Programmatic Advertising Panel Recap

$33 Billion — For What? 212 NYC Programmatic Advertising Panel

$33 billion. That’s how much money programmatic advertising is expected to transact within the next three years.

programtic-advertising-istock_000017273443largeProgrammatic advertising is defined in Forbes as the “automation of the buying and selling of desktop display, video, FBX, and mobile ads using real-time-bidding. Programmatic describes how online campaigns are booked, flighted, analyzed, and optimized via demand-side software (DSP) interfaces and algorithms.” Even for all its apparent financial domination, it is something that still leaves even seasoned — or, perhaps, especially seasoned — marketers scratching their heads. Questions still swirl around it in the industry, from the basic what is it? to the more in-depth what will my actual ROI on programmatic be? Last night’s 212NYC panel sponsored by Yahoo at The New York Times building set out to put, at least, some borders on the meaning of programmatic advertising.

Moderated by Michael Zimbalist, SVP Advertising Products and Research & Development at the New York Times, the panel, sponsored by Yahoo, began with the words each of the speakers felt epitomized programmatic, which Zimbalist emphasized “means so much to so many.” Paul Dolan, SVP Global Business Development at Xaxis said, “evolution.” Kevin Rettig, Senior Manager Media Management at Accenture said, “opaque.” Macy’s GVP Digital Media & Multicultural Marketing Jennifer Kasper said, “future stake,” while Gary Templeton, Head of Marketing at Aetna said “efficient.” These four defining characteristics showed the wide range of thinking around programmatic, which perhaps suggests the most potent characteristic might be “nascent and wide-ranging.”

The rest of the evening was primarily centered around experience-based discussions of what each of the panelists have learned from their dealings in programmatic ads. Of particular interest to those who are looking to do more in the space was the discussion of the challenges that come with embracing this system. Templeton acknowledged the difficulty of internal selling, while Kasper identified concerns about protecting consumer data and walking the “fine line of perfect media timing” without scaring consumers about the amount of information Macy’s has access to. On the fiscal side, Rettig wondered what programmatic can offer that direct buying can’t, and Dolan said that continuing education on the subject was important as “there are more layers in transactions than ever before.”

On the positive side, Kasper said that once benchmarks are set, audiences can be targeted with much greater accuracy when doing programmatic buying correctly. Templeton noted the measurability of digital ad buying, and said that budgets are skewing toward it for that reason. Overall, the panel discussion presented a wide range of concerns and questions about how a still-emerging system of ad buying and targeting will, as Zimbalist said, “impact all types of media.”

By Lauren B. Mangiaforte, NewsCred Contributor

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Mobile Panel Event recap courtesy of NewsCred.