Every year, the advertising world is shaken by a global online gathering of marketing professionals — the Ad World online conference.

This March, the 2-day event brought together 50k+ participants from almost every country worldwide. Leading experts, marketers, and entrepreneurs from around the world gathered to share their insights, discuss trends, and showcase the latest technologies and tools in the advertising ecosystem.

SmartyAds team joined Ad World to introduce our DSP to the world of media buyers who want to streamline their ad space purchasing and campaign optimization. We also attended the conference to hear the opinions of other leaders on what to expect, plan, strive for, and dream about in ad tech for the next few years.

After attending sessions filled with valuable information covering topics ranging from AI in advertising to creative strategy and optimization, our team has gained powerful insights that we are willing to share with you today.

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AI in adtech is gaining momentum

Seth Godin, a bestselling author for groundbreaking literary works in marketing, delivered one of the first and, undoubtedly, iconic talks.

Seth insisted that a number 1 task for any marketer in the era of ChatGPT is to learn everything about this powerful AI tool before getting to any routine tasks at the office.

Indeed, in 2023, ChatGPT can assist marketers in various ways by generating creative and engaging content, providing insights on target audiences, and automating certain marketing tasks.

For example, ChatGPT can help to create personalized product descriptions, social media posts, and advertising campaigns. It can also analyze consumer behavior and preferences and offer suggestions for improving ad strategies.

By automating a giant pile of tasks, ChatGPT enables brands to save time and resources while allowing them to focus on more strategic initiatives. Very soon, ChatGPT can revolutionize ad tech as it provides solid advice on targeting options, ad formats, and budget allocation.

Aside from ChatGPT, one can imagine many examples of AI applications in advertising, for example tools for designing and illustrating (Midjourney and other design tools). There is also AI inbuilt into the decision-making algorithm on programmatic platforms that help advertisers to optimize ad budgets and distribute them wisely.

In the future, such AI algorithms will most likely be integrated directly into advertising platforms, thanks to which advertisers can craft and tailor the ad creatives right on the platforms. Plus, such optimization will involve different aspects of ad campaign management, including creative designing, troubleshooting, and customer care.

Timely feedback in marketing can’t be underestimated

Another valuable piece of advice by Seth Godin was about constructive feedback, which is crucial to any marketing activity, from creative strategy to campaign launch. “In order to make progress, we need to provide a dose of healthy criticism to work itself and not the worker”, Seth proclaimed.

Companies use many quality improvement frameworks, each with its own unique approach and methodology. One of them is a customer-focused approach to quality improvement that emphasizes employee involvement and customer satisfaction. However, constructive feedback inside the team is no less important.

Marketers can create a positive and productive work environment where ideas can be shared openly, evaluated, and improved. Constructive feedback helps to build trust between team members, promotes personal and professional growth, and enables individuals to take ownership of their work and make meaningful contributions to the team.

It's also important to note that constructive feedback should be specific, actionable, and delivered respectfully and professionally. Feedback should focus on identifying areas for improvement, offering suggestions for addressing those areas, and highlighting what is done correctly and according to the best standards.

Campaign performance depends on creatives a lot

Antonis Kocheilas, Global CEO at Ogilvy, led a one-of-a-kind session that struck us deeply. His team at the agency, with Antonis Kocheilas at the steering wheel, illuminates the path in the advertising industry jungles.

We found another proof that the role of the creative in the campaign’s overall success can be tremendous.

In fact, according to stats, over 75% of campaign success can be determined by the ad creative. We are in the era of user attention deficit, so a decent visual is the main hook that lures the audience to click on the ad.

“For this reason, advertising has to be consistent but also cohesive”, Antonis stated. He explained further that cohesiveness means similar intent throughout all marketing activities.

How cool is that? Cohesiveness, a linguistic term, applies to advertising like it’s always supposed to be there! In other words, the brand’s purpose and core valuable message should be presented and easily understood by the viewer in every advertising activity.

