Ken Sawyer Speaks on “Ad Tech in 5 Years” Panel at RampUp 2013

RampUp 2013: Ad Tech in 5 Years

Hundreds of marketers and ad tech leaders came together to discuss the convergence of offline and online data.

A few key points from the panel:
Sawyer expressed an overall optimism, calling ad tech “this generation’s ERP [Enterprise Resource Planning].” However he wondered whether ad tech will evolve like the ERP system did “with the consolidation among Oracle, SAP, and a few other folks.”
Kawaja replied that despite the signs of “a high growth sector,” and an overall great environment for consolidations similar to ERPs in the 80s, we are still seeing a high degree of fragmentation in ad tech. Why isn’t the consolidation happening faster?
Milonopoulos answered that it is to the agency’s advantage to have multiple players, “to not have all your eggs in one basket with one provider.” Secondly, consolidators know that they are not going to be the first because Google, Adobe, and others are out there with full or near-complete ad tech stacks.

Beim reminded us that one of the big differences between online ad tech and ERPs is the constant proliferation of new types of online media, new platforms, and new ways to do things. “I would expect more fragmentation than consolidation.”
In a similar light, Moore mentioned that the smartphone is a new medium that is not the web and not the desktop. Ad tech is only in “the second or third inning of what ads mean in that environment.”