Do You Belong In The Biddable Media Department?

One of the most urgent questions that clients, agencies, and advertisers are asking is, "How do we adapt our organization for changes in the performance marketing landscape -- particularly the convergence of search, social, and display?"

It's a tough question.  Invariably, innovations in technology and media will happen faster than most organizations can adapt to.  This creates an opportunity for the fleet of foot.   The winners in either search, social, or display will be those who manage all holistically.  Budgets and goals should be set across all performance marketing channels and search, display, and social publishers should be optimized together.  To accomplish this you need to have a holistic approach based on performance, innovation, and people (PIP).




The most obvious element that binds search, social and display media is that all can be bought on biddable auctions.  The growth of paid search was a precursor to the creation and growth of cross-channel attribution, data exchanges and demand-side platforms.  These advances have fundamentally changed performance-based digital marketing. Advertisers now have better transparency, efficiency, and accountability for their online media campaigns than ever before.  Just as important, advertisers can know all the customer interactions with their media that lead to purchases at every step of the decision funnel.  As search and display media merge and marketers begin to understand how the two channels interact they can attribute and manage digital spend accordingly. Search marketing, display marketing, and social media experts now have one common goal: performance.  Over the next year we will see the growth of centralized "biddable media" departments.


Many advertisers, agencies, and technology providers face their biggest challenge in recent years: how to innovate and keep pace with the ever-changing digital landscape. Innovation has to be controlled and led carefully by technical, product, and market specialists.  You should not lose your focus on your core competencies, but if you don't innovate then your company will probably face extinction. Going into 2011, it is vital that marketers embrace innovation and the new technologies that help them measure, attribute, and optimize performance media spend. You should be focused on how you incorporate, pitch, and present these technologies to clients. Innovation does not only mean technology, but also processes and ... people.


Technology is only as good as the people that use it.  A key challenge for advertisers, in-house teams, and agencies is how to use and leverage talent across the organization. Training your team on new performance marketing concepts and technologies is essential. The marketplace is getting more complex, not less.  Just as important is what service technology platforms offer clients/users and agencies to enable them to understand the products, market, and technology around them.  Optimizing people is just as important as optimizing performance media. The search marketer can help display and exchange specialists under the concepts of auction-based media. Vice versa, display people can help search specialists with dynamic creative and understanding of networks and exchanges.

Together, we may just see the rise of the "biddable media" department.

3 comments about "Do You Belong In The Biddable Media Department?".
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  1. Joe Bencharsky from iNet Entertainment, November 19, 2010 at 11:33 a.m.

    Agreed on the "Tech. is only as good as the people who use it." Too often I see people trying a "Do it Yourself" approach to internet marketing and social media and then wonder why it does not work.

    I use the metaphor of buying a hammer because you want a room addition, but the room never gets built. It takes knowledge, skill, additional tools, permits, time, materials, Will, etc.

    Everyone with a hammer (web page, Facebook page, Twitter account, etc.) thinks they can suddenly be successful without the knowledge and training it takes to wield the tools with skill.

    A bad Radio or TV ad will draw almost as few people as no TV or Radio ad. Likewise with Internet marketing.

  2. Bruce May from Bizperity, November 19, 2010 at 11:37 a.m.

    Great fundamental advice. Too many postings discuss abstract concepts that have little connection to the real world that marketers must deal with on a daily basis. You have correctly identified the greatest challenge in how to deal with an ever changing ecosystem. The future belongs to the nimble and the quick. Trying to understand the obscure workings of the latest behavioral targeting technology is less important than in simply understanding the basic mechanics of leveraging these options as a practical matter on a daily basis. Those of you who understand these things need to better educate the rest of us because we all are struggling to keep up with the changing landscape. I operate above the trenches but I must make strategic decisions based on what goes on in the bidding rooms. I read MediaPost and other journals to keep in touch with current techniques but too many writers want to sound like Bertrand Russell spouting philosophically about the implications of new media and how one thing-a-ma-jig impacts the underlying zeitgeist of another what-you-ma-call-it. Keep up the good work and don't lose your focus on helping the rest of us understand how the ecosystem actually works (today).

  3. John Jainschigg from World2Worlds, Inc., November 19, 2010 at 11:46 a.m.

    Amusing to note that the alternative definition of 'biddable' (as used commonly for women, children and domestics in the 19th century) is "excessively obedient," with a semantic side of "too acquiescent to challenge authority."

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