Revelations From the 2015 HIMSS Conference

4370251113_b1fbf967d6_oThe top discussion topics from this week’s Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) stemmed mainly from the results of the 26th Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey, released at the conference.

Key findings from the study all seem to be pointing toward the same conclusion: the field of healthcare technology has come a long way in its short duration, but has yet to overcome several important challenges.

Of course, this is not unexpected; every nascent industry has its growing pains, but a key finding from the study—that a mere 38 percent of U.S. hospitals and health systems surveyed “indicated that population health tools were in place in their organization”—makes it clear that the pressure is on both the healthcare and technology players involved to collaborate to answer the demands of the market.

Unfortunately, the survey also indicated that electronic medical record (EMR) data sharing between disparate vendor platforms, geographically dispersed facilities and unassociated medical institutions remains at a virtual standstill despite billions invested in the development of technology for their use.

Conference speakers laid blame for the lack of interoperability between vendors at the feet of the vendors themselves, claiming that they purposefully block sharing in order to corner their respective markets. This may make those vendors money in the short term, but it will ultimately stunt and slow the growth of the industry over the long-term.

The news from the conference was not all dire, however. As we’ve discussed here before, mobile technology is an important area of growth for healthcare IT, and results of the 2015 HIMSS Mobile Technology Survey revealed that healthcare organizations are widely beginning to deploy mobile health technologies with the aim of engaging patients within their organizations. In fact, 90 percent of respondents are currently doing so. More than 70 percent of provider employee participants utilize app-enabled portals to engage patients and cut costs, which 36 percent believe to be the most effective patient engagement tool.

Though 51 percent of respondents reported that their organization was able to leverage technology to coordinate or impact patient care in at least one of the areas provided in the study, only 18 percent indicated their mobile technology environment was “highly mature.” With the current rate of investment in mobile IT, however, I expect that percentage will be significantly higher in next year’s survey.

And speaking of investment, perhaps the most inspiring part of the conference is the pitch competition during the Venture+ Forum, in which 15 vetted companies gave three-minute presentations with the aim of securing investors. TowerView Health, a Philadelphia-based company whose pre-filled smart pillboxes alert patients when they forget to take doses, won first place. TeleHealthRobotics, a Chicago-based startup that provides Tele-Robotic Ultrasound for Distance Imaging kiosks through which off-site physicians administer ultrasounds and Medivizor, a subscription service that provides personalized health information and updates to patients, tied for second place.

Though, overall, the takeaway from this year’s event is that there is still a ways to go before healthcare IT is mature enough to become standard across the healthcare system, if innovations like those showcased are anything to judge by, the talent and vision needed to make it happen is there in spades.

Image via opensource.com

Can Technology Help Make Human Resources More Human?

14066870366_9c86de9151_oIt might seem odd to suggest that making greater use of technology can actually help Human Resources departments maintain better real-life connections with employees, but emerging tools are changing the HR/recruitment landscape significantly and “rebranding” HR’s reputation for being out of touch.

Global employer branding firm Universum recently released its third annual report of more than 2000 CEOS and senior HR executives worldwide, gauging their opinions and priorities when it comes to talent recruitment and employer branding.

“In the last five years, incredible advances in technology have allowed C-level executives, talent managers and HR to build more nuanced profiles of prospective candidates and current employees than ever before,” the report stated.

Employers and talent recruiters in a crowded hiring market, in order to hone in on the most ideal candidates, are seeking beyond basic work experience and degree requirements to determine less quantifiable but no less important personality factors.

“Nowadays, short, inexpensive surveys can assess qualities like creativity, patience, persistence and problem-solving. Some companies even use online games to test skills and fit,” the report continued.

By leveraging a steady stream of employee data, employers, HR departments and team leaders can monitor quantifiable performance stats but also maintain an open dialogue with employees regarding the more human aspects—brainstorming new ideas, improving team dynamics, handling any issues that arise, etc.

