Are Programmatic And Branding Mutually Exclusive?

Depends on who you talk to. Or in the case of OMMA RTB Chicago, who’s talking to you from the opening panel debate.

Jen Brady, founder-CEO of Fred & Associates, believes programmatic audience-buying is antithetical to brand strategy, whereas Art Muldoon, CEO and co-founder of Accordant Media believes it’s just another tool in a brand marketer and agency's chest -- and when used well, can accelerate a brand’s strategy, not limit it.

“We don’t have the Super Bowl of the Internet anymore with RTB,” Brady challenged: “We’ve commoditized it. We are not thinking about the overarching creative approach to incorporate branding.”



“Programmatic absolutely has a place in branding,” countered Accordant’s Muldoon, noting that it’s just “nascent and growing.”

One of the problems with scaling programmatic technologies in the branding and creative process is that marketers still need to be educated on how it can work for them.

On that point, Donnie Williams, chief digital officer of Horizon Media, said marketers become “extremely nervous about the creative discussion,” implying that media agencies try not to force the issue, because it can be “another barrier to shifting more spending online.”

He said creative versioning can work in lower cost-propositions like altering banner copy on the fly, but less so when expensive content such as video is involved.

“I think there is room for creative nuance,” Williams said, adding: “I just don’t think that’s the starting point.”
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