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Sorting out the vapor in the programmatic trend

Sorting out the vapor in the programmatic trend Kendall Allen (3695)
Those of you doubting the trends in programmatic—reports that more and more inventory is being bought and sold this way, that more marketers are embracing the machine over the human media planner or buyer—might be asking the wrong question. As aptly illustrated by the ad:tech NY panelists today on “Surviving the Programmatic Buying Bubble,” it’s not a question of whether the growth is happening. It’s happening. But, might the movement be a bubble? How do we sort the vapor from the substance and find the ingredients that make programmatic useful to our business and marketing plans?

In order to sort, there are key areas to understand. First, if you are engaging an agency, or a holding company staffing a trading desk—do you understand what solution is being utilized? Is it proprietary? Do you understand what additional partners or parties are in the mix? Transparency, a principle that dogs us all, especially when we are not sure how to attend to it, extends beyond understanding placement and price, but of course includes those things. It’s important to understand the programmatic ad marketing operation you are engaging.

Secondly, it’s essential to get that programmatic is not just about the real-time bidding mechanic. Adopting programmatic, or automated buying, should be a practical if not spiritual consideration on how we as companies, brands and agencies marry consumer insights, strategy and machine learning. How do we integrate the machine to our operation strategically rather than use it to supplant it—so that media and creative people and assets can do their best work? As Jocelyn Griffing, CEO of Media Darwin, so plainly put it, “You will always need people.”

And, if something like programmatic can help keep your staff fresher, more nimble, more armed with data and audience intelligence and less encumbered by operational inefficiency, why wouldn’t you as a buyer or buying organization embrace it? There’s a lot to be said, once you’ve come to terms with where and how programmatic integrates strategically, for the straight-up bandwidth it preserves. For all the lost hours spent in the dark it just might re-capture.

In addition to servicing media and data tech clients for WIT Strategy as a Senior Associate in corporate affairs and media relations as her primary engagement, Kendall runs collaborative pursuits through her company, Influence Collective, LLC. --...

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