To help out, especially with the programmatic bit, we published a few reports on:

But for an end-of-year follow-up on the topic, we thought it would be good to review a few of the current trends for display advertising, while keeping an Asia-Pacific focus.

Here are the top four:

1. Programmatic is increasing in importance in the APAC region

According to a recent study by AppNexus, 77% of advertising professionals in the APAC region use programmatic advertising.

And the same study also shows that marketers believe that a strong knowledge of programmatic is increasing in importance.

In 2010, less than half of marketers said strong knowledge of programmatic was important but 70% said that it will be by 2020.

This ties in with marketers reporting an increased importance of having high in-house technical capabilities and a strong knowledge of digital advertising as well.

2. Publisher relationships are becoming less important

As providers of programmatic ad buying increase in importance with marketers, publishers will naturally become less important.

That is, if brands are spending more on programmatic solutions, then marketers don’t need to know as much about the publishers who are actually showing the ads.

Whereas digital ad buying used to be about placement, display targeting is becoming more about demographics, interests, and CRMs (more on that below).

This notion is backed up by the AppNexus survey which shows that strong relationships with advertisers and publishers are decreasing in importance between 2010 and 2020.

3. Data management is key

In a recent post, which provided an introduction to programmatic advertising, we discussed ‘data management platforms’ (DMPs) and emphasized that despite their simple name, DMPs are actually quite sophisticated.

If you aren’t yet familiar with them, and work with display advertising, then you may want to start learning about DMPs.

According to a recent Econsultancy report, The Role of DMPs in the Era of Data-Driven Advertising, over two-thirds of marketers (68%) believe that ‘DMPs are the key to the future of programmatic advertising’.

And, in the same survey, over half of the respondents reported that they are using data to:

  • improve advertising effectiveness,
  • enhance ad campaigns,
  • and improve cross-channel marketing performance.

All of these point to a trend that, yes, data is important but in order to get the most out of your data, it’s worth looking into DMPs.

4. CRM systems now integrate with display networks.

Traditionally, CRM systems have most been linked with delivering emails and high-quality customer service. But that is all changing now.

In 2014, Facebook added the Custom Audience feature which let you upload your email or mobile phone list and advertise to the people who were in your CRM system.

Now Google has followed suit. In September of 2015, Google announced Customer Match which lets you upload a list of email addresses which can then be matched to signed-in uses on Google.

You can read more about how it works at Google’s developer site, but the implications for this on display advertising are quite significant.

Because many Google users stay logged in on the desktop for Gmail and YouTube, the likelihood of reaching your customers with targeted display advertising is now much higher.

And because you can now target your advertising to a segment according to how your audience interacts with your brand, your advertising can be more relevant and, hopefully, enjoy much better results.

Finally, like Facebook, Customer Match also lets you build ‘lookalike’ audiences so you can advertise your carefully targeted message to people who are similar to your existing customers.


If these trends in display advertising in Asia-Pacific continue, then brands which use display advertising are going to have to think both about their programmatic strategy, including data management, and how they can best use the vast amount of data in their CRM systems for segmenting and targeting.

And as these trends offer new opportunities for marketers to reach their customers in a more automated and targeted fashion, they are very good things to learn about indeed.