The Beholder's Eye: PointRoll's Mario Diez On Evolution Of Premium RTB

Mario Diez rejoined PointRoll earlier this year as CEO, after growing the New York market for the company nearly a decade ago. The man has a pretty informed perspective of the premium market, not only through his role at PointRoll, but also because Quadrant One, his previous employer, was among the first premium private exchanges. Yet, to his mind, the definition of premium RTB continues to evolve. “It is becoming less about the inventory and more about intelligence,” he comments. “Advertisers will always be willing to pay more for ads that do more.”

Diez defines premium specifically by what it’s not: a commodity. Any definition of premium RTB must outline what makes it premium and unique. “It’s very difficult for one entity to define what premium programmatic is because there are so many factors. But it comes down to relationship between buyer and seller, type of environment, type of audience, the creative format and how data is leveraged to create the most effective ad experience.” Diez adds with a smile that we seem to have an opportunity to develop an index of what premium actually means. (Note to self for future column!)



With the rapid growth of programmatic, Diez is seeing many partners learning to be much more efficient to maximize their budgets. “What’s starting to happen is advertisers and their agencies are building more sophisticated data strategies,” Diez observes.

He continues, “The old way of thinking about premium was, is the ad uniquely placed, and does the ad do something more than the standard ad can do? Look at the Rising Star units. They could very well be classified as premium.” And many of us do classify them as premium, as a matter of fact. “But consider a publisher, who has an advanced strategy with regard to data and architecture, which presents a lot of interesting ways to sync and work together with both the buying community and the creative teams. For them to understand which audiences and environments are working, and which brands are resonating with a publisher’s audience - that’s a completely different view of premium. That’s really exciting because it’s adding another level for publishers to engage with the buying community.”

And when you consider the real-time aspects of that, it gets even more exciting. When advertisers can observe what’s happening in their particular niche in the morning, then create and deliver messages that respond to those trends to their audiences before lunch, that’s exciting. We have so much useful, actionable data, but many advertisers are still seeking an effective way to get the most relevant, resonant message in front of prospects.

“What’s happened over the last five years is that the industry has given a lot of attention and investment to solving the problem of how digital is executed, making the data behind media more accessible and actionable,” says Diez. “Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we need to get back to what really matters. How do you use that data to optimize the whole advertising experience, including the creative itself? You can find the right person at the right time, but if you don’t have the creative data architecture to deliver the right message, you’ve wasted your time.”

Diez has found one way to ensure premium or gold: Data yields creative optimization.  And that’s going to make premium RTB work better for everyone.

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