Clients Take the Reins on Programmatic | Digiday

As more and more clients like Kimberly-Clark become more savvy about the ad tech world, they are demanding transparency about what, exactly, they’re paying their agencies for – and how their data is being used.

via Clients Take the Reins on Programmatic | Digiday.

In my experience, agencies and brands are learning at the same pace as each other, and often times, brands and internal digital teams know as much as the agency folks. Plus, the media landscape is so complex, that the smartest brands are working on how to get in *front* of all the change, and start driving their *own* change. If they do, there is very real, very large upside for companies to take their programmatic buying in-house. Financially, for sure. But the most strategic value will come from the data and insights they gain from direct oversight of their trading. Insights about the performance, but also about their brands, their consumers. And, brands will need this info to help them understand the industry evolution.

Smart agencies will stop stressing about lost media planning fees, embrace their future as media strategists and analysts, and figure out how to help brands bring stuff in house. There will still be plenty of work for agencies to do as brands bring it in house, including analysis, larger scale efforts, and media operations. And, in some cases, an experimental, innovation focused “media lab” of sorts.

Dealing With Native Ad Formats

This issue – the rise of native ad formats – is one to watch.
Love it or hate them, banner ads provide websites a common currency for

This article focuses on content-driven experiences on websites,
supporting what they call “Content Marketing” (geez, I hate that term! ) as
advertisers seek deeper engagement beyond the box of ad units and publishers
seek better ways to monetize (Most can’t sell more than 40% of their available
display units, anyway) at a higher rate.

What this article DOES NOT discuss is an issue that I think
is even more important: What the mobile/app centric publishing model will
unleash. With the exceptionally fast uptake of a mobile-dominant experience,
there will be a proliferation of “native” ad formats that are app/platform/media-title
specific. Examples: Promoted tweets in twitter, sponsored stories in FB. Tumblr
has them, Flipboard’s ad formats are unique. Foursquare will have them. iAd is
unique, for the most part.

Key implications:

  • Media buying in the digital space may get even more
  • Long term, we may see a rise in eCPM’s
  • Cross-publisher comparisons will be more difficult, due to
    the differences in the ad formats
  • Measuring “engagement” will get easier
  • Measuring the sales impact – always a challenge – will not
    get even more difficult

What's a brand to do in the short term? Monitor closely and do small tests and learn on your own.