Technology exists to help bridge the gap, however real or perceived it might be, between the “average” employee and the management echelon, yet many companies don’t utilize HR tech to its potential.

A March 2015 report from Deloitte states, “despite a steady increase in spending on human resources technology, HR performance received borderline failure or barely passing grades in a leading study of talent, leadership and HR challenges around the world.”

However, a few tech-savvy brands are leveraging technology at the enterprise level down through the department level to maintain an ongoing dialogue with employees rather than relying on the traditional annual or bi-annual review process. This has allowed companies to essentially remove employee data from its silo in HR and empower team leaders to actively monitor their direct reports’ engagement and productivity.

A recent article in Fortune Magazine notes that, in addition to performance management, tasks like goal setting, training, surveying and hiring are also being handled with this data-driven approach.

Marcus Buckingham, founder of TMBC, told Fortune he believes that this enables HR departments to be tuned into their employees on an individual and macro level like never before because they finally have access to real-time, reliable people data.

It’s similar, in a way, to how data has revolutionized the marketing industry by taking data that was once available only on either end of the sales funnel (and therefore stale by the time it was usable) and redistributing it throughout the funnel so that brands can leverage fresh data to engage consumers at every step.

With new project management and business infrastructure technologies as the foundation, companies are able to take Human Resources out of its locked box, make employee data more widely and regularly available throughout the management structure, and engage with employees at every stage of a project, an objective and ideally, their entire careers.

Image via Flazingo Photos

The State of Programmatic in 2015: New Benefits and Ongoing Challenges

2582615161_9df88c2bb8_oFor the last few years, programmatic media buying—the use of technology and data to automate the media buying and ad targeting process—has been helping marketers expand the reach and scale of their campaigns without sacrificing targeting accuracy. The growth of programmatic has been on a steep upward trend—US advertisers will spend $14.88 billion on programmatic display advertising, a 47.9 percent increase over the previous year, according to a recent eMarketer report.

As Ben Plomion writes in LBBOnline.com, video capabilities, premium inventory and the availability of viewability metrics have been the primary drivers of that growth, not to mention the improvements in ROI and waste reduction that programmatic can provide. However, that is not to say that the road to widespread adoption of programmatic has been free of obstacles, or that all of those obstacles have been overcome.

Programmatic is, after all, a nascent technology, relatively speaking, and it still suffers from a lack of trust, in both the quality of the inventory and the platform’s ability to accurately target and measure audiences. Though the benefits of programmatic are many, those trust issues are not entirely unfounded. As Lauren Moores notes in a recent iMedia Connection article, fragmentation of data and devices has made it difficult to track consumers as they move between devices and channels, which results in programmatic platforms running on incomplete and inaccurate audience insights.

According to Ad Age, the inherent “fuzziness” in the pricing schemes for programmatic platforms is also a major stumbling block for advertisers who might be wary of jumping on the bandwagon:

“When media-agency networks secure digital inventory using programmatic platforms and use it for clients’ campaigns, for example, those clients often have no idea how much the ads cost in the first place. They just know what they are billed.” 

Ad Age mentions that marketers may not be interested in the pricing of their inventory. Rather, they weigh return against the total investment, but, in some cases reported by agency auditors, markup on programmatic inventory has been as high as 400 percent. That is cost that certainly can add up, and it’s in marketers’ best interests to have as much transparency as possible into their ad inventory both for content monitoring purposes and to ensure they are getting their money’s worth.

So what is the impact of all of this on the B2B market?

The short answer is: better targeting and better measurement. The slightly longer answer is that programmatic has allowed B2B marketers to target key audiences across channels with relevant messaging, using sophisticated data analytics to derive insight into purchasing patterns, needs and intent. And, as Choozle CEO Andrew Fischer told Business2Community, “today’s programmatic solutions enable B2B marketers to test and evaluate multiple digital channels at a scale and with an efficiency that’s simply never been available.”

