogue with consumers.
  5. “Rise of location-based marketing.”

Dan Darnell, VP of marketing and product at Baynote

  • “CXM: As customer experience management (CXM) takes over, the term “omni-channel”  will be phased out.
  • “CMO data fluency: The increased implementation in every day marketing decisions makes it necessary for CMOs in every growing organization to increase their level of comfort with analytic data nearly equal to or beyond that of the CTO.
  • “Big data: 2013 was about Big Data’s potential – 2014 will be about its implementation. Marketers need to work with the data/insights they already have to make them actionable as its influence within marketing will only increase.
  • “Millennial buyers: Millennials expect better service and more exclusive products. Since Millennials are much tighter with their money, accurate personalization of what they want, when they want it, at the price they want remains a critical goal for marketers everywhere.”

Brennan Carlson, SVP of Product & Strategy at Lyris

  • “Mobile: More email is read on mobile devices than desktops and there’s no signs of it slowing down. By 2017 it’s predicted that 78 percent of US email users will access email via mobile. To successfully reach the always connected customer, marketers will master mobile optimization in 2014.
  • “Content Marketing: Content will be treated as media in 2014. Responsive digital communications will function on multiple platforms as marketers view content as the context, rather than the device as the context.
  • “Email: 2013 marked the advent of an email marketing renaissance with consumers choosing email as their preferred channel for brand interaction. In 2014, marketers will adjust their budget and resources accordingly.”
Jim Moar,  CEO, OptiMine
  • “2014 will be the year that advertisers come to terms with the fact that attribution – whether based on third-party cookies or new “cookie replacements” – is not a viable path to measuring ad value in the mobile and cross-channel world. This will drive the development of new technologies used specifically for ad measurement, as the industry looks for different ways to break beyond attribution’s flawed path analysis paradigm.
  • “As ad spend becomes increasingly fragmented, flowing into newer channels such as Twitter and Pinterest, advertisers will demand standards that deliver objective measurement of their ad spend across all channels. (Nielsen tagging of YouTube videos is a bellwether.) The industry will look to metrics common across channels, which could result in the return of impressions at the center of the measurement conversation.
  • “In the era of big data advertising, look for the industry to introduce solutions and strategies to cross the siloes between channels and optimize their ad mix based upon how ads interact with one another. This approach will result in better targeting, more accurate measurement across channels and screens, and campaigns that deliver results greater than the sum of their parts.”

Denise Colella, CEO, Maxifier

  1. “Across the board, publishers are refining and extending their strategies in mobile and video. While historically they were using different ad serving systems to handle these channels, I would expect that we will see publishers looking to consolidate all of their ad serving into a single platform to simplify operations and make use of all the additional tools that have been integrated into their main ad server.
  2. “After a ton of noise  about viewability in 2013, it will become table stakes, especially given the incorporation of viewability into DFP. Publishers that cannot offer viewability metrics will suffer.
  3. “The use of programmatic tools will continue to increase, especially among Premium publishers, as they realize that programmatic doesn’t have to mean race to the bottom.  In fact, it is an opportunity to improve performance in a more efficient fashion.”

Mike Wehrs, CEO/President of Scanbuy

  • “A key objective for all advertisers in 2014 will be delivering to their mobile equipped audience, real-time, contextually relevant advertising to consumers that shorten the conversion time to purchase and lock in the buying choice to their product.  This capability is made possible to a large degree through advanced mobile data analytics that enable targeted mobile ads and offers that are timely and personalized to the consumer based on location, behavior, language, time, device and many other data points.  It’s been demonstrated that ad relevancy increases conversion and decreases the number of steps and time to purchase.  At Scanbuy, we are already actively involved in providing advanced data insights to deliver more precise mobile ad targeting.”

