Commentary

MediaMath CEO Says Real-Time Marketing Needs Best Practices, Programmatic Needs New Business Models

RTBlog checked in with Joe Zawadzki, CEO of MediaMath, for his thoughts on what’s likely to happen in 2017. Zawadzki is also chairman of the board for the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) Data Center of Excellence, so he’s coming at trends wearing his IAB hat as well.

Real-time marketing: You can already integrate real-time media and one-to-one dynamic creative at scale from a technological standpoint. What we’re missing is a broad sense of best practices, and standard configurations of people and processes that allow marketing departments and agencies to move forward with confidence. What’s the right next message for a specific audience segment as they move from awareness to consideration? How often should it see a high-impact video unit on a mobile device vs. one on a Samsung wall? How does one use native [advertising] to fill in the frequency curve? 

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Programmatic media: If we consider 2017 the 10-year anniversary of when programmatic hit the scene, we see that we’re coming to the end of a building-block phase. Now that we’re hitting a maturity phase. In 2017, we’ll need to think more about creating standards through industry associations and the globalization of business to tackle thornier problems. For instance, marketers will need to better align incentives and move away from pre-defined budgets. Companies will need to reorganize to better enable advancements like the convergence between paid and owned media, which currently sits in two separate teams in most businesses. We’ll see new business models and processes to create collaboration across multiple entities: market service, media, technology, and data.

Attribution: Next year may finally be the year of attribution. (Full disclosure: I’m like Mary Meeker and mobile on this issue—it’s going to happen, and when it does, it will go quickly. I just keep hoping and expecting it to have happened already!) Marketers are signing up for outcomes, not inputs inside of their own organizations and are increasingly asking ‘Who watches the watchers’ and ‘Who grades the homework of a dynamic and diverse supply chain?' Programmatic, when it’s executed correctly, is attributed based on the impact on specific business goals. It enables marketers see through channels and partners to the consumer behind all of the screens.

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