Advertising Programmatic The Drum Awards

OpenX exec Teri Gallo on bringing brands closer to programmatic and rethinking their model


By Dani Gibson | Senior Writer

August 14, 2017 | 6 min read

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Adtech company OpenX has acknowledged a new industry trend that may shape the future of programmatic. Brands are increasingly looking to get closer to the buying process in the interests of transparency.


OpenX exec Teri Gallo on bringing brands closer to programmatic and rethinking their model

Teri Gallo, senior vice president of buyer development, believes that it helps remind clients of the value of programmatic, going back to the promise of tying data and technology to generate more desirable outcomes.

The company, last year, called for a new way of buying and Gallo spoke with The Drum about how this went. She said: “One of the things that we have been focused on, and is coming to fruition for us, is quality. Making sure that the message of how important it is for brands and agencies to know of where their ads run is paramount to building a growing channel.

"Of course, they need to be in well lit, fraud-free, quality environments. We deliver that and want to make sure that message permeates the industry and other players maintain high standards, as well

“At least once every week, depending on the brand, we have in-depth education sessions around quality and fraud etc, to help people make sure that their assets are running in quality environments.”

Brand challenges

From an advertiser perspective, most recognize that programmatic is interesting and of value.

“As the industry expands, a lot of dollars are flowing into the channel,” said Gallo.

“This year – something that began to pick up late last year, -- we started to see a lot of very hands-on activity and interest from brands. Many are wanting to get much closer to programmatic decision making and involved in how media decisions are made that affect their business.

“Some have decided to move media in-house and others are actively testing portions of media acquisition and doing that with in-house teams.”

Taking control

In the past six months, Gallo has seen brands starting to take control of their contracts with the decisions of which platforms they work with and decisions of which supply platforms they work with.

She said: “Typically, in the past, most of this had been driven through the agency system. The push to quality and minimization of fraud, have created an interesting dynamic, in the marketplace, and very specifically for the agencies. We started to see their way of doing business is being challenged. And they are being forced to rethink their programmatic model.

In addressing these concerns, Gallo says that giving back control to the brand is beneficial in some respects. Agencies have addressed this by rethinking how their trading desks work with clients and the rest of the agency eco system across the holding companies.

She said: “You see a variety of things happening there. They are addressing their clients' concerns by looking at whether or not it makes sense to move the programmatic capability or function closer to the originating digital media teams. They (advertisers) are also pushing central programmatic teams to do more to address the concerns over fees, quality of inventory and transparency on decisions that they make related to the client’s business.”

Impacting buying

Gallo expresses that the brands and advertisers that are getting more involved in decision making within programmatic are having an impact on how and where they buy.

She said: “Some are being as extreme as incubating in-house trading teams or programmatic teams at the brand. They are evaluating whether or not they can drive more efficiency and if it makes sense to take-on full media acquisition while leveraging their agency partners for data, strategy, and creative. Some advertisers are doing it in small bits to test this theory out.

“They are also looking at consolidation. They come from a world, pre-programmatic, where they had incredibly close relationships with larger media owners and drove large media initiatives. Some of this connection has gone away with the advent of programmatic . Thus, we see a large movement where advertisers and agencies are pushing on ways to get closer to the media owner and finding a way to do that efficiently through programmatic pipes. It is a big trend that is driving change in the space.”

Recognizing best practice

OpenX is a sponsor for The Drum Digital Trading Awards US 2017 with a strong focus on programmatic. Gallo believes that the way they are structured is honest and transparent and sets the bar for the quality of work that the industry wants.

“It starts to highlight people in the industry that really stand out and are exceptional,” she said. “This industry has aggregated a pool of very talented people and highlighting that to the rest of the industry raises the bar and excites people and sets a standard for work.

"Recognizing that in a transparent, honest way gives the people who have spent time and produced great work a chance to celebrate. Which we all too often don't take the time to do.”

The Drum Digital Trading Awards USA: the only award show of its kind to reward the US adtech industry by recognizing and awarding the most innovative, creative and effective search campaigns and strategies across both PPC and SEO.

You can now register your interest for 2018 and be the first to hear when we are open for entries.

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