This blog post is part of Forrester’s Holiday 2018 retail series.

Today’s consumer expects advertisers to deliver personalized, relevant experiences and rewards those that do. Kiran Mani, Google’s managing director of retail, speaking at the National Retail Federation’s September 2018 conference, said that 33% of consumers expect personalized recommendations.[i]

Retailers intent on delivering such recommendations often use creative adtech vendors, such as those assessed in our new evaluation, “The Forrester Wave™: Creative Advertising Technologies, Q4 2018.” These vendors use machine learning to help retailers tailor their ads in a variety of ways, including:

  • Tapping into data collected over the course of the customer journey to create advertising content that meets customers’ experiences and expectations. For example, if a customer recently bought a raincoat, the next set of ads might feature rain boots or umbrellas.
  • Testing and iterating on creative options to identify those that resonate and perform best.

Creative adtech vendors facilitate collaboration between clients and agencies. And, for global marketers, they offer centralized oversight and control coupled with the ability to recognize and respect regional cultural variances. The vendors offer all of this along with improved production efficiencies and unprecedented speed-to-market.

Forward-thinking retailers, eager to stay ahead of the pack and deliver on customer expectations, were among the earliest adopters and remain among the most enthusiastic clients of creative adtech vendors. Those retailers not currently deploying creative ad technologies risk falling behind their more innovative competitors in the all-important holiday season and throughout the year.


[i] Source: Glenn Taylor, “ Recap: Personalization Will Drive $800 Billion Revenue Shift,” Retail TouchPoints, September 18, 2018 (