Renaud Biet, co-founder of TabMo, tells David Murphy that far from conflicting with each other, programmatic and creativity can go hand-in-hand.
There’s an underlying current of friction between the concepts of programmatic and creativity. While most people accept that programmatic makes the process of buying and selling ad inventory much more efficient, there are many who say that the focus on automation means there is less emphasis on creativity. Yes, you can target the right person in the right place at the right time and in the right context, but if what you target them with is unmemorable, and in fact barely noticeable, those carefully targeted ad dollars are quite simply wasted.
It’s an issue that was front of Renaud Biet’s mind when he co-founded TabMo as a mobile-first DSP (Demand-side Platform) some three years ago. “Creative is our watchword,” he says. “We see absolutely no reason why programmatic and creativity cannot go hand-in-hand, and that’s the way our platform has been built, from the ground up.”
There are two ways to bring this creativity to life on Tabmo’s Hawk platform. The first is via a number of automated creative modules that sit within the platform, enabling brands and agencies to easily incorporate full-screen video interstitials, 360 video and native video ads within apps and mobile sites.
Biet says: “We’re the only programmatic platform in the world to combine next-generation mobile DSP with automated creative modules that any media trader can use. Available in self-service, we think this will help marketers even further in their goal to accelerate the switch from desktop to mobile advertising.”
For more complex treatments, TabMo has a Strong team of eight designers within its creative studio that can create bespoke ad units on demand. Alternatively, if the advertiser has a creative partner they already work with, like Celtra for example, the TabMo team can simply insert the partner’s tags.
The automated modules and creative studio are what enables us to run sophisticated, great-looking brands campaigns, built 100 per cent for mobile with device ID caps to target specific audiences in-app,” says Biet.
Creativity is good, but in order to be effective of course, the ads need to be seen, at scale. Tabmo ticks this box with connections to all major SSPs (Supply-side Platforms). Rubicon Project, MoPub, AppNexus, Smartadserver, Adyoulike, StickyadsTV, Inneractive and Smaato, are among TabMo's SSP partners.
There are more partnerships in place with companies in the brand safety arena – Integral Ad Science, Meetrics and Adloox; data – adSquare, Statiq and Factual; and mobile trackers such as Tune and Appsflyer.
“We see ourselves as being at the centre of the mobile programmatic ecosystem,” says Biet. “We have made it our business to connect with the key players from every corner of the programmatic universe so that our advertisers and agencies can make one connection to the Hawk platform to access an entire marketplace.”
TabMo’s Hawk platform has also evolved in tandem with programmatic itself. It’s Deal ID system supports Private Marketplaces (PMPs), for those marketers who want to combine the efficiencies of programmatic buying with the certainty of knowing in which premium environments their ad will appear. It’s also geared up for precise proximity marketing, with GPS targeting down to any coordinate.
Any marketer worth his or her salt wants to know that their ad dollars are being spent efficiently, so the Hawk platform has strong analytics capabilities, with the ability to report on every field that makes up the bid request. Advertisers and media traders can see what traffic is available by a variety of different filters, including country, exchange, device type, connection type, and many more.
To make this information as easily accessible as possible, there’s also a Hawk app for Android, with an iOS version coming soon, that enables platform users to access campaign analytics and demo their creatives.
Despite the sophistication of the platform, however, a lot of emphasis has been placed on the user experience and the user interface. “The platform has been built more for marketers than for traders,” Biet explains. “It’s very simple and intuitive to use, despite all the capabilities it puts at the marketer’s disposal.” Features include a real-time dashboard and intuitive order and line creation modes, and hourly planning capabilities.
Looking ahead, Biet says he’s optimistic about the future, both for programmatic and for Tabmo’s part in its development. “Our goal is to be a leader in the programmatic space in Europe, and then look beyond that to America,” he says. “We are seeing 100 per cent year-on-year growth and have established a solid base, with a good platform and a talented engineering pool of 25 developers in Montpellier-based R&D centre, who are constantly looking to refine and improve it. Programmatic is definitely here to say, but that should have no negative implications for creativity. On the contrary, as far as we’re concerned, the two were made for each other.”