Another 12 months goes by and the impact software is having on the planning and buying of media continues to craft and evolve the landscape to a place of no return. That sounds rather dramatic, but the fundamental shifts which have occurred, not just on how media is traded but the demands for transparency and greater accountability, are having a lasting impact on advertisers, agencies and the marketplace alike.
This demand for greater transparency actually provides a wonderful foundation upon which we are starting to see greater partnerships and a more improved understanding. The role of programmatic was initially to drive greater efficiency – to consolidate media buying through software, eradicate the intermediaries, remove the media margins and drive greater effectiveness.
By removing the ‘unknowns’ (media margins, non-viewable impressions, non-human traffic etc.), there has been more focus on the ‘knowns’ and therefore working out what is working, the measurement of success and the how and why. This has meant that advertisers are starting to move from a ‘campaign-by-campaign’ perspective, to an ‘always on’ approach, in essence getting smarter, faster.
The last year illustrated that programmatic now encompasses the realms of TV, DOOH and radio, as well as obviously online and mobile. Advertisers are looking to software to automate their media buy through any channel.
That is a fundamental shift. This is no longer just about auction based trading, or what was initially perceived to be ‘digital’. It is about using software to drive and execute a cross screen plan, on any device, in a consumer world which is not siloed.
Audiences do not think about TV, desktop, mobile. For them video is video, to be consumed wherever and whenever. As such, this will potentially have an interesting impact on where programmatic sits within an agency, as ultimately it’s just using software to buy or execute on a plan. The siloed planning approach and departmental separation is not a true reflection of how audiences exist, or what the current programmatic opportunity is nowadays.
We already see through our platform how advertisers in the US and Australia are embracing a true cross screen approach through the automation of linear TV, alongside desktop, mobile, tablet and connected TV. This enables planning and buying on audiences and measurement based on a true reach and frequency, which is optimised to the most cost efficient on target audience. The US market can do this currently because it benefits from a single source of data to measure (Nielsen) and the technology infrastructure on the supply side and multiple buying points of inventory. What we are also starting to see his how more strategic data sets, such as household income, ethnicity and purchase behaviour, are being used above and beyond age and demographic to really drive the automation of the audience buy.
The nuances of TV also differ by market, so the widespread adoption of programmatic TV, with the same speed and execution experienced in the US, will vary. In the UK, we continue to see broadcasters evolve and start to test how software can unlock their own audience data and potentially change the way in which they trade and work with advertisers – this is still very much online and mobile, not yet linear.
The automation and use of this more strategic data to deliver more relevant and engaged ads to on-target audiences will be key. As audience consumption shifts and becomes more fragmented through device, so the opportunities to reach those audiences expands. This is not about the replacement of TV, but about how consumption change requires a different approach to limit to the over-delivery of frequency and limitation of reach on certain audiences. I look forward to seeing more of these data-driven campaigns getting recognition at next year’s awards.
Nick Reid, MD, TubeMogul
Tel: +44 (0) 203 318 1034