Marketers are clamoring for more transparency into the process of buying digital media. An important part of that is the need for more clarity into the murky process of buying programmatic media. In an attempt to meet marketers’ needs, Havas, the French agency holding company, launched what it’s calling the Client Trading Solution.
Havas claims the customizable dashboard will enable marketers to track and monitor their programmatic campaigns and fees across demand-side platforms (DSPs) and exchanges in real time. Havas said the system will enable clients to watch agency traders negotiate rates with vendors, create targeting strategies, and optimize campaigns in real-time. Marketers will be able to see the specific costs of media and data. Depending on vendor contracts, they will also be able to manage fee negotiations.
If the system delivers on that promise, it will be a step in the right direction for an ecosystem cloaked in mystery, smoke, and mirrors, that it can be incomprehensible even to people in the business. Havas, it should be noted, requires programmatic training for all its employees.
The Spanish telco Telefónica is using the product, along with another client Havas said is adopting the system. It will be interesting to see what marketers have to say about the product once they use it.
Meanwhile, Dilip DaSilva, CEO of Exponential, weighed in: “The reason there is pressure for transparent platforms in programmatic buying is to counter the erosion of trust between client and agency. However, providing transparent access to track programmatic spend, as seen by a trading desk or DSP, is only one peel of the onion.”
DaSilva continued: “There are many players in the supply chain, and simply providing access to the price paid doesn’t expose all the other ways in which an advertiser’s trust can be eroded.
"The issues stemming from a lack of trust and transparency can be eliminated when marketers focus on results and create a competitive environment where multiple vendors are compared fairly based on performance. If any vendor, DSP, or trading desk is operating in a way that’s not aligned with the client’s best interests, this will be clear in the results.
"The fact that transparency has become a requirement is an indication that clients haven’t set up a competitive environment where multiple players are competing to drive results for their brand. A highly competitive environment should be the requirement, with transparency delivered as an add-on. Still, this platform is a step in the right direction."