As you might imagine, much of the buzz at this week’s ad:tech SF conference focused on the rise of programmatic media buying and what this shift means for advertisers. This topic was hotly discussed during the panel “Protecting Your Brand in the Age of Programmatic”, featuring Tremor’s Video’s President of Publisher Platforms, Manish Jha, Turner Broadcasting’s SVP Ad Operations & Chief Data Scientist, Stephano Kim, and Google’s Ruth Kirschner, Director of Media Platform Sales.
The explosion of video and emergence of digital
Jha noted early in the panel that the explosive consumption of video content by consumers was part of what attracted him to his position at Tremor. “There are 1.5 million people in the US,” he shared, “who only subscribe to broadband and don’t have TV.” He explained that this trend means there’s a large, emerging audience of consumers who simply can’t be reached through traditional television advertising, which has long been the “go-to medium” for brands. As a result, more and more brands are turning to digital channels to disseminate their message.
But why the shift to programmatic? Across the panel, a key theme seemed to resonate: efficiency and effectiveness. Kirschner noted that a programmatic strategy – when executed properly – actually provides advertisers with a much more effective way to market. She explained, “programmatic is essentially infusing data into your buy, enabling you to reach your audience one-to-one and at scale. It allows you to reach the right person, at the right time, with the right creative.” Jha echoed this sentiment, adding that programmatic provides a terrific opportunity for buyers to gain more efficiency, since it enables them to buy into specific audiences.
Managing your brand and mitigating risk
As is often the case when programmatic is discussed, the word “risk” wasn’t far behind. Kirschner noted that when it comes to mitigating risk, advertisers have lots of tools available to them to help target and set the context for their campaign – for example, whitelisting or blacklisting, or setting appropriate geo-targets. When the conversation shifted to viewability, Kim shared his stance that “it’s not about making the ad more viewable, but moving to a more native experience that the user is interested in” and will therefore drive engagement. While the panel was unanimous in their support for the development and exploration of more native and engaging formats, Jha also commented that the industry should “strike a balance and ensure that the pendulum doesn’t swing too far. There should always be a clear delineation between publisher content and the ad.”
Check back next week when we continue our recap of hot topics from this year’s ad:tech SF, and take a look at how fraud (the “big bad wolf” of the ad tech world) was discussed at the conference.