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Culture Media Programmatic

The importance of programmatic culture and why we should pay more attention to it

By Santhi Devulapalli , Manager of human resource and administration

November 22, 2018 | 5 min read

Programmatic is the fastest growing phenomenon in the adtech industry. With everyone talking about new developments in this field every day, it becomes equally important to look deeper and understand the culture and brains driving it.


The recruitment of right talent in the programmatic media is probably the hardest challenge of all.

Programmatic culture seeks different qualities, abilities, and skills from each of the mind working in this space. Organizations and employees need to think of programmatic beyond just a trading tool. With 84% of global advertising estimated to be trading programmatically by 2021, the industry needs a focused approach to develop and inspire next set of the talent pool in digital advertising. Programmatic offers a multitude of roles in media buying, business development, yield optimization, customer success, and operations. But at the same time, it demands employees accept dynamism that comes with rapid growth in this field.

The recruitment of right talent in the programmatic media is probably the hardest challenge of all. With many brands and agencies speaking about taking programmatic in-house, we have to keep in mind, programmatic requires a certain set of skill sets, cross-functional team culture and aptitude to grasp the latest developments in this dynamic industry. Brands and agencies that don’t have the same internal expertise in programmatic will struggle to deliver effective and competitive campaigns.

Why you should care about programmatic culture?

Programmatic culture starts with tapping the right talent and then ensuring that the employees love every bit of what they do. The journey starts with recruiting talent who are excited about being challenged, to refine and grow the programmatic capability as the organization develops its core technology capacity. Understanding the qualities you are looking for becomes extremely important because the talent pool can be quite limited in programmatic media. Even if programmatic specialists are willing to consider a move, commanding higher salaries and churn are likely to be problematic.

There are a limited number of experts who have the appropriate skill sets and experience, and we need to make sure that they are continuously trained as well after onboarding to get aligned with programmatic evolution.

  • Engineering and R&D Teams - Current staff needs to be trained on new tech stacks, evolving technologies. With so many third-party technologies, the expertise required is top-notch since speed is critical to implement new technologies and to stay ahead of the competitors
  • Customer success and operations - Need to make sure they are able to deliver efficiently & successfully on all client objectives. Act as a subject matter expert in programmatic and help clients excel
  • Sales and business development team - Help advertisers & publishers understand the benefits of programmatic. Need rich translation of complex technologies to easy to understand benefits for customers
  • Marketing team - Need a right blend of technical understanding and client & company objectives. Need to act as an enabler for the sales team to translate, convey benefits in a visual, seamless manner

The bottom line is - for programmatic to scale, the need of the hour is to leverage the right set of talent along with the data and technology.

“Programmatic is such an evolving ecosystem that it will keep requiring people of different skills. Here, people need to understand underlying tech, data, marketing objective as well as consumer behavior. Apart from being analytically and technically informed, people need to be curious about the way advertising is shaping the world around us," said Sharad Kapoor, vice president of programmatic demand at Chocolate.

How does programmatic culture matters to different team members?

Programmatic culture is a powerful element that shapes work enjoyment, work relationships, and work processes. To be successful in a fast-changing programmatic landscape, it requires continued commitment from a team of programmatic experts.

For Nancy Peters, the senior manager of programmatic supply partnerships at Chocolate, the growing competition, and options in programmatic is an industry-wide challenge as publishers can easily switch from one service provider to another if they do not get the maximum returns for their supply. "Since programmatic is all about bringing a cost-efficient scale with the highest quality media standards, collaborative strategizing and planning is something expected from my role. This, in turn, helps me develop skills and knowledge multiple folds which is something that keeps me excited and engaged," she explains.

Programmatic requires devising new ways of doing things and building upon that; thus acquiring new or developing already acquired skills. It has never been a monotonous low octane job, rather a challenging opportunity every day that keeps employees on high energy.

Santhi Devulapalli is the manager of human resource and administration at Chocolate Platform

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