Commentary

Brands: Relationships (Even Yankees Tickets) Can't Buy Me

Beyond scale and other buying efficiencies, programmatic’s true value may lie in its resistance to guilt, peer pressure, and other human influences. “Machines never ask the question, ‘Why didn’t I get on the buy?’” Joe Mandese, editor-in-chief of MediaPost, reminded RTB Summit attendees, on Thursday. Aggravating (and unrelenting) as such questions may be, however, brands and agencies insist that human emotions and relationships don’t factor into their business decisions. Before any commitments are made, there “needs to be a unique buying opportunity,” Mike Searles, Digital Marketing Director at Staples, said Thursday. Keri Demarino, Director of Planning (on the Staples account) at Carat, agreed. “Relationships aren’t … driving factors,” she insisted. It’s “not about who took you to the Yankees game,” she said. Rather, “It’s about [what partner] has the ability to [deliver audiences or whatever else they’re promising],” she said. Otherwise, Carat would lose its business in no time. With Staples, Demarino said, “If we launch a program and its not working, you’re done in two weeks.”

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