Thought Leadership

Programmatic Growing Up – Insights from Advertising Week Europe

April 2, 2019
By Tim Rudder - Media Planner

Nearly 40,000 ad industry professionals convened in London for Advertising Week Europe, and there were key takeaways for programmatic buyers in terms of how they can enrich relationships and drive better performance from their supply partners.

The Trends

Partnership that works

Trusted and collaborative partnership was cornerstone to multiple panels across Advertising Week Europe.

Brands and agencies are increasing investment in programmatic and taking more of their tech contracts in house, leading for buyers to call for strategic partnerships that focus on tangible business outcomes.

It was clear that brands and agencies were also looking to streamline what is becoming an increasingly fragmented and complex ecosystem, placing emphasis on industry policy from bodies like the IAB as well as industry wide partnerships to help combat ad fraud and improve brand safety.

There was also a push for aligned strategy, with buyers stating a real willingness to create something unique and localised in partnership with their tech vendors. It’s clear that GDPR is one of the forces at play here, driving companies to leverage publisher first party data and custom audience activation.

Shaping effective video narrative

Video was also a universal theme, with buyers seeking media that allows them to better convey their brand narrative to consumers.

Discussion focused on formats, with six-second video being highlighted as a right fit for typical content length being consumed by audiences, as well as consumer familiarity and sentiment towards the format. Other panelists stated the importance of diversification, as longer formats give brands more room to build brand narrative and sentiment.

Standardisation and measurement

An increasingly diverse ecosystem led to multiple calls for standardised measurements across channels and platforms.

Buyers clearly feel that this lack of standardisation has a negative impact on success measurement. This was more pronounced on video panels, where it was clear that standardised benchmarking is imperative when it comes to defining effective video views across platforms. From a campaign performance standpoint, there was a consensus that video should be measured against up funnel metrics.

The Way Forward

Enriching your supply-side partnerships

There is a real desire for industry to build collaborative partnerships that drive business outcomes. So as a buyer, what exactly should you be asking from your partners — and what differentiates them?

Back to basic partnership

We are here to act as an enabler between the agency and the publisher, providing a transparent, centralised and measurable marketplace to transact across the plethora of media on offer.

Don’t hesitate to leverage your partners to help you address any specific or localised challenges that you may face. A combination of great technology and people power should develop intelligent products and processes that build towards your desired outcomes.

A strong partnership should be a consultative one that provides you with the knowledge and effective tool set for day to day as well. Some things to think about here include:

  • Are your partners providing you with enough support and training?
  • Does their tool set meet your needs and are you able to use them with confidence?
  • Are your vendors happy to partner on bespoke initiatives?
  • Do your partners work to better understand specific or localised challenges that you may face and work with you to address them?

Planning and alignment of campaign strategy

More conversations are being had directly with buy side trading teams and their supply partners than ever before, which is helping to drive co-creation of bespoke campaign strategy and the leveraging of publisher first party data for custom audience activation.

We’ve invested in a Media Planning team dedicated to meeting these needs.

Supply partners should be able to help you achieve relevant scale within your target audience whilst maintaining quality and performance. By understanding campaign objectives and collaborating on strategy, we provide a streamlined service that leverages inventory expertise across the wide breadth of formats and markets that we support. Essentially, helping you find the right inventory and audience whilst giving you more space to focus on brand narrative and equity.

Transparency throughout

Having a consolidated view in a well-lit marketplace helps to derive actionable insights to inform strategy.

As more tech contracts are being brought in house by brands and agencies, more interaction and partnership between vendors is a must. Are your technology partners providing you with the level of transparency such as insights into take rates, bidding strategy, and log level data that they should?

On the ad fraud and brand safety front, Rubicon Project is TAG certified, IAB Gold Standard certified and you can also find both our Brand Safety and Anti Ad Fraud JICWEBS certifications publicly accessible.

The opportunity

Deeper, trusted partnerships that center on business outcomes are imperative to further not only industry innovation, but also enable advertisers to promote effective narratives to their audiences in a well-lit, transparent marketplace.

It can be difficult to sift through the noise in what can sometimes be an overly complex programmatic ecosystem, however, I urge you to lean on your supply partners, aligning or co-creating strategy to help provide real value for your clients and campaigns.

If you would like to contact Rubicon Project about any of the points discussed, please reach out to your respective account manager.


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