LONDON: The capabilities of programmatic ad buying are set to develop beyond delivering cheaper and more targeted impressions, as marketers explore ways to build creative that can also be customised by media buying algorithms.

That is one of the opportunities in the year ahead that a team of experts at Millward Brown highlighted in the research agency's annual Digital and Media Predictions report.

Taking advantage of the programmatic opportunity, however, will require creative agencies to partner with developers or, alternatively, to build up their own advanced programming capabilities and cross-functional abilities to produce and deploy smart ads.

The best of these executions will enable a new kind of dynamic, relevant storytelling based on when and how they are delivered, according to Millward Brown.

At the same time, marketers will need to ensure the advantages that come from programmatic targeting are not delivered at the expense of other key campaign objectives, such as communicating brand messages and building long-term desire.

Successful programmatic providers, said the report, will increasingly differentiate themselves based on their ability to deliver campaigns that not only drive behaviours but also improve brand metrics.

"To date, the debate around programmatic media has been firmly centered on the 'how' of operations and behavioral metrics such as cost per click," said Duncan Southgate, global brand director for digital at Millward Brown.

"In 2015 we expect marketers to be equally focused on the benefits programmatic may be able to bring to building meaningful brands and the opportunities to leverage it more creatively."

This area has also been highlighted by Warc's Toolkit 2015 report, in which the role of creativity in programmatic is discussed. Kellogg, for example, believes that programmatic is 30% about the media, 70% about the creative. 

Deloitte TMT also anticipates other important changes in the media landscape around the world which marketers need to understand if they are to "get media right".

These include finding native advertising partners who strike the right balance between advertising and editorial, properly appreciating paid marketing opportunities on micro-video platforms, and focusing on consumers' interests when it comes to location-based marketing.

"Native, micro-video and location-based marketing are disparate technologies, but they are connected by marketers' desire to deliver more relevant communication," said Southgate.

"A key challenge for marketers in 2015 will be balancing identification of the perfect marketing moment with a need to generate cost-effective scale and reach."

Data sourced from Millward Brown; additional content by Warc staff