To spare any potential readers my long-winded philosophy and reasoning that follows, I will do what I should probably do a lot more with other parts of my life and just simply state what I want to do with this blog/site:
This blog is meant to be a destination where digital advertising professionals and hobbyists can get the quick scoop on what’s happening in the ad tech space. You may read this and think, “But there are already websites that do that.” This is true, to an extent. There are plenty of websites and publications that broadcast news regarding tech and digital media, and truth-be-told I will be drawing from these sites for most of my posts, at least at the beginning. However, much of the news and editorial that the usual suspects offer are mostly mixed in with other news content, e.g. digital advertising, finance, the top 20 things you never knew about Batman from the 90s, etc. AdTech Times will be a home for short/long-form editorial, news updates, and company/leadership profiles that are specific to ad tech, i.e. the technology, capabilities, recent transactions, etc.
In short, I want to answer Austin’s question…assuming it’s about ad tech.
I will also mention my background to give this blog/site whatever sort of gravitas I can. I am currently a digital media professional working for a large advertising firm in NYC. I focus primarily on planning and activation, but also work on firm innovation and partnerships.
Now for my spiel:
Ad tech has recently become one of the more volatile sectors of business. The last decade has seen a “Moorian” display of tech evolution, much of which has revolved around or even depended on advertising. As more aspects of our lives become digitized and more data is produced, new opportunities are popping up for ad companies at an exponential rate. There is one problem: people are still trying to figure out what ad tech really means.
“Ad tech is a crazy quilt of acronyms, oblique terminology and a gazillion companies you’ve never heard of…” – Peter Kafka, AllThingsD, May 8, 2013 (full story)
The amount of companies in space is one thing, but with each player comes different targeting solutions, programmatic options, proprietary technology, specialized dashboards, specializations, distribution methods, and everything from first party data to prom party data that leaves many advertising and marketing professionals scratching their heads and scrounging for info. With a constantly evolving market comes less time to react; marketers and advertisers are often forced to execute on a trial-by-fire basis and less on proven return-on-investment statistics.
“…investors have yet to grasp [ad tech’s] intricacies and long term outlook in a way that would translate into market stability.” – Alex Kantrowitz, AdAge Digital, Nov 11, 2013 (full story)
With digital advertising investment on the rise, Madison Avenue and Silicon Valley have headed down to Wall Street for a streak of ad tech IPOs this year: Tremor Video, YuMe, RocketFuel, and Criteo to name a few. Yet, while a spike in IPOs can be a positive sign of growth, the trading floor hasn’t been so nice to these geeky newcomers: YuMe -20%, Tremor -%50, Rocketfuel -%20, Criteo -6%. to name some of the bigger names. Opinions range across the board on why this is, but one pervasive thought is that the investment and advertising communities are still unsure of what to make of the ad tech market.
“Three CEOs of the above [ad tech] companies say their top priorities are to explain to investors how their business models work.” – Jim Edwards, Business Insider, Jul 23, 2013 (full story)
So we come full circle. Ad tech will be more common place and easier to comprehend as we move forward into the digital age, and quite frankly it will have to be; “ad tech” at one point will be synonymous with “advertising.” For the time being, anyone with a financial and/or intellectual stake in ad tech wants the relevant audience to understand what ad tech is. With clarity will come investment, better technology, and ultimately a better product.
Let’s get started!