This past week, Mediaocean held its inaugural session of the Connect Series, titled the Future of TV. In this session, our CEO, Bill Wise, chatted with Dave Morgan, CEO of Simulmedia, about where TV is headed next. While most in the industry have been seeing a trend towards digital, Dave says that TV is still powerful and here to stay. And he has the stats to back it up!
Check out the session here and see what Dave and Bill have to say about TV. And be on the lookout for more Connect Series sessions to come!
The Connect Series is a collection of thought leadership sessions with industry leaders, designed to address some of the most pressing issues our business faces today. Interested in attending a future session? Please email email@example.com for more information.
Everyone agrees that "programmatic" is the buzzword of the year, especially within the premium, guaranteed space. But some question if its surge has truly made it a mainstay for both buyers and sellers, with a lasting value beyond just automation.
Based on our experience in working closely with global agencies and publishers, it is clear that the most significant barriers to adoption are entrenched processes and a lack of trust between the buyer and the seller. If we can change mindsets, then we can make automated guaranteed a reality.
Some publishers and agencies have already begun to look beyond these challenges to see how automated guaranteed can work for them now and in the future. In conjunction with the recent launch of Prisma Avails, Maria Pousa, senior VP-Global Marketing at Mediaocean, sat down with Manu Warikoo, senior VP-product, platforms at Mediaocean; James Deaker, VP-revenue management, privacy and policy at Yahoo; and Anush Prabhu, chief channel planning and investment officer at Deutsch New York; to discuss automated guaranteed.
Q: How is the relationship between buyers and sellers changing with automated guaranteed?
Anush: Time is money. With automated guaranteed, both buyers and sellers gain back precious time—planners that know exactly what inventory they need to purchase reduce the back-and-forth conversation, and the seller is relieved of spending tedious time confirming inventory. With automated guaranteed, both parties can now focus time on strategic conversations, devising innovative solutions, new testing opportunities and developing robust partnerships.
James: The rise of automated guaranteed buying is a huge step toward streamlining and simplifying the direct purchase of media from publishers. One of the biggest challenges has been the number of intermediaries, whether people or platforms, between the buyer and the seller. For every transition from person or tool, there's the opportunity for mistakes, information loss or delays in the process. The direct connection provided through programmatic guaranteed tools literally brings buyers and sellers closer together and reduces miscommunications, mistakes and other friction in the system. The result is better inventory utilization for publishers and better return on ad spend for the advertiser.
Manu: With less time spent on RFPs, invoices and other mechanics, automated guaranteed enables buyers and sellers to focus more energy on meeting the advertisers' goals. Additionally, many of the complexities of product comparison and price negotiations that lengthen the media buying cycle and can put strain on the buyer-seller relationship are lessened with automated guaranteed.
Q: With much of the tedious operations removed from the RFP process, how will your teams refocus their newfound free time?
Anush: Leveraging automated guaranteed inventory will ultimately help maximize our planners' time by allowing them to focus on more unique, custom programs and uncovering new innovative solutions for our clients. The more time they can focus on strategizing, optimizing and uncovering new opportunities, the better we can build stronger, more effective campaigns for our clients.
James: We spend a lot of time thinking strategically about coming up with new, creative and custom ad formats, and how we can update existing products to create more value for advertisers. One example is how we have started to serve many of our below-the-fold ad units only when the user scrolls down the page and the ad comes into the viewable frame rather than simply serving it when the page loads. In doing so, we've succeeded in making the ad unit more valuable to advertisers than ever before.
Q: How, if at all, will automated guaranteed impact the quality of premium inventory?
James: The power of automated guaranteed is that different signals, like viewability and context, can be passed from the buyer to the seller in a trusted relationship. The more information that is passed to the advertiser, the more valuable and more premium the inventory becomes. In that sense, the definition of premium will evolve to align more closely with the attributes that the buyers value.
Manu: Though the manual processes are decreased, the inventory itself is by no means commoditized -- the value is in fact increased. With automated guaranteed, the inventory management for the publisher includes unique IDs, allowing performance tracking like never before for agency clients. This historical performance makes campaign analysis more transparent, efficient and enhances the value of well-performing placements over time -- increasing the likelihood of repurchasing same inventory and strengthening the buyer/seller relationship.
Some industry analysts have noted automated guaranteed has been slow to fulfill its adoption potential, especially in comparison with its real-time bidding counterpart. It seems obvious that increasing adoption will have a positive ripple effect on ad operations for both the buy and sell sides, but also that publishers, agencies and ad tech providers share equal responsibility in changing the mindsets to adopt it. When they do, next steps will naturally evolve to correct even more digital workflow laggards, such as trafficking, creative and beyond.
Interested in hearing more? Register to join Mediaocean, Yahoo and AOL during Advertising Week at "Automated Guaranteed: Not the Usual Suspects" on Sept. 30, 2014, 10 a.m., at BB King's.
