IAB Rising Stars: Vizeum’s Natra Aziz says the best thing about programmatic is that it never sleeps

The IAB Singapore Programmatic Committee continues its hunt for the industry’s brightest talents behind the technology. Find out how these passionate practitioners got started, the secrets behind their success and what they are doing to drive the industry forward.

“Programmatic is often misconceived to be a product or ad-unit”, observed Natra Aziz, Senior Account Executive at Vizeum. “The best way to break this common misconception is to first understand what you think you know.”

Graduating with a degree in film and creative producing with no knowledge of what impressions or CPM were, Aziz started on her programmatic journey at Vizeum with the ambition to learn anything and everything about digital advertising. Having mastered the art of breaking down the jargons and humanizing programmatic, she serves to bridge the gap in knowledge for new clients adopting programmatic offerings and embarking on journeys of their own.

“Natra has been instrumental in helping us push our clients to trial new programmatic offerings, going above and beyond to both educate the client and ensure the vendors have enough information and background to run a successful campaign,” acknowledged Penny Taylor, Account Director at Vizeum APAC.

Putting clients at the heart of her work, Aziz inspires with her drive to learn, dedication and passion to share. A programmatic rising star and an advocate of sharing knowledge, Aziz is well on her way to make waves in the industry as she unravels programmatic misconceptions, one at a time.

What did you think the word programmatic meant before you started your job?

To be completely honest, I have never heard, much less know of the term “programmatic” before joining Vizeum.

What do you love the most about programmatic?

The best thing about programmatic is that it never sleeps even when you are – it is this single mechanism that is reliable, lessens human interactions and finds you the best prices or deals, therefore making it time and cost saving. Who doesn’t like that? It’s like online shopping on a Black Friday weekend, where discount codes come to you and you pick the best ones without having to beat the crowd.

How do you predict programmatic will change the future/evolve?

Programmatic will be the future of digital advertising albeit several existing cons such as ad frauds and bots. That being said, with the rise in mobile penetration across more emerging markets, the demand for video content as well as the increase in targeting capabilities and robust data reporting and analysis, it is highly likely all digital activations will be traded programmatically for time and cost efficiency. I think offline media will eventually follow suit when more brands and agencies collaborate in traditional media experimentations and produce substantial successful case studies.

Share an anecdote or any funny story from your work experience?

During my 2nd year stint in the company, I was caught googling various programmatic meanings and what it entails to explain to a client what programmatic is all about in the simplest, most layman explanation. I was told “you’re more than Google, Natra! Pretty sure you already know what programmatic is all about!” Nothing very amusing but memorable and embarrassing!

Any advice for new entrants to get into the industry?

General tip: Never be afraid of being less tech-y than others or let unknown digital terms scare you because all you need is a bagful of hands-on activations, truckloads of confidence and lots of support from peers to kick start your career . Also, another personal tip would be to continue having the hunger to learn. Self-learning is important to get you on the digital roll much quicker.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

As you’d know, ambitions tend to change at every growing phase. When I was about 12, I wanted to be a primary school teacher because you get to mark papers and give them good or bad grades along with stamps or stickers. That quickly changed when I was 16 and I dreamed of becoming a TV journalist which landed me in film and media school. Little did I know that I would chance upon a career in digital and programmatic, and here I am today and I can’t be any happier with how my journey has evolved.

Gregory Pichot is director of client advisory at AppNexus and the co-chair of the Programmatic Committee at IAB Singapore.

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