The Ad Tech Story That Hasn't Fully Been Told
By Shane Schick
When we hosted AdTech Canada at the end of March, we deliberately looked more broadly at the how technology is changing the advertising experience than ever before. Besides programmatic tools, for example, we explored ad-blocking, the Internet of Things and the role of neuroscience in understanding consumer behaviour.
We took this approach because this is an area that's only becoming more omnipresent and complex. While there have been a few consumer electronic brands that have achieved household name status over the years, for instance, Russ's coverage of the top brands in Canada from Ipsos was revealing in how strong consumer affinity has become with Google, Apple and Microsoft.
On the client side, more traditional consumer products companies are refashioning themselves as tech players. This includes big banks like RBC, which spoke with us about how it's putting more investment in mobile options for digital payments. RBC clearly won't be alone, since Deloitte told us that touch-screen devices will be the key form factor for much of e-commerce in Canada this year.
Even when a story shouldn't really be about technology, it seems to hover over the discussion. When I decided to write about the longstanding lack of alignment between marketing and sales departments, for example, I began to realize that a lot of the disconnect comes from the way technology is changing how both sides work, how they measure themselves and the expectations it's setting.
If, as experts claim, every company is a technology company, you could argue every story we do from here on in is a technology story. Even though I've been covering IT all my adult life, I think that may actually be going too far. In fact, I think the real issue that will loom large in the next few years is not how deeply technology will be integrated into advertising and marketing, but the role humans play in creating a message, communicating it and analyzing the results.
I think the discussions we had at AdTech Canada are just the beginning of this conversation, and I look forward to continuing it with everyone who attended, as well as those who couldn't make it this time. Thanks to all our speakers, sponsors and editorial staff for helping make this happen.