Unpacking Programmatic and Adtech in B2B

Tuesday 9th October 2018 10:20am
By Isobel Buchanan

Many business owners have been drawn to the alluring promise of the massive ROI that the fully automated buying and selling of ads offers. However, this is an industry that is only now casting aside its training wheels alongside a previously tumultuous reputation in the face of data ethics, lack of transparency and ad fraud. Despite this, the consensus among our expert panel is that programmatic can offer immense benefits when used effectively.


So, what exactly is programmatic?

Panel facilitator, James Gauci, summarised programmatic succinctly;

"Programmatic is a way of buying media, not a type of media."

The panel kicked off with a brief discussion about the industry landscape, as programmatic pioneer, Cara Walsh, shed some light on the foundations of the tool. Cara was quick to simplify the benefits of utilising artificial intelligence to remove human error and allow more time for creative execution, stating that "people are the problem" when it comes to targeted marketing. She argued that the opportunity to identify your business' real stakeholders is undeniably beneficial.

This belief was shared by Michael Chen, Reload Media's Digital Media Portfolio Manager. Michael claimed that using this one central platform allows businesses to understand their customers' shopping habits. This leads to a higher conversion rate as ads are more relevant to the individual consumer. For example, a company that manufactures sunscreen can now specifically target consumers who live in sunny areas.

When it is simplified to that level, it seems like programmatic and adtech is the obvious choice for any marketing, digital or communication professionals. The truth is it's not that simple.

Michael Petersen, Director of My Media Trading Desk, insisted that some smaller businesses or companies with niche markets need to focus on "doing the basics well" - ensuring your product is being positioned effectively, your audience is appropriately segmented, and human creativity is being nurtured.

The potential loss of creativity was a common thread. In Michael Chen's words;

"Hyperpersonalisation kills creative."

And how about the costs to your organisation? The consensus among the panel was that the entry point for using a programmatic agency is approximately $10k. As such, smaller companies can find themselves out of pocket and with insufficient insight to move forward with when a programmatic data supplier is unable to receive enough impressions from a limited audience.

So, with the pros and cons covered, the panellists ended the night with their top tips for those who believe programmatic could benefit their business.


Michael Chen encouraged those who are new to the world of programmatic to look into DigiDay and Ad Exchanger, American publications discussing digital media, and Digital Marketing Podcast, a podcast that explores digital marketing tactics. His top tip, however, is to measure with the right metrics.

Cara Walsh reinforced the idea of reading up on the topic and following pioneers of the industry, particularly AppNexus founder, Brian O'Kelly. She also insisted business owners and marketing practitioners sit down with their programmatic agency and ask questions to "look under the hood" and understand their desired outcomes better.

Finally, Michael Petersen reminded the audience to do their own field research; actively seeking out and talking to intellectuals and successful practitioners "in the trenches". Any further information updating you on technological advances, digital marketing tactics and varying opinions and beliefs will be valuable and allow you to discern the best option for you.


To check out upcoming events, visit here.


Posted in