Many industry insiders agree that 2015 is poised to be a game changing year for programmatic, as transparency increases and premium inventory becomes more available, and more brands adopt programmatic platforms. Not to mention, innovations and new technologies are emerging from every corner of the industry and all over the globe.

An interesting point about programmatic innovation on a global scale is how the size and scope of a market can impact its ability to innovate and effect change. In a recent article for The Drum, Marco Bertozzi, VivaKi’s president of global clients, compared his experiences in the U.S. and European programmatic markets. He notes that the sheer scale and complexity of the U.S. market has meant that big budget advertisers and their agencies have been focusing on how programmatic can enable targeted messaging on a massive scale. Those budgets have driven innovation, research and testing on a macro level that has shaped how U.S. advertisers use programmatic technology.

On the other hand, the European market comprises more small-medium advertisers with budgets that may be smaller, but Bertozzi believes that very fact actually drives more strategic innovation that enables EMEA advertisers to optimize at the campaign-level and make the most of their programmatic investment. He also points out that a smaller market is a more agile market, and that the digital advertising ecosystem in Europe and the UK has been able to implement industrywide changes to technology standards and best practices much faster than the U.S..

What’s clear at this point in the evolution of programmatic is that advertisers on both sides of the pond are increasingly realizing the benefits and promise of programmatic technology and are demanding continued innovation to meet their specific needs, so we shouldn’t expect the pace of growth to slow down anytime soon. With digital technology’s best brains from multiple continents on the job, we should expect exciting new developments in this and the coming years. In fact, Bertozzi sums up both the vibrant current state and the promising future of programmatic thusly:

“One continent awe-inspiring in scale and opportunity. One continent agile and swift. Operating in parallel? Formidable.”

Image via Михаил Чуркин

Where Healthcare and Technology Intersect

laptop and stethoscopeIn the last several years, as healthcare costs have skyrocketed and the political debate about healthcare legislation has grown more heated, Americans have begun to take a much more active role in the management of their own health. No longer does personal healthcare mean annual checkups and daily vitamins; now, consumers are taking any number of proactive steps to maintain their health, from diet and workout trends to holistic care, and they are taking advantage of emerging technology to do it.

Wearables such as fitness bands, smart watches and digital glasses are the shiniest new examples of healthcare technology, but this space is most certainly still in its infancy. Beyond self-care applications such as weight loss and sleep analysis, many advances are being made in wearables that can aid both patients and physicians to monitor and treat more serious health concerns. New digital hearing aids, blood pressure monitors, prosthetics and other medical devices are being driven by constant innovation and significant ongoing demand from the market, which has resulted in digital solutions that have enabled better research into emerging treatment fields like gene therapy and neuroscience.

Wearables are most often linked to smartphone apps, especially those meant for patient self-care, especially since apps are going to continue to play a significant role for both patients and healthcare providers. As Huffington Post contributor Lisa Serwin points out, apps, as well as phone features like audio and HD video, will enable patients to receive remote care such as screenings, diagnostics and consultations via their mobile devices. This could reduce strain on physicians’ time and attention, as well as healthcare costs at the patient and insurer levels.

Innovation in digital healthcare can also help open up opportunities in new and developing markets. PM Live notes that the global healthcare ecosystem is constantly challenged by factors such as aging populations and chronic diseases, and providers are always seeking new revenue streams and ways to increase efficiencies without sacrificing patient care.

Technologies like mobile phones have already made an impact on the ability of patients to receive preventative care and information and examinations via video in India, creating new opportunities in this and other global markets. Handheld devices and digitized patient information databases have also improved doctors’ ability to treat patients more efficiently and effectively.

In terms of improved patient care and advancements in medical research and treatment of disease, we’re at an exciting period in the evolution of healthcare, and the opportunities are there for healthcare marketers as well. Sarah Swidron, contributor for Medical Marketing and Media, notes that healthcare marketers can make up for decreasing face time with doctors by engaging with them via mobile devices and digital apps.