Patrick Salyer, CEO, Gigya

  • “Identity and The Internet of Things: We’ll see some very interesting developments in the “Internet of Things” in the coming year. More and more of our devices are becoming connected – from our activity trackers (Nike Fuelband), to our cars, to our thermostats and even our toothbrushes – and with this new web of devices, will arise the need for them to talk to each other. In 2014, we’ll start to see these devices really communicate and interact, creating an unprecedented level of personalization for consumers. This will be enabled by one key concept: identity. By allowing consumers to “log in” to these devices with the identities they already use (from networks like Facebook and Google), these devices will be able to communicate and automatically personalize essential daily activities like driving, exercising and changing the temperature in homes. For example, imagine the following: You log into your Nike Fuelband via your Facebook ID and tell the device that you’re going for a 5 kilometer run. At the 4 kilometer mark, your Fuelband automatically tells your Nest thermostat (which you are also logged into via Facebook) that you are nearly home, and the thermostat begins cooling your home so that when you come back from your run, your apartment is the perfect temperature to help you cool down. It may sound like a distant futuristic concept, but by making identity the connective tissue between devices, it’s actually very possible that this could happen much sooner than we think.”

James Aitken, CEO, The Exchange Lab

  • “The market is likely to see the rise of the client-side trading desk as brands take a more hands on approach to engaging with their programmatic buying. Fuelled by industry references to the rise of big data and of the ‘Chief Marketing Technologist’ clients are learning about programmatic along with its value and benefits – greater accountability, more transparency, increased cost efficiency, data driven learning, the ability to target across devices, and capitalising on ‘big data’ in targeting customers in the here and now. We expect this to spawn an awakening or questioning of the methods in current media buying systems and to prompt an exploration of a ‘better way’ to manage the more traditional media spend that is increasingly being digitized. This in turn is likely to create pressure on global media owners from global brands to adopt more data-driven, accountable, transparent means of managing media and is likely to result in large-scale global clients creating in-house trading desks beyond 2014.”

David Jakubowski, SVP, Marketing Services, Neustar

  • “Digital Marketing Experimentation is now over. Marketers will no longer question the effectiveness of their marketing efforts in the year ahead, as they will have the long-awaited answers to those questions at their fingertips.  With crystal clear insights into the consumer through technology, marketers have the opportunity to deliver personalized content, across devices and screens, creating a one to one experience for consumers.”

Uyen Tieu, co-founder and CRO, Rumble

  • “It’s time for mobile to grow up. In 2014, publishers will discover that they need to go all in for mobile. It is not enough to just have an Android app or an iOS app or to be optimized for the mobile web. Designing for a single device is not going to fly. Publishers need to offer mobile to consumers on every device so that readers can engage when and where they please. People today are digital omnivores, and publishers need to feed their appetites across the varying mobile outlets.”

Rachel Meranus, Senior Vice President, Marketing, MediaMath

  • “2014 will be the year when advertisers demand greater transparency into, and control over, their data and media spend. Programmatic strategies will become much more pervasive as marketers learn how to leverage the data insights in other areas of marketing and business.
  • “Advertisers who have until now not invested in programmatic because of a belief that programmatic was only good for direct response strategies will see the value in programmatic video for strategic branding campaigns and dollars up until now allocated to other branding strategies will shift to programmatic.”

Matevž Klanjšek, Founder and Chief Product Officer, Celtra

  • “We’ll see the rise of goal oriented advertising. Besides direct response which is already focused on a specific goal (such as app download and usage), marketers will start running mobile display campaigns with clear objectives in mind. Mostly these will be specific consumer engagements they will want to drive, revolving around fueling consideration and intent. Measurement will change, too.Simple metrics based on counting conversions won’t suffice anymore. Instead we’ll start seeing more sophisticated computed and interpreted metrics, similar to CLV in app economy. It will take time for these new metrics to be established, but we can expect to see the first efforts towards standardization.”

Oren Harnevo, CEO, Eyeview

  • “Based on how quickly the digital video advertising market expanded over 2013, and how impactful this format of advertising has become – we can imagine 2014 is going to be an even bigger year for digital video. As digital buying becomes more programmatic, brands can take more of an active role in the media buying process. Why? Programmatic buying simplifies the entire process, making it more analytical, scabale and actionable for brand marketers. At the very least, we can expect brands to select vendors who provide transparency around media buys.
  • We’re also going to see mobile grow substantially. Of course mobile video has already taken off, but we’ll see the mobile experience continue to improve, see consumers increasingly view mobile ads and see brands leverage the power of mobile. Yes, mobile is just another screen – but it is always on, always with the consumer. The next big mobile hurdle for advertisers and programmatic vendors is securing better data on their audience. I think it’s something we can expect to happen in the next few years though.”

