Deirdre McGlashan, chief digital officer for Mediacom and DTA judge advises marketers on programmatic

Ahead of judging this year's The Drum Digital Trading Awards, Mediacom's chief digital officer, Deidre McGlashan, discusses the issues and potential that programmatic trading offers marketers and relays some advice on its best use as well as foreseeing its future.

What are the main challenges in programmatic trading marketing currently and why?

A lack of common currency has plagued digital marketing since the beginning so we’ve always been in a situation where the dollars don’t follow the eyeballs. This has not been ‘fixed’ so this continues to be a challenge as we move into programmatic trading.

To what extent has transparency improved in the value chain over the past year?

Programmatic is more than a machine-based way to purchase inventory, truly effective use of programmatic includes the use of data (to gain a deeper understanding of the consumer, to segment, to target) and optimisation based on actions to drive business outcomes for our clients. So the important thing is to understand the true value of the media and what it delivers towards the marketing objectives both short and long term and to have transparency against that value.

What could marketers be doing better to maximise on their programmatic investments?

Programmatic or not, the best way marketers can maximise their investments is to be very clear on their objectives and ensure that the right outcomes are identified that drive business growth so the media can be aimed and optimised. In the programmatic space, leveraging data, first, second and third party data, to enrich the system is key, as data informs buying.

What’s the next big thing in programmatic trading?

Proper cross device attribution and a renewed focus on the content that is being delivered to ensure the right content is available at each connection are the two next big things.

With direct response budgets becoming tapped out, to what extent can the progress in (linear) TV programmatic trading help shift brand budget into programmatic?

Programmatic strategy and trading are useful for much more than DR, it gives us the ability to move from standard reach and frequency to a more effective delivery of media based on audiences and behaviours. So if this benefits a brand's objectives, brand budgets should be (and are) moving here. As new inventory sources become available for purchase programmatically, especially "traditional" media, brand budgets will continue to shift.

To what extent should publishers pool their programmatic platforms to achieve greater scale for premium private marketplaces? What opportunities could be created?

The only way programmatic is going to continue to grow is to release premium inventory into it, so premium private marketplaces is the opportunity.

How much progress has programmatic trading made in shedding its image of ‘remnant, cheap’ inventory? How much further must it go?

Progress has definitely been made, we are talking about audience buying and behavioural, enrichment from data rather than remnant. Viewability will continue to shape this, programmatic is still young and we're going through a teething process as non viewable drops out of ecosystem.

What are the remaining barriers to marketers adopting programmatic trading?

The main barriers are a lack of common currency and premium inventory.

What are the next wave of opportunities programmatic trading can provide in the overall marketing landscape?

The next opportunity is to extend the principles of programmatic beyond trading and into strategy, making data harnessing and rules-based planning a norm.

What will you be looking for from entries during the judging stages?

Effective delivery against a business objectives.

How did you get into digital trading/advertising industry?

I started in a multimedia software company and fell into digital advertising when I got more interested in using the tools than marketing the tools.

The Drum Digital Advertising Awards will be held in association with AppNexus and sponsored by Adform, Integral Ad Science, LiveRail Millennial Media, Quantcast, StrikeAd, Tremor Video, TubeMogul and just announced Sphere Digital Recruitment.

For more details of The Drum Digital Trading Awards see the official website.

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