Whether marketing to patients or physicians, one thing is true: data is the key to engaging audiences that have been slower to adopt technology for this application and who may be wary of the privacy implications. Data should be used as it is in any other space – to find target audiences no matter the device they are using and to serve them relevant, compelling messaging at the point most likely to drive a sale.

A recent Pew study found that 71 percent of physicians use Google to look for health information, and many report using their mobile devices and tablets to access drug information, use clinical reference tools and conduct research. For healthcare marketers, this is as close to a captive audience as they’re likely to get during a doctor’s busy workday, so it is imperative that they use timely, high quality intent data to guide customized ad strategies that will capture their attention.

It might be weight loss, or disease treatment, or chronic condition management, the cost of healthcare or the legislation of it, but healthcare is a topic on the minds of many adults. Technology has become not only a tool of the trade, but a driver of its evolution as well. Technology has enabled better patient care in general, but it has also enabled deeper research and created opportunities for healthcare marketers throughout the landscape.

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The Real Deal With Data

6536548107_85bc523bac_oThe digital marketing industry has a love/hate relationship with data; we know data is the lifeblood of our ad targeting efforts, but often, the Herculean task of gathering the right data, parsing it and turning it into actionable insight can be a major struggle for marketers. Not to mention it’s hard for those who are floundering to cut through the noise to get trustworthy, accurate information about what data they need to use, how they need to use it, which platforms to use, etc. when everyone is just trying to sell their solutions.

As GigaOM notes, we as an industry have tended to jump back and forth between placing emphasis on the platforms and technology we use to manage data and the data itself—is it the right data? Is it accurate? Is it complete? Is it trustworthy? The proliferation of both data and platforms doesn’t make it easy to figure out the right mix for your company’s specific needs. Many ISPs have begun to bundle various data sources together in the tools + data approach, which wraps both elements into a single, integrated solution. The major data providers like Adobe, Oracle and Nielsen are exploring this area by acquiring (or partnering with) and integrating various platforms to offer a one-stop-shop DMP. In fact, Adobe recently announced a lineup of several partnerships across industry disciplines with the aim of building out a comprehensive network of integrated, data-driven marketing services.

This move by one of the biggest data sources worldwide has various implications for the industry, both positive and negative. On the positive side, DMPs have proven effective as the link between marketers and third party data, and a fully integrated network can extend those benefits to multiple channels and applications. With no middleman between the data and the delivery platform, marketers can reduce the time between the acquisition of data and the action taken upon it.

However, this also limits marketers from relying solely on a single (albeit large) data source, and further, makes marketers beholden to that partner, as there is no competition to keep pricing in check. We’re often frustrated by the cluttered LUMAscape, but too much market consolidation could also have serious impact on the overall market, similar to what we’re seeing in the cable TV provider space.

63.2 percent of respondents to a recent Global DMA and Winterberry Group survey say their spending on data-driven marketing and advertising grew over the last year; 73.5 percent say they expect budgets to rise again over the next year. The vast majority of marketers know data is the foundation of what they do and are devoting budget accordingly, but just as much consideration should be given to finding a platform capable of analyzing data and making it work for your own needs. In this instance, bigger is not always better.

Image via Dennis Skley

Healthcare Technology Making New Strides in 2015

3904957361_cf4d931c1a_oFor most of us in the marketing and ad-tech space, the only thing resting on the performance of our technology is revenue, but healthcare technology, on the other hand, has the health, safety and sometimes the life itself of actual humans at stake. As such, the growth of that space and the development of new technologies are much slower, as it is held to the highest standards of performance and reliability as well as subject to various regulations and oversight.

However, recent legislation like the federal HITECH Act and the Affordable Care Act have put the healthcare industry’s feet to the fire to develop solutions to help providers comply with these acts and provide a higher level of care. Luckily, broad adoption of healthcare information technology is expected to save as much as $80 billion annually, according to the Rand Corporation, as well as generate new revenue streams through personal health technology and all of its accouterment, MediaPost reported.

