'Data Is the New Oil': Programmatic's Possibilities

Real-Time Daily's own Tobi Elkin hosted a panel called, "Not So Fast: Why Marketers Still Hold Back Their Programmatic Investments," Monday at MediaPost's Programmatic Insider Summit in Phoenix. (Watch the conference live here.)

Elkin said that while programmatic is an effective way of automating at scale (and a projected $15 billion will go through programmatic media channels this year), there are some hurdles in the industry. Just because something is automatic, doesn't mean it's going to be easy, Elkin noted.

Still, "data is the new oil," commented Rob Griffin, chief innovation officer, Almighty. Opportunities abound. In fact, a few panelists said they attended the conference to learn about programmatic challenges and possibilities for their brands, including panelist Mike Colella, CEO, Credit Simple.



Below are some highlights from the panel, which also featured today's keynote speaker Katie Szumowski, VP-media, Vonage; Brett Kaufman, VP-acquisition marketing, Goji; and Itay Rahat, director of CRM product strategy, Warner Music Group.

On Programmatic's Increasing Complexity

"[Programmatic] is very complicated, and it's hard," said Griffin, especially when you're outsourcing to an agency. Szumowski agreed, saying the little black box is becoming even more complicated. The joke at Vonage used to be that if you wanted people to bail on a meeting, make "SEO" the topic, Szumowski said. Now, programmatic isn't far off from that status, she added. 

Where to Start Out

Griffin recommended that brand marketers get really granular about creative. When you get into mobile, the standard IAB approach to desktop doesn't work well, Griffin said, adding, "I think it's about finding the right partners and looking at different sources of data or existing partners as resources."

Szumowski said to figure out internally who are the key stakeholders in decision-making.

"I don’t think you have to centralize media buying, but you do have to centralize ownership of tech and data," Griffin said. "I’d encourage all advertisers to take advantage of their DMP contracts so they can do their own analysis."

Kaufman asked fellow panelists how to get new products in front of consumers. Szumowski said to focus on how to test and focus on the end-goal you're trying to achieve. Griffin recommended finding and pushing partners or platforms you're going to work with for more insight. "Work with someone who will get you net new eyeballs," Griffin said. Rahat added that it's important to interrogate data partners and to make sure they optimize any way they can to get the best results.

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