We spoke with Adit Abhyankar of Visual IQ at dmexco 2014 and interviewed him about the top three trends his business is seeing and how he sees the space developing in the next few years. In this interview, Adit talks about how his company is seeing a move towards programmatic, companies making the effort to understand cross device measurement, and getting smarter about measurement.
by Vedant Sampath
Premium digital media buying has been a surprising laggard in adopting automation.
Publishers, agencies and ad tech vendors share equal responsibility for this.
As the digital market matures, media buying is likely to stabilize around three channels: RFP-based negotiated buys for truly custom units, publisher-served guaranteed buys for industry standard units and real-time bid-based buying over exchanges, also for standard units.
While all three buying methods benefit from automation, the publisher-served guaranteed segment suffers the most from a lack of automated buying. This has resulted in unnecessarily high transaction costs for both agencies and publishers.
Why has this sector resisted the push of automation? Technology to automate this sector certainly exists and is not a major factor. The main inhibitors to adoption are entrenched processes and a lack of trust between the buyer and the seller. What is needed is a change in mindset.
Agency Buyers Fear Lack Of Price Control
Our experience with a broad segment of North American media buying indicates that RFP-based buying at a campaign level represents a majority of the spending in the publisher-served guaranteed segment. There are several challenges from the buyer’s perspective slowing automation adoption in this segment:
Price comparison across like inventory is difficult without a futures marketplace.
Buyers don’t trust publishers to offer a fair price without some level of arm-twisting that is typical in the RFP process.
Even when negotiated prices exist, the multitude of product placement variations created by combinations of targeting, creative unit and type of ad unit make it hard for the buyer to readily apply pre-negotiated prices.
A combination of data science and newly empowered media investment teams is starting to change the dynamic among agencies. Data science can reduce the complexity of recognizing and comparing like products. Media investment teams are looking to consolidate price negotiations and scale the buying process, a trajectory that could help overcome the inertia to automating the buying process.
Publishers Fear Commoditizing Top-Tier Inventory
If past experience with real-time bidding (RTB) is an indicator, publishers equate automated buying with lower prices. This perpetuates the status quo of high-touch selling for all premium inventory. Tentative attempts at supporting automation have suffered from a combination of less-than-premium inventory and unrealistic prices. Success has been further undermined by not treating this as an independent selling channel resulting in channel conflict within media sales teams.
Context matters to brands. Automation-driven buying by itself does not commoditize inventory. Automation in this segment can create a more scalable sales model while retaining realistic pricing. Success is dependent on a combination of support at the executive level for this channel, and appropriate incentives at the field sales level.
Technology Needs To Support Full Transaction Life Cycle
Campaigns run not only across digital channels but also across multiple buying methods. A campaign containing custom sponsorships, premium run-of sections and programmatic RTB executed buys is commonplace. A buyer should be able to work across buying methods – whether that is an automated RFP process, an automated futures buy or an impression-based RTB buy – without having to change contexts. Research tools, third-party audience data, publisher media kits, inventory comparisons, historical pricing information and proposal and order revisions should seamlessly integrate with the buyer’s workflow.
Likewise, publishers should have inventory, price and yield management tools, product catalogs and integrated order management systems to enable these automated sales effectively. Open APIs are required to connect all aspects of the buying process and integrate buying and selling systems.
All of these are available in the market today. Let’s have the will to make automation happen and then we can continue to target the rest of the downstream digital processes that are fraught with manual steps, such as trafficking and creative, and reconciliation and invoicing. Ironically, digital buying will then move a step closer to TV buying, which has benefited from electronic buys and invoicing for more than a decade.
We sat down at dmexco 2014 with Pubmatic’s Co-Founder and CEO, Rajeev Goel, and spoke with him about the buzzwords of the moment and where he sees the industry going today. In this interview, he gives his take on programmatic and automated guaranteed and explains how he’s seeing a shift from desktop to mobile, increased globalization, and a move from traditional to digital media.
We met Sarah Keifer, Senior Marketing Manager from Ooyala, at dmexco 2014 where she sat down with us to talk about the future of the industry. In this interview, Sarah describes the top trends she’s seeing in her business, such as a hunger for data and massive growth in viewing video on multiple screens and devices. She also talks about how the advertising space will change in the next few years and why it’s important for brands and agencies to use uniform platforms and technologies across the board.
In this video, Joanne Miguel, Product Management Director, talks about how automated guaranteed (programmatic direct media buying) influences the relationship between buyers and sellers and explains what a world with fewer RFPs might look like.
Marketers must take steps to overcome the challenges presented by consumers' changing media consumption.
Media convergence is a consumer-driven phenomenon happening right here, right now, and there’s no going back. While marketers are concerned with how to communicate across a multichannel ecosystem that alters and proliferates by the day, consumers move seamlessly from device to device, concerned only with accessing information when and where they want it.
More than 60% of adults online in the UK use two or more devices to access digital content every day, while 25% use three devices. Moreover, 40% say they begin an activity on one device and then complete it on another, switching between gadgets for communication, work and entertainment.
