PROG IO - In Review


PROG IO - In Review

Written by: Stefanie Beach, Founder & CEO


A week after the dust settled, as I review my notes and make new connections from the conference I realized that while our industry has come so far we are still very concerned with the same topics.


Here is a quick recap of what I learned, what people care about and what we should expect for 2019 by attending Programmatic IO.

  • Fraud & Blockchain - Fraud is still very much a "hot topic". Waste of ad dollars, lack of control and unauthorized reselling of inventory are all still real issues that leave us scrambling for new solutions. Blockchain seems to be the next big thing that will help create an honest auction and truly combat against fraud while improving transparency. The only issue here is that not one person I spoke to really knew how this Blockchain was going to make that happen. There are a lot of hopeful believers waiting for Blockchain to be the answer they've been waiting for. However, there are still a lot of skeptics that feel Blockchain is too slow, there isn't a real solution for programmatic yet so therefore it doesn't really exist, and the seeing is believing that also leaves me questioning how this all works. I guess we will have to wait and see on this one. 
  • Video - Video is still growing. More so on mobile, but it is still a big revenue driver and in high demand. I don't think we will see video slow down any time soon.
  • CTV - I don't think it's any surprise that CTV was a hot topic this year. Programmatic IO had a CTV specific track to take a deep dive into its trends and growth. Bottom line, CTV is similar to how mobile was 8 or so years ago. Right now it’s a huge want, good performance, steady growth but limited data, insight and measurement. This is definitely a trend that is here to stay and continue to develop.
  • Artificial Intelligence - Is all around us and used for many different things. While artificial intelligence is important, needed and ever growing, there is still and always will be a need for human interaction and expertise. We need humans to tell the computers what to do and fix them when they break.
  • Data & Privacy - The trust has been broken between publishers & advertisers and the consumer/users. We need to fix that as an industry. Ensuring that while user data is essential to relevant and efficient advertising or monetization we need to keep in mind that behind that anonymized data there is a real person who isn't as savvy as to how this all works. The industry seems to be on the right path and taking proper precaution in putting the user first, implementing stricter guidelines and requirements that should help alleviate the users concern. However, what does that mean for how we collect, store, segment and target data? A few months after GDPR we are doing ok, but what about what comes next?   
  • Relationship Development & User Experience - As previously mentioned, humans aren't going anywhere. Relationships are more important then ever in advertising. Developing that trust and understanding of a client still takes time and has value. Ensuring that the customer/user is always top of mind is essential to success and keeping a successful strategy ongoing.


All in all I think we are in a good place. There of course will always be some drama, but we also need to keep things interesting right?  Bottom line is programmatic is still growing.  Many times throughout the 2 day conference, speakers, presenters and guests had mentioned that programmatic will soon no longer be a word. Just a way we transact digital media. Innovation is still at its forefront with CTV being our next big thing!

Stefanie is the founder and CEO of SMB Media Consulting. Being in digital advertising since 2006 and working on the buy and sell side of the business has given her a unique approach to clients business. She lives in the Bronx with her wonderful husband Nick and 6 year old daughter Audrey.