In the 90octane Audience Engagement Team’s first two installments of this trends series, we examined search and social media. In this final installment, we turn to paid media. Every aspect of audience engagement is shifting constantly, and media ads are no exception. Read on to learn what to expect as the year progresses and how to use it to your advantage.


Expanded Programmatic Advertising & More Private Marketplace Deals: Programmatic advertising, the practice of buying digital advertising using software, will grow 31 percent in 2017 – faster than all other digital media channels. Programmatic was the main method of trading digital display in 2016, comprising 51 percent of expenditure, and will rise to 58 percent this year.

Looking ahead, Private Marketplace Deal (PMP) spend is projected to surpass Real Time Bidding (RTB) next year, according to Zenith. PMP deals give advertisers exclusive access to premium publisher inventory that can be bought programmatically. PMPs are a win-win, giving advertisers private access to quality programmatic inventory, and allowing publishers a more efficient way to monetize their content.

Wide-Scale Use of Dynamic Creative: The use of dynamic creative optimization allows advertisers to increasingly find new ways to customize the message to the user, while also optimizing based on trends across different varieties of creative. Dynamic creative uses data to customize imagery and messaging in creative assets. For example, if you looked at a backpack on The North Face website, You can later be retargeted with a banner that has a picture of the exact backpack you viewed.  Through the use of dynamic creative optimization, an advertiser can test and manipulate copy, imagery, and calls-to-action to deliver personalized messages to different audiences based on geographic data or IP address. They can also simultaneously optimize to ensure that they’re using the highest-performing creative elements. Because of the many moving parts, DCO tends to make sense for campaigns with a large amount of impressions over a significant time period.

The Evolution of Ad Format: Since the Interactive Advertising Bureau helped to establish standardization of display ads, media planners have been asking “what’s next?” for display advertising. Standard size banners (160×600, 300×250, 728×90, etc.) helped publishers to monetize their inventory at scale, but now advertisers are looking for more innovative ways to deliver their messages and capture the attention of their audiences.

Rich media units have helped advertisers tell their stories in more impactful formats, though these units can be seen as intrusive by users intent on reaching the content they came for. This brings us to native advertising, which is taking off. When done well, native advertising can place an advertiser’s message in front of their target consumers in a format that matches the content those consumers are already consuming on a publisher’s site. This year, we’re anticipating a significant shift in media dollars from standard display banners to native ad units. Which makes sense.

Questions as you navigate the 2017 media landscape? Contact us.  

Every aspect of audience engagement is shifting constantly, and media ads are no exception.

About the Author

Kellie Felsten

Media Supervisor

Kellie strives to help clients meet their marketing goals using a data-driven approach to media planning and buying across a variety of industries, including travel, healthcare, telecom and more.