People in general have become far more aware of and engaged in their own health and are using technology such as nutritional apps, online patient portals and wearables to gain greater control. Additionally, the ACA also caused patients to take a more active role in researching and selecting their health insurance plans, and both insurers and doctors have had to both comply with the act and meet higher demands from patients.

As such, industry pundits and publications are all saying the same thing: that 2015 will be a game changer year in healthcare technology.

Devin Gross, CEO, and Greg Blew, Chief Creative Officer and VP of Product Management, at Emmi Solutions told MedCityNews that they expect 2015 to be the year when healthcare providers begin to effectively leverage data at scale to establish lifelong relationships with patients. They admit that there will always be a transition period wherein patients must become comfortable with the sharing of data in this context, and providers must also actively participate in relationship building instead of relying on data and technology to do all the work. They must also ensure that, as they ramp up their data gathering and use, that platforms and practices are compliant with HIPAA regulation and patients’ privacy demands.

Obviously, data security is of the utmost importance to both patients and healthcare providers who must comply with HIPAA. Jennifer Anderson, executive director of the North Carolina Healthcare Information & Communications Alliance, told Enterprise Apps Today that security and privacy are at the forefront of every healthcare CIO’s mind. With the Anthem breach reportedly affecting 80 million individuals, estimates of cost in the billions and the massive amounts of data that will be stored by health organizations, health providers will be investigating sophisticated technologies to mitigate risk,” she said.

Being a healthcare provider in the age of big data is a daunting challenge. Yes, data and technology can enable them to provide better patient care but it also exposes them to greater risk of HIPAA noncompliance and patient lawsuits over unsecured or leaked personal data. IT breaches like Anthem have caused independent physicians to actually reconsider whether or not they are still equipped to operate on their own in this environment or if they should join up with a larger healthcare conglomerate for the benefits of their safety net, according to TechTarget. This indicates that increasing technology, and the regulation that goes along with it, will have a major impact on the healthcare market – leading to mergers, acquisitions and unfortunately, probably a few bankruptcies as the market evolves.

Ultimately, due diligence and a smart approach to choosing technology partners—ask colleagues for recommendations, don’t bite off more data than you can chew (or use, or store,) create infrastructure to support effective use of technology—can help providers of all sizes and specialties leverage technology for their benefit and the benefit of their patients. It is still an evolving market, and as such, providers will need to be flexible and ready to adapt to changes. Adoption will be slow, but it is growing every day, and new tech emerges every day to answer patient and physician needs as well as evolving regulations, so individual providers can select the platforms and partners that are right for them from a variety of options, the number of which are expected to skyrocket this year.

Image via Shawn Campbell

Madison Logic Selected to Present at The Montgomery Summit

Top Venture Capitalists Chose Madison Logic From a Record Number of Nominees to Present at the Largest Tech Investor Conference on the West Coast

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwired – Mar 9, 2015) – Madison Logic has been selected to present to an exclusive group of senior-level investors and top executives at The Montgomery Summit in Santa Monica, Calif. More than 4,000 entrepreneurs from private growth technology companies were nominated to present at the two-day event March 10 & 11, but only 145 were chosen by The Summit’s selection committee of top venture capitalists from firms including Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, New Enterprise Associates, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Scale Venture Partners, Institutional Venture Partners and March Capital Partners.

“We saw so many extraordinary companies this year innovating across a broad spectrum of technologies,” said James Montgomery, founder of The Montgomery Summit. “But those selected to present join an elite group. Many of our past presenting companies have gone on to raise capital and achieve great success, including Facebook, Splunk, Marketo, Lynda.com, Oculus VR, Dropbox and ExactTarget and hundreds of others.”

