Charles Cantu, CEO & Founder of ad-tech firm Huddled Masses, weighed in on the trend of brands bringing programmatic services in-house, noting that they shouldn’t have to sacrifice the expertise that agencies can provide.
Cantu eyes a more hybrid approach in 2017: “Most brands outsource programmatic buying to the trading desks of their media agencies and, as a result, have no visibility into valuable data other than high-level campaign results. Not surprisingly, brands are clamoring for increased transparency into the programmatic media buying process. Some are even bringing programmatic functions in-house. That’s a viable option for brands that have the expertise needed to handle and interpret the complex programmatic data within their four walls—many don’t.
"It’s time to discuss how to transition to a more desirable situation, where brands can bring the value and insights generated by programmatic in-house, without losing the expertise that media agencies provide.”
Cantu sees that many brands are looking to audit their agencies to ensure they’re getting a fair deal. “Over time, as more brands see what has been kept from them, the dynamic between agencies and brands will transition. In my optimistic view, everyone will benefit from it. Publishers will know they’re getting a fair value CPM, or revenue from their ad space, and advertisers will know that the bulk of their media dollars are going toward impressions that drive results with the highest cost per acquisition and ROI.”
Cantu noted that in “an increasingly complex digital advertising marketplace, where fraud takes many shapes and sizes, transparency is crucial to building trust and longstanding relationships. We’ve seen the damaging effects of fraud in the recent WhiteOps news, where it uncovered a Russian botnet that’s reportedly costing advertisers between $3 million to $5 million dollars each day. These types of stories, coupled with the growing demand for increased transparency from agencies, will ultimately lead to a tipping point in 2017 where transparency becomes the standard.”
Cantu maintained that dynamic creative is desperately needed in programmatic campaigns: “We can no longer create one set of creative executions and messaging for programmatic campaigns. We have world- class, NASA-grade algorithms and technology, experts in media/creative, and we’re still working with one set of creative executions to tell a story to people as diverse as billions of snowflakes. We do so at our peril. We must bridge the divide between execution teams and the creative agencies that are driving the brand narrative, ideas, and emotionally-charged experiences. We’ve seen that brands that develop dynamic creative that’s specifically ready for programmatic optimization have generated a 10x increase in performance, and I expect to see more brands adopting this approach in 2017.”