• Programmatic, Not Automatic: Why Agencies Still Matter
    Does automated ad buying mean cutting out all human interaction in the process? With the perceived economic benefits of programmatic buying, more marketers are certainly seeking to purchase digital ads directly, rather than relying on agencies to do the work for them, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. But just as automated trading systems don't make financial traders superfluous, neither does programmatic ad buying eliminate the human element.
  • Good, Bad, Ugly: Madison Ave. Vs. Wall Street Exchanges
    Since the mid-2000s, Madison Ave has been compared to Wall Street. This helped fuel innovation and investments, and brought more scientists and engineers into the area. Despite all of the good, the industry is now seeing some of the bad and the ugly by trying to put forth the financial stock exchange model as the primary method for purchasing online advertising. The problem with this is that the financial exchange and ad marketplace are fundamentally different. An ad impression is simply not a stock.
  • Programmatic Is Ready To Deliver What Brand Marketers Want
    A recent op-ed asked the following question: After reading reports that "Procter & Gamble plans to buy 70-75% of its U.S. digital media using programmatic ad tech by the end of this year, I couldn't help but wonder: Is this a good way for the largest advertiser in the U.S. to spend a nearly $2 billion budget?" My reaction to Proctor & Gamble's announcement was, well, the exact opposite. It won't happen overnight, to be sure, but the tides are changing. Slowly but surely, digital budgets are being automated.
  • How to Keep Your DSP Honest
    Using a demand-side platform is a great way to buy ad impressions because DSPs simplify the buying process for marketers and their clients. Unfortunately, many DSPs give you access to supply partners and publishers that are often less than trustworthy. If you're not careful, in the worst-case scenario, you could end up with a DSP that makes its money through hidden fees, slow queries per second, high-latency pixel firing, and impression fraud by way of shady SSPs and publishers. Thankfully, there are ways to protect against unsavory DSPs, SSPs, and publishers.
  • Don't Strand Your Programmatic Team On An Island
    Programmatic media spend will hit $9.8 billion in the U.S. this year, according to Magna Global, proof that major brands and agencies are finally embracing the new technology. As part of this adoption, many brands are creating in-house programmatic teams, or at the very least hiring a programmatic expert to guide them. Yet time and time again, we see that many organizations have isolated their programmatic team, confining them to a silo where they can't interact with other departments and disciplines -- not even the marketing team.
  • Computers Versus Humans In Premium Programmatic
    If IBM's computer, Deep Blue, can beat chess masters and their follow-up, Watson, can win on "Jeopardy," when can the "premium robot" Sherlock help us win premium programmatic?
  • Programmatic Misconceptions: Automation Isn't The Same As Choice
    At the recent OMMA RTB conference, I was thrilled to speak to a crowd of practitioners ready to take the next step in growing the $5 billion RTB market beyond its legacy in display advertising. While the talk started off addressing the elephant in the room - "What does my job look like two years from now?" - the concepts we covered focused much more on where RTB has to go from here: multichannel, upfront, guaranteed deals. The truth is that the longer-term question -- where do I land? - is answered by the tough decisions we have to make …
  • Ad Tech's Next Step
    Though it was released nearly 80 years ago, Charlie Chaplin's "Modern Times" remains the quintessential film about technology and its relationship to control. The scene in which Chaplin gets swallowed up by the cogs of an enormous machine is the classic image of technology that was designed to make our lives better but ends up sucking us into its workings. Like Chaplin, we sometimes find ourselves facing new technologies we do not control, wondering whether this is really progress. Those of us in the advertising technology industry know the feeling. With all our technological innovation, it is sometimes easy to …
  • Open Programmatic: Let The Network Do Some Of The Work
    The new open and network-based models of programmatic marketing are outperforming the old closed systems. The most striking thing about this is that many of the successful technology companies are letting the network do the work. What starts out as partnerships in specific areas of expertise (verticals) moves into programmatic measurement or optimization collaboration. Many claim higher performance when moving to mass collaboration and even crowdsourcing.
  • In Programmatic, Bigger Is NOT Better
    The advantage of working in a start-up or small agency is that while everyone has his or her specific roles, everyone is also available to help one another get the job done. So while creatives and buyers have superficially unrelated jobs, they collaborate to ensure that the right campaigns are shown in the right markets. As companies grow, this sort of constant collaboration naturally becomes more difficult. But the real problems with inter-departmental collaboration occur when mid-size agencies begin to more closely resemble much larger competitors like Publicis and Omnicom, or the megacorp they would have become if their merger …
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