Before DMEXCO 2018, which is arguably the most important digital advertising trade show, the industry was divided.
In one camp, there were those who talked about things like virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence. They used popular buzzwords and tried to present the most promising innovations of the future. In the other camp were those who are critical of the current state of digital marketing. They believe that, despite the innovations, nothing has been done about the inherent weaknesses in the industry.
They favor a reflection on how we can return to the roots of good marketing. They believe that the user must be put back into the focus of all activities.
“More intelligent, deeper, more transparent” should be the mantra for marketers and tech providers. We should be striving towards smarter tools, deeper relationships with customers based on a good user experience, and higher levels of transparency in the measurement and analytics of target-oriented KPIs.
We at Outbrain also believe that sustainable marketing is only possible with a great user experience, better tech solutions, and relevant content.
As a tech provider, we are also tasked with providing marketers with the right tools for this approach. That’s why our DMEXCO presence this year ran under the banner “Smart Native”. Our solutions include Smartfeed, Video, In-Feed, and Programmatic.
Smart innovations to improve the user experience
Smartfeed is the most important building block for publishers to improve the user experience for their readers, and it is also beneficial for marketers.
Smartfeed brings the popular social feed experience to the article pages of premium publisher websites. Users can scroll through the feed and choose from a variety of interesting recommendations. These may be editorial articles, videos, product offers or branded content marketing pieces.
The first integrations of the Smartfeed have already demonstrated that we are on the right track. Click rates have increased significantly, and users like to spend more time with our recommendations. This is also due to the high-quality content of our publishers and advertisers.
In recent years, we have also seen many innovations in video advertising, but these have never focused on the user. It was always about transferring ideas from linear television to the digital world and placing ads between users and the content they choose.
In a well-attended seminar at DMEXCO, Daniel Holm from Outbrain asked if this is really the way a brand wants to be seen. Digital can do so much more than linear TV. That’s why we’ve developed Outbrain FOCUS, a click-to-watch solution that lets users make their own ad choices.
Branded players and CTAs ensure that engagement also takes place after the video has been viewed. In addition, Daniel gave an outlook on interactive videos that further leverage the potential of an active user.
Extending Outbrain technology to other channels
In-Feed and Programmatic were also very popular topics at our DMEXCO booth. With the integration of Machine Learning and Zemanta, we bring more intelligence to both areas.
Our In-Feed placements are ideal for brand awareness campaigns, but they also apply the same targeting technology, which is based on interests that marketers know from Amplify.
We are also pioneers in the programmatic field. Our Native-DSP Zemanta optimizes on engagement and also ensures the connection to the Outbrain Extended Network (OEN), which continues to grow one year after launch and works better and better for many advertisers.
All innovations work towards the common goal of making advertising “smart” again.
A better user experience, intelligent distribution of recommendations via different channels and uninterrupted video advertising will contribute to making advertisements relevant again.
This is also our conclusion for DMEXCO 2018: Technology providers, publishers, and marketers must work together to inspire users once again, and to offer the best user experience.