How do you find out how to optimize header bidding better than anyone else, before anyone else? Or find the most efficient method of A/B testing ad units and ad networks so you can lower cost per conversion month after month?
Everyone should be asking questions like these in today’s digital publishing ecosystem, but the answers can’t be found anywhere. To stay ahead in the digital advertising industry, you need access to the very best resources, to cultivate a sterling attitude and align with the right allies.
1. Track Trends
Trends are an advertising professional’s best friend. These days, it’s important to be an early adopter, and leverage trends before anyone else. Whether it’s six-second and mid-roll video ads, auto-roll in view and other disruptive and interruptive visual content, cognitive marketing and cross-channel media platforms, or switching things up internally to prepare for an even more tech-inclusive environment, staying ahead of the curve means innovating and adapting quickly to emerging trends and tracking them first.
2. Read & Learn Every Day
Part of tracking trends involves a constant dedication to learning. Reading and education can get you there.
You might plan to attend a wide range of conferences this year, keep abridge of what’s happening in the academic field, read the trade press or a mixture of all of these. Whatever your learning strategy, the pace of the industry means daily learning is now essential.
a) Blogs & Trade Journals
Some blogs are very instructive and educational. Others are vague and do little to satisfy your need for useful, actionable information. However, those blogs may be useful for sparking off ideas or uncover general areas you’d like to explore more.
Trade journals take longer to go to press, though many have articles online. However, they can be meatier and point to major trends that might have fallen through the net.
Some good blogs and trade journals to follow, if you aren’t already, include:
- Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)
You could also subscribe to our blog to keep track of the most outstanding digital advertising trends and topics.
b) Books And Courses
While print books on certain types of technologies can quickly become redundant, the most complete information can be found in books (both in print and digital formats) and courses.
Being on a course at all times means staying ahead in this industry. Often the best way to find the best courses is to find a favorite thought leader and see what they recommend. Mentors can also help you uncover training courses, events and contacts you may have overlooked. Getting involved in research to some degree can also unleash data and methods you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.
Networking could be a whole section here, but as long as you’re attending conferences, have a mentor, do a few live training courses and leverage LinkedIn and LinkedIn groups, you should be networking well.
A key recommendation for getting the most out of LinkedIn: be very selective about who you connect to. Try to connect up more than you connect down. Stay within your industry. Be friendly and reach out for simple small talk. Take care of these areas, and your feed could also easily become a valuable resource.
d) Google Alerts
If your inbox is already inundated with promotions and other content that can easily pass you by, Google Alerts can make staying ahead of the competition a lot more deliberate.
Add a Google Alert to your account for any thought leader, publication and specific topic you’d like to keep abreast of, then check your Alerts once per day to keep up.
Auditory learners are at an advantage: they only need their ears and a small device to take in huge amounts of information, though a notepad or note taking app might come in handy to take down poignant points.
Podcasts can also be consumed during downtime. Why not enjoy a regular podcast while having a rest?
f) Industry Forums & Mastermind Groups
Forum mining can work very well for research into your target audience, but professional forums and mastermind groups can also prevent us from trying to reinvent the wheel and allow us to keep an eye on our competitors.
Fellowships like the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), publications like The Drum, and organizations like Mirren can all keep you in the know and get you into the right forums, groups, and events to give you that edge.
3. Keep An Eye On Competitors
It’s easy to focus on our own business and development that you forget to keep your finger on the pulse when it comes to your competitors. Setting up a Google Alert for all of your main competitors can stop this from happening. But it’s also nice to browse their homepage once in a while and take a peek at their client’s ads, without getting too carried away.
4. AR And AI
If Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) aren’t on your radar by now and you’re not implementing them, now is the time to get started!
AR lets you reach out to consumers in new interactive ways, and it’s catching on at high speed. AR is essential when working with clients targeting millennials, who are set to adopt AR immediately to great effect. AR also has the benefit of being able to make your ads hyperlocal, more emotional, boosting sales, most cost-effective and increasingly relevant.
But nowadays, getting started with AI is even more critical than AR now to staying ahead. The future of advertising is AI or die, claims Kerry Liu on VentureBeat, and she couldn’t be more right.
AI brings you better data with less waste, allows you to forecast spikes in sales and demand as well as identify trends first, prevent inventory blunders and simply be more relevant at scale, more conversational, and much more efficient. I mean, who wants to look like they’re being left behind?
Adext’s Audience Management as a Service (AMaaS) is the tool that can give you that edge. It uses machine learning to find the best audience for any ad, automatically managing and optimizing budgets, every single hour, across 20 demographic groups per ad, in 3 different platforms and the best, it guarantees to improve your cost per conversion... risk-free.
And, if you prefer to understand in more detail how the world’s first AMaaS provides such transparent, symbiotic artificial intelligence automation for media buyers, review the following guide:
You could also check some case studies and testimonials from our current partners here.