2013: Looking forward

With 2013 upon us, I am very excited about what lies in store for Ad Dynamo, the digital marketing industry, and advertising as a whole. Here’s my view on what we can expect to see.

Less Competitors
2012 already saw many online ad networks, video ad platforms, and mobile networks either contract their operations or fade away. The market continues to become more competitive – a great thing for both publishers & advertisers: less suppliers to choose from, but those that are left standing are more credible.

More Differentiation
As agencies are starting to lean more and more towards convenience & demand side platforms for simplified media purchases, ad networks are having to differentiate themselves to get a foot in the door. Besides differentiated ad formats, different pricing models, and product differentiation, I believe that a huge differentiation will be market specialists: ad networks that understand particular geographies better than their rivals. Ad Dynamo is seeing this in Africa, as we are being trusted by large publishers and advertisers because of our intimate relationship with African and the unique challenges that the territories in this region pose.

The Year of Mobile
We’ve been hearing this for a long time, but I believe it’s about to happen. As traditionally online focused publishers begin to challenge and question their own business models, the value proposition of building large mobile audiences is becoming very appealing. Look at what Perform Group has done with Goal.com – building a virtually negligible mobile in audience in Africa to more than 200 million impressions a month in just one year.

Rich Media & Video
Video is set to have a big year as barriers to producing video content start to diminish. What out for Ad Dynamo’s own video platform, soon launching, as well as the introduction of Rich Media for Mobile. While the likes of Sprout (purchased by InMobi) show off the top end of rich media for mobile, I don’t see tailored ad units on a campaign by campaign basis being sustainable on a long term basis. Simple configuration & setup of mobile rich media ad units is essential & this is a big focus for Ad Dynamo. Rich media for mobile will further unlock the opportunities of targeting tablet only audiences & enable advertisers to take advantage of the most interactive user medium today: the tablet.

Advertising Gets Social
Social advertising has merged with traditional digital advertising. Differentiating the two is a mistake. Facebook’s introduction of the Facebook Exchange for RTB enables advertisers to use intent based targeting to audiences they have already reached outside of Facebook. Every digital advertising expert should make a point of understanding all social advertising mediums available to them – it’s a necessity to remain relevant in this rapidly evolving market.

More Tactical Activity
As booking digital media becomes progressively more streamlined, and brands and agencies start to appreciate that digital media allows them to instantly switch ad campaigns on or off, much more spend is becoming tactical. I believe this will grow in 2013 to the point where tactical, short term campaigns that are opportunistic match the budgets of the long term, strategically planned campaigns.

I’m particularly excited about how well Ad Dynamo has done to remain current & competitive.

The year ahead sees a multitude of new features being deployed in rapid succession & I’m very, very excited about 2013!

Sean Riley, CEO

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