Making the most of a digital revolution

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Sydney-based Stephanie Famolaro from advertising technology company The Trade Desk, who delivered a keynote at last month’s programmatic summit in Auckland, wrote this thought piece specially for M+AD readers:

By 2020 the number of connected devices in the world is expected to skyrocket to 50 billion – or roughly eight devices for every person on the planet, according to IBM.

This growth in connectivity is such a profound development that Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, has declared it a “fourth industrial revolution”. 

As we enter the era of the ‘Internet of Things’, 5G will enable computers and automation to come together in unprecedented ways. New technologies will connect our biological, physical, and digital worlds. As the pace of this digital transformation accelerates, businesses looking to secure their competitive advantage need to adapt quickly. 

Nowhere is this more evident than in the advertising industry, where high levels of connectivity have already placed big data at the fingertips of agencies everywhere. Agencies that don’t activate that data to drive innovation and productivity at scale will be left in the dust, surpassed by those with the agility to adapt to this digitally-driven world.


“Agencies that don’t activate that data to drive innovation and productivity at scale will be left in the dust.”

With the help of APIs to access real-time data from external signals, agencies have a golden opportunity to enhance the capabilities of their own intellectual property. They can combine their own data sets with external information like weather or traffic data, fuel prices, or outcomes from sporting events to create unique, high-value advertising strategies for clients.

For example, the OMD Programmatic team in New Zealand has launched a first-to-market opportunity where bid adjustments are made in The Trade Desk platform based on real-time external pollen data in various geolocations around New Zealand.

The good news is that New Zealand agencies are in many ways leading the charge when it comes to harnessing the growing power of connectivity. Not only are they early adopters of new engagement channels but they’re also often more agile and willing to try innovative approaches to reaching connected audiences with relevant content.

It’s these agile agencies, the ones willing to build custom algorithms and enhance their platform usage, that will thrive in this new era. By adapting to the increasingly interconnected world, they’re giving their clients the gift of competitive advantage – something every business owner has sought since the first industrial revolution.


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