It should be cohesive and consistent, with a brand finding a special place in its customer’s life. It's also important to remember that your audience is not homogenous in their thinking, behavior, problems, and goals. For instance, various age groups may favor distinct communication styles and diverse genders often have varying preferences for social media platforms and communication channels.

For this reason, brands need to keep their finger on the pulse — discover who their audiences are, what they want, and where they spend their time most.

Speaking of the most trending channels, over the past few years, the popularity of CTV (connected TV) has grown tremendously since CTV allows advertisers to reach audiences in a more targeted and measurable way than traditional TV advertising. More so, CTV interactive formats enable advertisers to deliver more meaningful, engaging, and immersive ad experiences.

Additionally, brands started to invest their budgets into audio programmatic as this medium matured — audio ads are 49% more memorable than radio ads and 36% more memorable than linear TV ads. In the era of podcasts, hands-free ad experiences will be highly sought-after among brands.

Another relatively new but increasingly popular advertising channel this year is DOOH.

Thanks to programmatic, the digital billboards we normally see on the streets received added support for targeting and interactivity.

Educational value as the indirect way of upscaling sales

Educating your audience can be a highly effective strategy when promoting a product. Think about it — when people understand the value and benefits of a product, they're much more likely to buy it. By educating your audience, you're essentially giving them a reason to buy from you.

With this, you're also building trust, credibility, and authority as an expert. When people see that you're knowledgeable about the product and can answer their questions, they'll be more likely to trust you and your brand. This can lead to more sales and even word-of-mouth referrals.

As an expert in the field, you can host webinars or live events that teach businesses how to use your product effectively. This is a great way to provide in-depth training and answer your audience's questions in real time. Plus, it can be a great way to build relationships with potential customers and show them you're invested in their success.

Optimization is not scary anymore

The siloed landscape of analytical tools and the absence of experience can make campaign optimization for performance-based KPIs look like a daunting task. Why? Because you need to know where to look for, how to measure ad campaign results, and where to apply your efforts.

Optimization is no longer confusing or time-consuming in the era of automated technologies and programmatic advertising. Normally it is done with reliable AI tech and a transparent measurement & attribution tool set.

For starters, programmatic ad platforms like SmartyAds DSP have automatic reporting that helps advertisers to measure campaign results in real time and readjust the campaign settings timely when needed.

Apart from this, automatic optimization tools and features also analyze and improve media buying on the go without human intervention. Thus, for instance, the algorithms can automatically adjust the creative size to the right dimensions to let it fit as many suitable ad placements as possible (read more about creative autoresize on SmartyAds DSP). CTR (click-through rate) is a metric that can directly influence conversions; thus, it is important to augment it, on SmartyAds DSP advertisers have a click booster feature for it.

Likewise, the platform can adjust the bid price for advertisers so that they win more ad impressions and gain a better reach while keeping the bid amount optimal to avoid overpaying (read more about adaptive CPM on SmartyAds DSP).

Programmatic platforms typically have various optimization tools to help advertisers achieve their campaign goals. Lately, programmatic optimization has been growing its wings with more AI-powered optimization tools and a rigorous campaign performance reporting stack. That’s why optimization is not scary anymore; with a programmatic platform, it can be streamlined, automated, and ultimately efficient.

The last word

The Ad World 2023 conference featured exceptional speakers who shared valuable insights and lessons about the complexities of digital advertising. If we were to distill one key takeaway from the Ad World 2023, it would be that consumer tastes, preferences, and the technological landscape are very dynamic. They are constantly evolving, opening new opportunities for advertisers, so they should keep their fingers on the pulse to stay ahead of the curve.

We returned home feeling inspired and motivated to apply our new knowledge and insights to help our customers reach the best possible advertising outcomes. For sure, we are already looking forward to attending next year's conference and continuing our journey of learning, growth, and improvement.

Register at SmartyAds DSP today to future-proof your advertising strategy tomorrow.

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