“We are very honored to have been selected to present at the 2015 Montgomery Summit,” says Tom O’Regan, Madison Logic CEO. “We look forward to sharing Madison Logic’s past success and the future of marketing powered by intent for marketers and publishers. With the solid foundation of our demand generation product and the recent acquisition of BBN Networks, we look forward to showcasing the exciting opportunities that this will bring to the marketplace. With this acquisition, we are poised to deliver another strong financial performance in 2015 with Q1 revenue booking run rate up over 140 percent compared to 2014 and year-over-year revenue projected to grow more than 60 percent with a significant rise in profitability.”

The Montgomery Summit hosts more than 1,000 senior-level venture capital investors, entrepreneurs and corporate executives at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica, Calif. In addition to presentations from top private growth company CEOs, the two-day event features industry leaders and top innovators in a series of interviews, talks and salons. Summit speakers this year include: Patrick Soon-Shiong, NantWorks founder; Evan Spiegel, Snapchat founder and CEO; Andy Jassy, Amazon Web Services head; Fred Luddy, ServiceNow founder; and Bill Gross, Idealab Founder & CEO.

About The Montgomery Summit

The Montgomery Summit gathers a highly selective group of senior-level investors and top executives from private growth technology companies for two days of exciting events and presentations in Santa Monica, Calif. Previously known as The Montgomery Technology Conference, the Summit has for more than a decade provided unparalleled opportunities to meet a diverse blend of technological visionaries and innovators from all over the world. For more information, visit www.montgomerysummit.com.

About Madison Logic: Madison Logic is the premier provider of full-funnel media, marketing and enterprise solutions for the world’s leading B2B brands, agencies and publishing partners. With solutions driven by Madison Logic intent data, business prospects receive messages relevant to every stage of the buyer’s journey. Today, global B2B marketers and premium B2B publisher partners rely on Madison Logic to help them drive audience growth by more effectively targeting customers and achieving greater revenue by maximizing reach, efficiency, engagement and insights delivered by their campaigns. Over the past year Madison Logic has earned 5 prestigious industry awards including: Crain’s New York Business Fast 50, Forbes 2014 America’s Most Promising Companies, Inc. 5000 America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies, AlwaysOn OnMedia 2014, and Deloitte Technology Fast 500.

Madison Logic is a global company based in New York City. It is privately funded and profitable. www.madisonlogic.com @madisonlogic

Contact:

Lorene Bagley Kane
Blast PR
307 713 1043
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Programmatic’s Coming of Age in 2015

5383943907_4f8d8a6f41_oSince its emergence into the mainstream ad-tech marketplace a few years ago, programmatic has rapidly become the industry’s gold standard for media buying technology. 75 percent of marketers surveyed by Infectious Media agreed that programmatic benefits sales, and 75 percent are planning on boosting their programmatic spend in the next six to 12 months.

However, it has not been without its issues and detractors over the course of its evolution. Many marketers complain primarily about the lack of transparency, with regard to both pricing and delivery. 65 percent of Infectious Media’s respondents claim that “lack of transparency of financials” is a barrier to upping investment. 55 percent of respondents still consider the complexity of the programmatic ecosystem to be a barrier to boosting spend, with 50 percent blaming lack of measurement and 45 percent citing both “lack of transparency of delivery” and a lack of trust in agency relationships.

Trust issues notwithstanding, as the reach and scalability benefits of programmatic began to have a noticeable effect on ROI for its early adopters, more and more marketers have adopted programmatic technology and adapted it to their unique needs. Now in 2015, we’re seeing programmatic technology become a significant driver of the evolution of the industry as a whole; new technologies in creative have been designed to keep up with the pace of targeted programmatic, and multiple marketing disciplines have found ways to incorporate programmatic into their other offerings to bolster reach and scale.

Notably, programmatic creative has been a game changer when it comes to gaining scale without sacrificing targeted creative, but advances in programmatic in other fields such as analytics, native and local have been important in its overall growth.

Considering the fact that transparency has always been, and still is, the primary issue for most marketers, developing new analytics to suit the needs of the new programmatic-driven marketing ecosystem has been key to its growth. Perhaps the most important development in analytics has been the adoption of the viewability metric, which determines how many of the ads your campaign served were actually seen by the end user.