With this in mind, marketers have embraced media convergence, but many still struggle to communicate across a wealth of channels while maintaining a consistent message and brand image. And brands must learn to communicate where customers are, rather than attempting to push them toward a particular channel.
So what are the challenges that media convergence brings for marketers, and how can they be overcome?
Dominance of Digital
Broadcast and print are the traditional dominant forces in advertising, but with the proliferation and accessibility of technology, consumers are naturally shifting toward digital content consumption. With an ability to provide data at a granular level, digital media is therefore being used increasingly as a baseline for ad campaigns – both on- and offline – which presents challenges for marketers who work in a "them and us" culture, where digital teams operate in silos separate from the traditional marketing team. Not only does this make it difficult to adopt a joined-up approach to planning and embracing a media-convergent environment, but it also inhibits a greater understanding of how to use the data to benefit the brand.
Complexity of the Ecosystem
While the consumer experience appears to be seamless when navigating from device to device, a multimedia campaign is profoundly complicated to deliver. As yet there are no tech standards, which creates an increasingly complex ecosystem that is difficult for brands to tackle alone.
And while the onus is on agencies to lead the way in industry innovation, it is critical that they can identify technology partners to help navigate this constantly changing landscape. Marketers need to keep up to date with industry developments to ensure they are getting the best from their agencies and that knowledge is communicated to them in a way that is relevant to their business.
Media convergence is also bringing greater transparency in data and analytics, so the success of campaigns can be determined more accurately than ever before, and marketers have a clearer overview of where spend can be used most efficiently. This has led brands to demand a measurable return on their advertising campaigns, but to achieve this they need to ensure that they set relevant, meaningful commercial KPIs that are aligned with brand-tracking metrics and the goals of their business.
Three Key Steps to Help Prepare for a Media-Convergent Future
1.) Inter-departmental co-operation needs to be managed to ensure that teams speak each other’s language rather than working in silos, enabling a fully convergent workflow. Channels such as TV, social and mobile should complement each other, rather than competing, with digital being placed at the centre of any campaign.
2.) Marketers need to leverage the knowledge and expertise of technology partners, while also keeping pace with evolving media.
3.) They also need to understand the measurement metrics relevant to individual campaigns, setting KPIs that are aligned with the goals of their business and communicating result parameters clearly to agencies.
Media convergence is the new world order and something that brands can’t afford to ignore as their customers switch effortlessly between devices on their own terms. By adopting these three steps, marketers can ensure their strategy has a future-friendly campaign structure, and that they can get the best out of their technology partners – reaching consumers with a consistent message regardless of device or media type.
by Trish German
In less than 10 days, Mediaocean’s New York office will move to a location just across the street from where we sit now. Everything will be shiny and new, including the open floor plan and green initiatives. In this move, we are not only moving to a space that will promote collaboration, but we are also enacting many initiatives to make our office a greener space – in fact, the new office is LEED Gold-certified! Looking around my current office, though, I can already see that getting down to a single file cabinet drawer will be a bigger challenge than Katniss faced in the Hunger Games! We’ve talked the talk for the last 10-15 years, and now it’s time for us to walk the walk: go “paperless”.
As early as 1975, there were predictions that the “office of the future” would be paperless – computers and electronic mail would make printing hard copies a thing of the past. In 2000, the conversation gathered more steam and everyone touted the idea of a paperless workplace. It was on many New Year’s Resolution lists - all around the world, companies were setting up network drives to house all important documents and developing workflow tools (like our products, Aura and Prisma) that issued online notifications and routed work electronically through the organization for you. No need to print that off; no sir, just EMAIL it to me, please and thanks.
So where are we now? I’m happy to say: in a much better place. Electronic filing and document management have significantly decreased our paper consumption and have added great efficiencies to the workplace, making documents far easier to find and faster to access and distribute. Our company started a “Go Green” initiative in 2007 to reduce our environmental footprint. In 2007, we printed close to 5 million pages per year for our clients. By 2012, we dropped the number to 1.5 million. And now, we are just below 1 million.
Our agency clients are in a similar place – many agencies are making it a company-wide goal to go as paperless as possible in an effort to become LEED-certified, reduce costs, and streamline processes. One of our clients similarly moved its employees (1,200 people!) in 2010 from a very large space – with many personal offices and an abundance of filing space – to a smaller space with an open plan. No longer would they have 19 copies of the same invoice stored in different locations: just one copy, stored electronically, thanks in part, to our Mediaocean systems. With this effort, clients can significantly increase their business without adding printers, copiers, and all the associated cost and waste.
I realize that the world may never be 100% paperless - in some industries, SOX and other audit regulations have killed the 100% paperless office dream. However, in most cases, by using new technology and shedding bad habits, businesses around the world can significantly reduce their reliance on paper and greatly improve their efficiency, reduce costs and waste, and live and work a little bit greener.
Asking around, it seems like we at Mediaocean have made some great progress. And on that note, back to weeding through my files and on to the move! Come see us at our new space – I’ll be the one with the clean desk and the empty drawer!