Programmatic Summit 2018:Building a better industry UI/UX

Posted by Guest On March 05, 2018

​Thanks to everyone for finding the time last week to attend Programmatic Summit 2018. Great to see many new faces too. I wanted to share an edited version of my opening, as I believe it’s relevant to the wider industry:


Last night I read the following (courtesy of Digiday)

“Jaguar Land Rover may spend hundreds of millions a year on ads, but it will be some time before the advertiser can take ownership of that money in the way Procter & Gamble, L’Oréal and Unilever can. That’s the view of Ian Armstrong, the brand’s global head of advertising, who believes Jaguar Land Rover isn’t as “sophisticated” with its budgets “compared to lots of other organizations.”

These questions are leading Jaguar Land Rover to address the following issues: moving away from click-throughs and impressions as a standard, enforcing anti-fraud initiative ads.txt, coming up with a new agency model to retake control of its media budgets, building a deeper understanding of the context and impact of its ads, and establishing direct relationships with media owners and ad tech vendors closest to them.”

These words are timely given today’s conference.

The world continues to change and all bets are off. At a lunch this week , I heard a bank digital team say they wanted to get closer to their adtech vendors.

Good news, consumer immersion into digital continues to grow.

In Australia, 25-34 year olds, for example, are spending over 100 hours a month online

15 million Australians are on their mobiles daily.

Digital ad revenues starting to mature at 50% but areas like video are still seeing incredible growth. (just look at your IAB Fact Pack).

And now for the bad news. You don’t need me to tell you that trust in digital took a hit last year.

Why do you think that is? A few reasons. I spoke to Keith Weed, CMO of Unilever a of couple weeks ago and he:

  • ​Reminded me that we are still a young industry. We’re barely out of our teens when other media have been around for a lot longer.
  • He also reminded me of the classic questions from marketers – ‘are my ads being seen; are they being seen by a real person; are they being seen where I want them to be seen?’ You know the topics. We’ve been talking about them for a while. We’ll be talking about them today.
  • For those who grew up with old media (including me), we are not always easy to understand
  • We have been taking action. Third party measurement, standards for viewability, tools to help manage fraud, brand safety, ad blocking, the whole lot.
  • I’ve learnt that you can manage nearly all the issues if you figure out how.

Again to quote Keith Weed, if something look too good to be true, it probably is – you get what you pay for.

The knowledge and expertise is in the room. As the IAB, we are trying to play our part with ads.txt and a lot more to come from IAB Tech Labs from VAST to RTB & SDK and more. Talk to Jonas for more detail.

Our measurement continues to evolve too and Gai Le Roy will pick up that one.

And so to the challenge and opportunity. The industry has grown but it seems to have created two camps – the digital ad natives through to digital adnostics. At this end, someone who can explain server side ad insertion in granular detail through to this end where a marketing or media executive might simply hear ‘white noise’.

So here’s the thing. We have the smartest digital media people in this room – tech, agency, pubs and marketers.

You are the community. You are the people who can help increase trust. This is how:

  • ​Simplify our language. I know this stuff is complicated but you have to start simple. You all know UI/UX when it comes to a digital product. Well start making a better UI/UX for the digital industry. Take people on the user journey
  • Create a common language
  • Let’s make the community bigger & better – a common language unites
  • And lets inspire – lets think ahead and not get bogged down in the detail of yesterday – lets keep moving – we have some visionaries and visionary speakers – show us the future

So my ask of of the industry from Programmatic Summit 2018:

  • ​Keep it simple – there are no stupid questions 
  • The industry needs action beyond talk – so give practical advice and meaningful takeaways that folk can take back into their businesses. 
  • Audience – If we can drive rich and constructive debate and take people on the journey, more will understand and that will increase trust. .

Today is the day for all of us to do a better job of simplifying & creating common language in digital automation & programmatic. 

To play our part, we are announcing a new guideline today (our Advertising Technology Purchase Guidelines) and its for anyone faced with the challenge of purchasing adtech. Its for pubs and marketers and media executives.

“By educating the market, we can drive and improve transparency and weed out the minority of poor vendors that remain. We urge all executives in the digital, marketing and media industries to read, digest and use this work in their discussions with technology vendors. The Guidelines are part of IAB’s mission to drive a common language, to increase knowledge and improve trust across the industry.”

Thanks to the IAB Exectech council and the specific folk who put this together. You know who you are. You are awesome.

You are the industry for programmatic and we have a great opportunity to simplify & inspire and create more trust through common language.