Commentary

It's The Data, Stupid

As the rate of expansion of programmatic media-buying begins to decelerate, the focus is shifting to how vs. how much. That's the conclusion of the 2019 edition of the latest edition of Magna's semi-annual "Programmatic Report."

Yes, the report continues to size the growth of the programmatic marketplace, noting that while it continues to expand at double-digit rates, it will only expand 18% this year vs. multiples of that only a few years ago.

The main focus of the report, says its chief author, Luke Stillman, senior vice president-digital intelligence at Magna, is using data to buy programmatic in ways that are smarter than what people could do manually.

He calls the current state of programmatic as "Peak Data," and believes the industry is shifting from using data to figure out better ways of targeting people, to figuring out better ways to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time.

Part of the shift is due to regulatory -- or self-regulatory -- constraints in using personally identifiable tracking data, but in a broader way, it signals that the industry has optimized audience targeting and needs to focus on making media work better by aligning the right creative, including dynamic creative optimization.

The other big trend is creating more efficiency for marketers by removing unnecessary middlemen from the programmatic process, or getting them to work more optimally.

Either way, it's the data, stupid.

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