American Marketer


3 trends to watch in the ad tech space

August 28, 2014

Jim Porçarelli is executive vice president and chief strategy officer of Active International Jim Porçarelli is executive vice president and chief strategy officer of Active International. © Matt Greenslade/


By Jim Porçarelli

The advertising industry has entered a new age in the world of rapid evolution. Years ago, quality content was what it took to stand out from the competition. But, today, ad technology has entered the fray and proven to be a disruptive force.

How companies leverage their content and reach consumers is as, if not more, important than the content itself.

As a result, marketers must now cater to consumers by delivering content to them where, when and how they demand it.

The good news is that this is all possible with the advent of new technology and the increasing availability of consumer data.

Yet, this also means that marketers must constantly remain ahead of the curve to boost their brand’s presence, consumer engagement and, ultimately, success.

So how can a marketer’s strategy best capture the advantages of today’s ad technology?

All marketing initiatives today should be grounded in technology
Take a look at each and every aspect of your marketing program and ask yourself, is there a way to optimize these processes through the use of technology and analytics?

One of the primary advantages of technology is that it allows marketers to harness the power of big data – which can be somewhat unwieldy.

Programmatic ad buying, which is the use of technology and data to automate the process of buying audience, has not even been around for two years but is already dramatically affecting marketing campaigns.

Many brands are incorporating programmatic buying into their marketing strategies, including Procter & Gamble, which recently stated that it wants to buy 70 to 75 percent of its U.S. digital media programmatically by the end of 2014.

Use multiple media platforms to reach target consumers and increase organic content sharing
U.S. consumers now spend 37 minutes a day on social media, which means that all brands should incorporate both social and traditional platforms.

Furthermore, consumers want to engage with and share content that they value with others.

Creating and implementing marketing campaigns across multiple platforms enables consumers to do this more easily.

As a result, they further spread companies’ branding messaging organically.

Starbucks has been particularly successful when it comes to boosting consumer engagement through social sharing.

The coffee shop chain’s “Tweet-a-Coffee” campaign last fall allowed consumers to give a $5 gift card by tweeting “@tweetacoffee” and a friend’s handle in the same tweet.

By that December, more than 27,000 consumers had engaged with the campaign, which generated an additional $180,000 in sales, according to research firm Keyhole. As you scale this effort, the potential exists or exponential sales results.

Also, as this growth continues, brands will be able to reach their consumers more effectively by having a presence on multiple media platforms.

Harness technology to increase customized engagement strategies
A brand’s success most often depends upon its level of consumer engagement.

Incorporating multiple media platforms into its marketing plans is one way for a marketer to achieve this. Another way is through customization.

Ad technology is increasingly focusing on delivering personalized and customized ads to consumers.

Marketers can now learn more about their consumers’ online activity and behavior and, in turn, leverage this information to more effectively target the desired audience.

Customized messaging based on this consumer data are now appearing in the form of personalized ads and videos on smartphones and tablets.

For example, Target recently launched its first digital services ad campaign earlier this summer.

A new app feature allows consumers to make shopping lists and then directs them to where in the Target store they can find each item. While still in beta testing, it is advancing rapidly.

For Target’s online shoppers, there will be more customized product recommendations and promotions with this new personalization engine.

AS TECHNOLOGY has become a part of daily business for every industry, it is critical that marketers continue to stay ahead of the curve.

With the right mindset, ad technology provides the data, the analytics and insights that can actually help us all do our job more efficiently – and even more effectively.

Jim Porçarelli is executive vice president and chief strategy officer of Active International, Pearl River, NY. Reach him at