Anthony Iacovone, CEO, AdTheorent

  • “Advertisers and agencies will expect ad tech partners to provide quantifiable and measurable ROI related to mobile ad spending. Brands will demand attribution models to understand and optimize their effectiveness.
  • “2014 will be the year in which mobile Internet usage reaches 30% of all Internet usage globally. (It is currently 17%.)
  • “2014 will be the year of Predictive Advertising. The days of Behavioral Targeting are over and advertisers will move on to predictive targeting technology that protects consumer privacy while yielding more effective targeting results.
  • “2014 will be the year of the advertising Quant. What was once known as Yield Management will become pure data science.
  • “Wearable technology will continue to evolve as device behaviors blur, which will cause advertisers to become fluid in their consumer engagement strategies.
  • “Brands will shift a significant investment to RTB as the quality and variety of inventory increases and advertising technologies continue to provide an increasing value.
  • “Big Data will continue to be buzzworthy as advertisers learn how to leverage their insights and ad tech solutions integrate technology that will make insights easy and transparent.”

Denise Persson, CMO, ON24

  • “A clear backlash against metrics-driven campaigns: Too often if we adhere to metrics, our campaigns are simply “rinse-and-repeat” and may yield incremental improvements, but lack the truly disruptive campaigns that are truly groundbreaking. In 2014, expect to see marketing campaigns that take intelligent risks, challenge the status quo and dare to challenge what customers believe.
  • “Video marketing, once purely a consumer play, will expand into the enterprise and become a key part of enterprise IT decision-making processes. Those who figure out precisely where it sits in the buying cycle will benefit hugely. (supporting this, ON24 has benchmark data that shows our webcasts that incorporate video are much more engaging).
  • “Big data analytics meet content marketing: Big data is finally coming of age and allowing brands to not just harness the relevant data (descriptive) but actually make predictions and recommendations based on that data. If X occurs, we should do Y. Given this, a structural shift will take place within forward-looking enterprises in which the big data scientists will sit alongside the marketing department, working together to drill down on not just who they’re reaching, but when they’re reaching them. Multiple factors will determine the type of content being shared.
  • “No longer will it be good enough to share the same old content on mobile devices: Marketers will need to become more attuned not just to the form factor, but to the specific behaviors of a mobile vs. desktop user and tailor their approach accordingly. An ON24 study shows that desktop video webcast attendees behave differently than those who watch video from their mobiles, so if users don’t behave the same across form factors, the content shouldn’t be the same either.
  • “Authenticity meets mass-market: Consumers will demand that they connect directly with the companies they buy from and hear that message in an authentic voice. This will present a challenge with an ever-increasing global audience.

Michael Hayes, CRO & CMO, UberMedia

  • “2014 will be the year brands brush aside all of the jargon in mobile advertising and demand to see results. After years of being pitched mediocre data (often third party), “audiences” that are filled with outliers, and campaigns that target the wrong part of the purchase funnel, advertisers are beginning to put their foot down. As mobile budgets increase, it will be on the ad tech companies to provide value that justifies the spend, and what passed for acceptable in 2013 won’t cut it in 2014.”

Beth Keegan, Senior Vice President, Marketing Solutions, Valassis

  • “It’s not just about big data but rather how you use it. In 2014, the key to success will be the use of both online and offline data to get a 360-degree understanding of the consumer to better engage and connect with them wherever they plan, shop, buy and share. The combination of syndicated, proprietary and client data allows advertisers to optimize performance. Along the path to purchase there are more than 10 media touch points and marketers can leverage data from online and offline sources to accelerate the path to purchase. The combination of offline and online data gives advertisers the granular audience segmentation they need to identify, reach and activate consumers to ultimately drive response. While there is an abundance of big data, the key is how to turn it into actionable insights.”



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