When programmatic becomes problematic for media companies

Cloud media automation CSC Blogs

If your media company is not using programmatic advertising – an automated, data-driven system for ad sales – now, you’re probably having very serious discussions about whether or not to do so soon.

As a quick reminder, programmatic works as an automated marketplace for ad space on websites, social media platforms and within videos on the Web. (Though traditional TV and even podcasts are giving it a try.)

With programmatic, data drives the buy. Advertisers can target who their ads reach with impressive specificity. (Want to focus on 65-year-old women who like dogs and skydiving? Facebook’s got you covered!) They can then interpret the results and adjust their tactics for the next buy.

It’s a fascinating tool with the potential to yield big bucks. In fact, in 2015, it was expected to make up $14.88 billion of the $58.6 billion digital advertising pie with predictions of growth in 2016.

So why have some media companies been reluctant to adopt?

Part of it is a lack of understanding. Another worry is that automation will detract from human-to-human deals, though there are examples of a hybrid approach being very effective.

Perhaps the bigger issue is the technology that drives programmatic success – and how it can turn programmatic problematic if not up to par.

A successful programmatic strategy relies on a few key tools:

  • A unified ad server that maximizes the efficient sale of inventory across platforms and channels.
  • Reliable, data-driven reporting on audience segments.
  • A workflow and platform that can easily accommodate such tasks as forecasting inventory, tracking and reporting campaigns and meeting customer demands.

The technology and processes in place at many media companies simply don’t meet the demands of this new approach. As a whitepaper by OpenX states, “Ad serving technology has not kept up with the innovations in the online advertising industry, putting publishers at a significant disadvantage.”

So, what’s a media company to do, especially when faced with expected growth in this segment of more than 20% annually? In short, bring its big guns to the game.

Media enterprises have an incredible asset in the huge store of audience data they’ve already gathered and add to every second of every day. By making investments in integrated platforms, they can marry those insights to ad inventory, adding huge value to the digital advertising ecosystem.

The result is a richer, smarter advertising experience for both advertisers and audience – and a piece of the programmatic pie for you.

Face it: Programmatic’s here to stay. What are you going to do about it?

As always, I welcome your input on how to approach changes and challenges in media. If you think I’ve misread a situation or trend, let me know. If you have a new way of thinking about the topics we discuss, pass it on. I want to engage with all of you in this space as together we make sense of today’s media industry.

Scott Dryburgh joined CSC in 2015 as the Industry Lead for Media with responsibility for UK projects in broadcast, publishing, advertising and entertainment. Prior to joining CSC, he worked across a broad range of clients and was responsible for transforming multi-faceted businesses using a creative and entrepreneurial approach.



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