Top 2014 Advertising Trends for Publishers

In anticipation of the Digital Publishers Summit next week, I wanted to reflect back on top trends in 2014 and make some predictions on where publishers will be shifting their focus in the new year.

Evolution of video.

Video ad units are moving from TV into the digital space and marketers are beginning to look for more ways to reuse TV assets for mobile and desktop.

Publishers are making an aggressive effort to take advantage of mobile and desktop video growth, an increasing number of publishers believe that video units can bring them a competitive edge and accelerate their revenue goals. The summit will provide a lot of clarity to how publishers are executing these units within their existing environment, the kind of data they are able to collect, and client performance expectations they are facing. But ultimately, the summit will hopefully leave us all a little smarter on the strategies publishers are enabling around video ad units that will offer an excellent user experience and shift marketing budgets from TV to mobile.

Year of creative.

Through advertising technology, it is becoming increasingly easy to target and retarget the right person, in the right place, at the right time. The issue of getting in front of audience of your choice is now simplified thanks to programmatic, RTB, local, big data providers and numerous analytic players. These developments are shifting the industry’s focus back on the creative. If any ad can be well targeted and delivered, the differentiating factor is the creative. At Aarki, I see first-hand how interactive, animated and mini-game ad units attract more user interaction and higher CTR than static banners. Publishers will be looking to balance the need for excellent creative execution with capabilities to deliver the right message at the right time in the new year.

Mobile advertising is valuable and competitive.

I dare to say we are past the days when publishers were contemplating the value of creating mobile web or in-app advertising for users on the go – it’s now a fact. Remaining competitive in the space is increasingly difficult for publishers. Adding video, and native containers on mobile without interrupting user experience is a significant challenge to product teams and sales teams are eager to add these to their media kits.

Cross-screen is key.

As publishers move their properties across screens on digital with mobile apps and mobile websites, brands are exploring how to bridge their messaging across all screens. The timing is ripe and we will see even more cross-screen advertising campaigns in the next year.

Native ads live.

That’s got to be on top of the list for any content publisher, exploring ways of integrating ad units seamlessly within their content environment and storyline. Native advertising is by no means a new idea or technological breakthrough. However, in the past year, brands have pushed the envelope with new creative ideas and approaches to the perfect mix of original content and sponsored insert, receiving attention from everyone in the ad tech world and even comedians like John Oliver.

A few folks may recall that San Francisco, where the DigiPub Innovation Summit will be held, was dubbed a blue collar city a few of decades ago. Taking a tour of the city today, it is certainly difficult to believe. But in the past few years, the city redeveloped south of market and built a dozens of new skyscrapers. Today San Francisco plays host to more than 1,000 tech-related companies: from start-ups with four entrepreneurs, to corporations that employ a global workforce of more than 100,000.

Just as San Francisco saw an evolution in people and companies - I am looking to the evolution of publishers. There has certainly been a lot of change for publishers in the past few years, and they have grown stronger and smarter because of it. I’m excited to see publishers continue to grow and build more innovative advertising formats for people to find great content on the products they love without compromising the user experience. Aarki will be right there with them, evolving and innovating.

To learn more about Aarki Encore and our solutions to transform mobile mobilization with joyful creative, please reach out for a free trial or contact me directly at I’m looking forward to this year’s Digital Publisher Summit and excited to connect with publishers and peers.

Topics: Creative Insights