Without a doubt, 2016 was one for the record books. There’s a lot to look forward to in 2017, and as we all jump in feet first, the folks at RhythmOne got together to reflect on highlights from the past year and what they are looking forward to in the future. Here is what they said:
The Best of 2016
Next Big Thing
Mark Kaefer, Marketing Director
Being one of the first to market with an influencer programmatic solution, and being part of the team to promote it (and our entire RhythmInfluence offering) across a variety of channels.
Mobile shopping. It’s already big, with one-third of online sales on Black Friday 2016 being made on mobile devices – but in 2017, I anticipate we’ll see that number climb further towards the halfway point. There will be a lot of opportunity in 2017 for retailers and brands to leverage all that mobile can offer to provide consumers with hyper-targeted online shopping environments.
Frank Pao, Chief Business Officer
I was excited by the exponential ramp up of the programmatic platform and the positive reception of and smooth transition to the RhythmOne rebrand.
I believe the next big thing in AdTech in 2017 will be consolidation across the industry of both smaller and larger AdTech companies, which we have started to do as well with the acquisition of Perk
Ben Rathbun, Interactive Product Manager
RhythmOne turned the corner in terms of the technical consolidation from previous acquisitions and we’re enjoying seeing our ideas turn into tangible results that will help RhythmOne stand out from the competition.
2017 will be the year of drone deliveries, automated cars and yes of course: augmented reality. As RhythmOne solidifies its place in the programmatic universe, the creative team at RhythmOne is already taking steps to enter AR and VR to give our clients leading edge creative options.
Chuck Moran, VP Marketing
I think the 1R accomplishment I am most excited about is RhythmGuard – our proprietary traffic quality system. For me, RhythmGuard reinforces two very parallel focuses we have as a company. First, ensuring that we provide our partners the highest quality advertising environment, and second that we are at the forefront of industry initiatives, whatever they may be. The real payoff from RhythmGuard has been our ability to offer some of the cleanest supply available in the marketplace – and that is being recognized with our #3 ranking by Pixalate.
Every year it seems we say it is going to be the year of mobile or video or native etc . In 2017, I think we are going to start to move away from the silos of platform or format – and to sharpen the focus on the consumer. By that I mean that we’ll start to focus on building a 360° view of the consumer – taking info from the MarTech stack as well as the AdTech stack and developing cross-platform programs that will engage the consumer much more holistically. In 2017, we’ll see a real emphasis on cross-device audience recognition, deeper consumer profile development with 1st and 3rd party data, and a greater use of more creative formats in the programmatic channels to capture consumer attention.
Richard Nunn, Chief Revenue Officer
Two things! This year was about scaling our exchange, RhythmMax – which we did. We nearly doubled the volume of supply partners and increased bid request volume 86% to 1.1 Trillion requests pcm. This encompasses ALL formats, from display to video, mobile and native, resulting in one of the only exchanges beyond Google who genuinely can trade all formats in one unified platform. The second big thing was Influencer Marketing and growing that offering not only in size but in utility – providing the only Influencer Marketing solution that amplifies content programmatically through compelling rich media and video content distribution and targeted via data-driven look-alike audiences that can across the Web.
Two things again - as illustrated by more M&A activity recently, the recognition that the fusing of MarTech & AdTech is upon us. We’re hearing rumblings that credit card companies are taking a serious look at AdTech. They see billions of retail transactions daily – fusing that data with audiences, and better targeting advertiser messages based on actual shopping transactions – we could be getting even closer to the “holy grail.” The second is the ad blocking “war” which will see more pushback from publishers and advertisers this next year to educate the consumers on the value of their content. As with my first point, the secret sauce may just be providing the most contextually relevant advertising – which of course loops us right back to data!
Michael Simon, Business Development Associate
I was excited to evangelize RhythmMax to the advertising agency and direct marketing community in 2016.
People will be paying attention to interactive video as well as Snapchat making a bigger splash in 2017.
Katie Paulsen, VP Influencer Marketing
It was exciting to see growth within the influencer marketing arm of RhythmOne, RhythmInfluence. Influencer Marketing has hit its stride, and we are poised to grow it exponentially!
Infusing more traditional digital media tactics into the influencer marketing world will be key in 2017. Data will be huge on many levels: 1) Advanced data during the Influencer discovery stage of a program (both Influencer and audience insights); 2) Data capture and retargeting to reach users that have previously interacted with influencer content both programmatically and socially; 3) advanced analytics
Marisa Nelson, Director of Communications
When we rebranded as RhythmOne, the focus for the company was mainly around integration since we had acquired other companies and all of our systems and employees needed to function under one brand. In the past year, I’ve been really excited to see how RhythmOne has become a cohesive organization with a shared goal to become one of the most innovative and forward-thinking technology companies in the ad tech space.
I believe international expansion in ad tech will be a main topic for 2017, especially around programmatic.
Candace Cahill, Director of Sales
Putting a stake in the ground with the launch of our official website for RhythmInfluence!
When it comes to branded content activations utilizing Influencers, I predict brands will embrace bolder experiential programs showcasing live events and video. Furthermore, it’s not just about enriching consumers lives through storytelling experiences, marketers have reached a tipping point and will demand more sophisticated data layering and research integrations from partners upholding them to KPI’s such as Sales Lift, Purchase Intent, Brand Favorability, etc. This is going to separate the boys from the men in terms of who’s first to market to help brands achieve these goals through advanced measurement strategies.
Heather McKim, VP Marketing
I think our biggest accomplishment this year has been the exponential growth of our programmatic platform, RhythmMax. We basically went from 0 to 60 in the span of a few short months - becoming #4 in terms of scale according to ComScore while still maintaining the highest quality standards (#3 on Pixalate’s Global Seller Trust Index). Programmatic is the direction all ad buying is going - and it makes sense - it’s efficient and effective in meeting advertiser’s goals. And I think down the line - in 2017 and beyond - people are going to want a viable alternative to the likes of Google and Facebook. We are poised to take advantage of that.
I think a lot of interesting advancements are going to take place around native and influencer marketing. Right now, these are hot topics, but they are relatively bespoke. While this is part of their power, I think it will be interesting to see how we can start to amplify the impact of branded content through programmatic channels. We are doing it now through our offering, but I predict we’ll see a lot more buzz - and real traction around this in 2017.
Jade Graves, Director, Programmatic Sales
Successfully building out a robust programmatic strategy that provides advertisers cross-screen access at scale through PMP and programmatic channels, all in a truly brand safe environment through the use of RhythmGuard. Building out and integrating our robust PMP strategy with top DSPs, which allows us to truly offer the most flexible buying opportunities to brand and agencies.
Influencer marketing is growing at dramatic rates. With that growth, while companies are starting to find the value, they’re also finding the limitations in scale and the challenges of making their way through a very complexed and resource intensive offering. I think in the coming year there will be acquisitions that move from a pure media play to companies that have the tech and knowledge on the influencer front to bring all these resources in-house.
Helena Deakin, Recruitment Manager
For the HR team this year, it was all about leveraging technology on both the recruitment side but also to improve the employee experience.
I look forward to increasing our use of recruiting tools like social media, adding a formal intern program and campus recruiting at universities to continually find the best talent that’s out there.