According to Comscore, 54 percent of all digital advertising is never seen by the end user and Digiday research from Q4, 2014 in the U.S. and Europe shows viewability ranging from 48 percent (France) to 55 percent (U.S.) to 64 percent (Norway). Digiday compares the severity of the viewability problem to buying a car that only starts half the time; big bucks go into online advertising campaigns, but approximately half of that investment is essentially wasted.

The industry is addressing this problem with solutions like “guaranteed viewability,” which is exactly what it sounds like—publishers only get paid when they meet a certain standard of viewability (IAB and MRC recommend a standard minimum of 50 percent of an ad’s pixels appearing onscreen for at least one second, after rendering, and for video, 50 percent in view for a minimum of two seconds.) As Digiday points out, guaranteed viewability can actually boost revenue for publishers, who can better monetize their below-the-fold or less coveted inventory without the stigma; advertisers don’t push back against these placements because the ad is guaranteed to be viewed no matter what.

Overall, placing importance on the viewability metric has enabled both publishers and advertisers to benefit from higher performance rates (which are even higher when the campaign is powered by intent data) and has also helped mitigate the trust and transparency issue, because there are no other factors to impact pricing and payment after the fact. Advertisers pay a set price for inventory they know will be viewed, so neither the publisher nor the advertiser is at the mercy of performance or deliverability, and the finances are open and agreed upon upfront.

Native is another area that is being shaped by programmatic technology. Mediapost notes that the first iteration of native programmatic emerged following the launch of the Facebook ad exchange in 2013, but that we are now close to a “version 2” as IAB closes in on the ratification of OpenRTB 2.3, which will add native capabilities to the standard programmatic process.

According to Mediapost, some publishers fear that opening up native inventory to an RTB platform will lower the quality of the ads that get placed there and negatively impact the user experience; however, as more and more brands jump onto the programmatic bandwagon, there should be no reason to expect low quality advertisers from RTB platforms, and certainly no reason to think that programmatic can’t deliver the same kind of results in a native environment. Now, innovators in the native space, especially publishers, are focused on incorporating algorithms that preserve the quality of ad content on their sites, and developing ways to deliver the necessary data to drive their programmatic platform.

Finally, programmatic has also made its way into the local ad space, which BIA Kelsey forecasts will hit nearly $140 billion in 2015. The application of programmatic in local markets may seem less important due simply to the fact that local advertisers don’t necessarily need the reach and scale to engage with a geographically targeted (and therefore smaller) audience.

However, the sophisticated analysis of billions of disparate data points to significantly improve audience segmenting is what is making local marketers sit up and take notice of programmatic. As Simplifi CEO Frost Prioleau put it to Street Fight Magazine, “the big thing happening is this ability to customize audiences to the local needs of local providers — which is a huge benefit for local advertisers because they don’t have to stick with the audience segments defined by national advertisers anymore.”

Of course, programmatic can accomplish the same kind of hyperlocal audience segmentation for national advertisers too, given the proper data. And ultimately, that’s what this new programmatic age of marketing is all about—the proper data. No technology can work without the proper fuel, and for programmatic, that fuel is data, so the higher quality (not necessarily quantity) your data is, the better your programmatic platform can perform.

For years we bemoaned the flood of data that, instead of providing more information about our consumers, actually became overwhelming and confusing. Programmatic technology came as the answer to that need—a platform that can take your data and parse it to deliver highly accurate targeting based on data-proven insight.

Programmatic has, for the last two years, demonstrated real-life efficacy across marketing disciplines, and the industry has risen to the challenge of adapting to a new environment, whether that has been by embracing new measurement capabilities, reorganizing company infrastructures, or creating other platforms to augment programmatic for a variety of uses and disciplines. I think it’s safe to say that, comparatively young as it may be, programmatic has officially come of age.

Image via Susan Murtaugh