A stellar year for programmatic advertising is drawing to a close and – with almost half the UK’s digital display ad spend to its name – programmatic has moved on from being a line item on the media plan to become the media plan itself. As adoption continues to escalate, what does 2016 have in store for programmatic advertising?

Programmatic will enter the real world

Programmatic has so far been the domain of commercial brands keen to reach connected consumers with highly targeted advertising, but in 2016 we will see programmatic technology being adopted for real-world purposes. There has already been much discussion around the political use of programmatic during campaigns for the 2016 U.S. presidential election, with candidates keen to grab the attention of today’s connected voters. We will inevitably see the proliferation of programmatic technology supporting real-life events, further driving the evolution of programmatic.

The fight against jargon will continue

Programmatic is often seen as a highly complex technology due to the mystifying jargon that surrounds it. From DSPs and RTB to automated guaranteed and programmatic direct, programmatic has developed a language all of its own. But this needs to change if the industry is going to move into an era where programmatic becomes an accepted and natural part of the marketing landscape. In 2016 we will see the industry working together to demystify programmatic and eradicate the complexities.

Innovation and collaboration will grow

With more businesses adopting programmatic and seeing the value that it brings, 2016 will be a year of great technological innovation and collaboration within the programmatic space. Smart technologies are continually being developed but there is currently no single solution available to solve each and every challenge. Technologies that are ecosystem friendly and have high connectivity will lead the way in innovation, and technology that allows access to specific partners wherever they are in the world will push the use case for programmatic.

The customer journey will be central

This year we have seen smartphones become the UK internet user’s device of choice – and the use of mobile will continue to rise throughout 2016. Mobile will force marketers to focus attention on the customer journey. With almost three-quarters (72%) of consumers switching between multiple devices – as well as between environments such as mobile web and in-app – cross-device identification will be a key focus for marketers looking to understand the customer journey in 2016.

Joel Remy is commercial VP, EMEA, at MediaMath

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