Programmatic: The Unstoppable Revolution

This blog reviews the programmatic market today and how it compares to other revolutionary technologies throughout history.

By David Frew, Senior Programmes Manager at IAB UK and member of the IAB Europe Programmatic Trading Committee

In the 18th century a number of innovations in the textiles industry kicked off the industrial revolution – the single biggest societal change since the discovery of fire and the domestication of animals. Textile production went from a home-based, artisanal method where quality could vary between individual producers to a standardised and efficient system. Other industries began harnessing these efficiencies and moving towards machine-powered labour and the quality of life for the general populace increased, along with life expectancy.

There have been many innovations since then that have led to booms in efficiency – the standardisation of shipping containers and automation of global trade in the 1950’s, the move to algorithmic share trading in the 1970’s revolutionising global finance, the use of sabermetric analysis that took the Boston Red Sox to victory in 2004 and changed the way baseball is played, but the one that consumes a lot of our free time these days is the Internet and programmatic trading has fundamentally changed the way that online advertising is being traded.

At this year’s dmexco conference, IAB Europe announced that the total programmatic advertising market in Europe has jumped 70.5% from €2.14bn in 2013 to €3.65bn in 2014. The full report is available here. There is absolutely no doubt now that programmatic has taken the world by storm and the same benefits and efficiencies that previous industries have seen are translating into our space.

The U.S. may have been the primary advocate of programmatic technology but the countries of Western Europe are quickly catching up and adoption in Central Europe is rising fast too with over 100% growth in 2014. IAB Europe is at the forefront of educating and explaining what this Road To Programmatic looks like and how companies from across the entire digital marketing ecosystem can set themselves straight on the path.

Put together by experts in multiple disciplines within programmatic and with a diverse range of inputs from across Europe, the Road to Programmatic white paper should be your ultimate reference guide to this revolution. Covering both the basics and the advanced topics in what could otherwise be an obtuse and unnecessarily complex area beset by acronyms and jargon, the white paper sets out to make your life simpler.

The future is definitely looking a lot more automated and there is still ample time to become an expert if the Attitudes Towards Programmatic Advertising report is to be believed as investment is set to continue increasing, regardless of market or stakeholder. This truly is a time of innovation and revolution and the best way to shape the future is to be a part of its creation.

To find out more about programmatic strategy development you can watch the IAB Europe Road to Programmatic webinar series:
Operational Considerations
Buy-Side Considerations
Sell-Side Considerations

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