6 Biggest Problems With Ad Tech


Advertising and marketing technology was created to make marketing easier and save people time and money. But the irony is that the technology is complicating the process and making companies spend a boat-load of money on platform solutions.

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Terry Kawaja, CEO of LUMA Partners, said during an episode of The Digiday Podcast that there are 2,500 ad and mar-tech companies today, and that the number is still on the rise. With all this growth in the space, more and more problems are popping up everyday with how marketers use this technology.

So, here are the six biggest problems I have with ad and mar-tech.

1. Too Difficult To Use: 

“90% of marketing software is not doing a good job on UI,” said Jason Keath, CEO of Social Fresh, during The BeanCast Marketing Podcast.

Jason is totally right. The user interface for most of these ad tech platforms are too difficult. Not to sound like a baby, but these tools should be easier to use. With the dashboards and platforms being too complex, it is hard to learn what the full capabilities of the technology could be.

2. Too Many Similar Platforms:

With so much software doing the same thing, it’s hard for companies, agencies, and marketers to effectively navigate the space. The competition in ad tech to fix narrow marketing issues is also creating an environment where there are too many similar platforms and little consolidation.

Similar to the growth of agency and design firms, there is more growth than consolidation and causing marketers to try similar platform until they find one that works. It’s basically all trial and error. I remember going through three different CRM platforms and in the end I still could not find one. Thank god for free trials.

3. Misinterpretation and Misuse Of Data: 

Like everything else in the world, marketing and advertising is becoming more and more data-driven and analytical. Mick Hollison, CMO at InsideSales.com, said, “…if you are a sales or marketing professional in any industry I’d suggest that you get smart about what’s happening in big data and predictive analytics. A tsunami of data and potentially powerful business insights is heading your way. You must decide if you’re going to ride the wave or search for higher ground.”

That being said, very few in the marketing world have the analytical skills to effectively evaluate big data. This lack of training can cause damaging effects to brands and companies because many are misinterpreting and misusing important data.

4. No Consolidation: 

In the past, companies like SalesForce, Oracle and Google were all in talks of consolidating all these ad and mar-tech functions into one single dashboard. While companies are trying to consolidate, no one is doing it well. For example, the Adobe Marketing Cloud is trying to create a single ad tech platform, but it’s not a seamless experience.

Having to use so many different platform solutions is confusing and cost a lot of money. I want to be able to manage our social media, email, data, sales, and etc on one platform and not six.

5. Too Much Data:

The good and bad thing about ad tech is there is an abundance of data. Yes, we have all this information to better understand our customers, but most marketers don’t know how to leverage the data and move forward with it.

Jay Baer, President of Convince & Convert, recently said during The BeanCast podcast, “We are surrounded by data like never before, but we are largely starved for insights.” There is so much data that ultimately it is just lying around and costing companies money just to hold on to it. Ad and mar-tech companies need to provide what the next steps are for harnessing all this data, because after about a year, the data becomes useless.

6. Doesn’t Live Up To Expectations: 

Ad and mar-tech platforms and software promise you things like 50 million gross impressions or better marketing automation, and while some software does help your company, most ad tech only makes incremental improvements to what you are probably already doing. This causes marketers and companies to throw new platforms at a problem hoping it will fix it, but in the end you’re left with more problems than before.

What do we do next?

It would be nice if the ad tech landscape was less complex, and we had a manual to navigate this maze but unfortunately we don’t. What I can do is direct you to the thousands of agencies on Agency Spotter who are experts at navigating this darn maze.

While it might not be the perfect roadmap, it could be our only chance for survival.

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About Daniel Kim

Daniel is THE marketing guru at Agency Spotter. He holds a degree in Journalism from Georgia State University and has worked in the startup world ever since graduating. When Daniel isn't tearing up the marketing scene, you can usually find him playing basketball or enjoying a delicious bowl of Chipotle...