Thoughts from Programmatic Summit: Adtech coming of age

Posted by Matt Von der Muhll On March 17, 2015

The coming-of-age programmatic ad industry passed another milestone last week – the convening of its first conference in Australia.

Adtech is an area that came with its fair share of ‘snake-oil salesman’ as players in the market jostled to take advantage of the opportunity. It’s good to see progress and educated discussion replacing the hype – the Programmatic Summit brought together industry leaders to help push programmatic another step forward.

There was a broad range of agency and vendor representatives on the program, and some key advertisers in attendance also. Mayur Gupta from Kimberly-Clark provided a great brand perspective around putting the human element back into marketing. Kimberly-Clark have completely changed the way they buy media by putting data at the centre of their strategy, a process they started a couple of years ago.

Gupta shared with delegates how programmatic is enabling more personalised marketing by helping target the consumer at the most convenient moment. Data should be the key driver for the choice of channel chosen when looking to an outcome and how to integrate it.

Gupta’s points were spot on. The agency perspective, however, came across as negative and missed the point in some instances. One presenter seemed to feel programmatic is the death of the campaign and traditional planning. I’d say it heralds the opposite by delivering more insights and transparency to the planning process.

The local perspective is perhaps a little defensive still, while globally adoption of programmatic in agencies is on the rise. We’re noticing that pressure for publishers to sell programmatically is building from the buy side, with agencies moving budget to platform buys, and big global trading desks putting strategies in place to move to programmatic models.

In the video market, supply is starting to grow. Bauer, ACP and the big legacy print publishers are recognising the revenue video can yield and adjusting accordingly, sparking an overall lift in supply to the market. Publishers utilising programmatic will start to win the battle for budget.

Dave Osborn from AppNexus dispelled some of the other common misconceptions around programmatic in his presentation. He made the point that those who choose to ignore programmatic will miss out on a large chunk of the pie, with it only forecast to grow. The time to trial and learn is now.

Dave’s three key takeaways were invest in the people who work for the company, give them opportunity; think and act strategically, don’t just spray and pray; and set up for the long haul, not just short-term advantage.

The IAB’s Programmatic Playbook is a great resource for dispelling more of those myths that still exist around programmatic, as well as forward looking perspectives on data and bringing programmatic in house.

Publishers were represented well at the Summit with a great panel from News Corp, MCN, and REA. Great to hear that for these premium media brands programmatic is becoming a bigger part of their business and a priority.

This validates the benefits of programmatic for the smaller publishers, and we expect to see more follow players like The New Daily into the space.

For me, the event really reinforced the need for publishers and advertisers to place data at the centre of their strategies. Everything needs to revolve around the data they can capture (or buy) and how they can utilise it best.

SpotXchange was thrilled to be involved in a panel discussion, and is looking forward to next year when hopefully more agencies, advertisers and publishers make it along. It was suggested pricing for the event should be structured to attract more clients and shift the balance of attendance away from the many vendors in the room. We want to be speaking to the not so knowledgeable as opposed to those in the ‘know’. Ultimately, the more advertisers and publishers involved in an educated programmatic discussion, the better.

Matt Von der Muhll