Yesterday we held the Mobile Marketing Programmatic Summit in London, with the usual combination of expert speakers and roundtable sessions. Here's a selection of the very shiniest gems of wisdom shared during the conference.
“When people hear 'programmatic', they still tend to think of poorer-quality, lower-price inventory. As the people currently working with this technology, we all know that’s changed, but that message hasn’t bubbled out to everyone.”
Approaching the topic from an out-of-home angle, Clear Channel commercial innovation director Cadi Jones shared a reminder of programmatic's tumultuous past.
“Programmatic has shifted the entire story of what The Economist is and what it can do. Now we’re independent, we can support the production of the content itself, just through subscription revenue.”
...Not that there was any doubt of its value in the here and now, as Steve Lok, global head of martech and ops at The Economist, emphasised in his presentation on how the publisher is being revolutionised by programmatic.
“Digital offers advertisers a bit of a conundrum, because you’ve got to think what kind of video you’re going to be showing on what screen, and make sure that it fits not just the screen but the user. For example, showing a too-long ad in front of short content may be off-putting. It just adds to the decision-making process.”
Ian Harman, head of demand for UK and Southern Europe at SpotX, discussed some of the issues raised by the nature of mobile – issues which programmatic can help solve.
“No data scientist or analyst can do anything if your data isn’t all in one place. Whether through it’s an attribution vendor or DMP, you need to have that consolidated view.”
Emily Macdonald, DigitasLBi's head of programmatic, shared her tips for making the most of programmatic to drive conversion.
“Not all of our tests are successful. There have been a lot of cases where we’ve tried something and it doesn’t work. In that case, you pretty much shut it off straight away. But both the failures and successes, we bring into the business as learnings.”
An honest look at how to handle failure – and why it can be a boon – from Auto Trader director of commercial platforms and operations Lara Izlan.
“The only static part of our homepage is the ‘subscribe’ button. Everything else is completely dynamically generated, from start to end, because we’re trying to understand and adapt to the complexity of intent of a user.”
A more in-depth look at how The Economist is integrating programmatic into every part of its business, from Steve Lok.
“As a brand, you’ve got so many new challenges. Smartphone usage and the platforms on smartphones means that news travels fast. The idea of sentiment is more important now than ever. Brands should be looking at semantics, the editorial tone of an article and how words are ordered, rather than just keywords.”
Sizmek UK general manager Andrew Morsy on one of the hottest topics of the day – brand safety.
“We’re seeing more and more of a demand for private marketplaces, for pre-approved whitelists. It seems advertisers are wanting to seize more control.”
...And the way that some brands are responding, according to TabMo managing director Chris Childs.
“It’s our responsibility as publishers to make sure we’re creating a brand safe environment where this kind of thing doesn’t happen.”
Referring to the YouTube controversy from earlier in the year, Unilad's head of advertising Joe Clo firmly established the social media phenomenon's stance on brand safety.
“You do occasionally get brand safety issues in out-of-home – you might have seen the news stories a couple of years ago about an ad for The Walking Dead running next to a funeral parlour. The difference is that, due to the length of contracts, if we mess up and serve something inappropriate, we could be out of a city for 15 years. As a media owner, that risk is more on us than it is on brands, compared to other media.”
Brand safety isn't a new problem, or one that's limited to digital, as Clear Channel's Cadi Jones reminded the audience.
If you want the chance to take part in these discussions next time, either as a partner or delegate, check out the Mobile Marketing Summits site for details of our upcoming events.