Fall '12 Agency

December 2-5, 2012 | Scottsdale, AZ

The efficient way to buy premium inventory


If you think digital media is divided solely into "custom premium" and "programmatic remnant," think again. Here's why Legolas says you shouldn't settle for less.

Do we accept too many trade-offs in digital? That was a key subject of the Legolas Spotlight presentation at this year's iMedia Agency Summit in Scottsdale, Ariz. In a joint presentation by Legolas co-founder Ran Cohen and Mediacom managing partner Vik Kathuria, the duo challenged many of the so-called truths that buyers feel they need to accept in today's media environment.

Are price and quality mutually exclusive? Accuracy and reach? Reach and transparency? Programatic Efficiencies and Control? Both leaders argued that digital marketers shouldn't accept these trade-offs but should rather explore new partners and media-buying models where these features can be combined.

Cohen outlined a more nuanced way of thinking about the media market. His view recognizes that there are marketing challenges that are well satisfied by endemic upfront media purchased site-by-site and RTB remnant purchased at low cost. But his vision is for a third category of media -- the audience upfront.

Audience upfront refers to unsold quality inventory purchased in advanced from super-premium publishers. This combination enables Legolas to offer the predictability, quality, and safety of custom site-by-site buying along with the efficiency and affordability of programmatic. Bridging this gap helps Legolas fulfill both upper funnel objectives like awareness and early consideration, along with lower funnel objectives like driving purchase.

Legolas uses a four-step process to engage with its clients. It begins with audience discovery using advanced data modeling, followed by an assessment of the best way to get people to take another step further down the buying funnel. Legolas then uses a combination of audience upfront buying and programmatic spot buying to provide a comprehensive program that reflects opportunities at the various relevant stages of the funnel.

The Legolas solution has been successfully tailored for a variety of disparate categories with different objectives. As an example, it presented a CPG case study in which the brand was focused on both driving loyalty and customer acquisition. The four-step model identified opportunities in both upper and lower funnel stages, driving an overall 18 percent sales lift. The company also segmented buyers to determine sales impact on both the loyalty and trial dimensions. Specifically, it drove a 48 percent sales lift among existing customers and a 32 percent lift among competitor buyers.

In another example, a luxury car brand engaged Legolas to drive the best possible CPL at scale. Again, research indicated that both upper and lower funnel marketing would help drive the necessary efficiency and scale. Using a combination of upfront and spot audience buying, Legolas was able to achieve the best results of any vendor at a scale that far exceeded goals.

There is certainly ample evidence that our media environment is stratifying. And the Legolas results make the case that the audience upfront buying model is something we'll see more of in the years ahead.