Media Buying Summit Day 2: Will all media one day be sold programmatically? Possibly.

Day 2 of Digiday’s Media Buying Summit, held in Palm Springs, Calif,.  is in the books, and the day’s speakers addressed issues ranging from optimizing social campaigns to improving the data flow around supply-chain challenges, to tensions between demand-side platforms (DSPs) and sales-side platforms (SSPs). 

The morning started off with Havas Media Group’s Andrew Goode, evp and managing director of investment, and Tom Grant, svp of programmatic platforms and operations, discussing the challenges of finding industry alignment on measurement of carbon measurement. Goode believes it’s a vastly important issue but expressed some skepticism the agency world can work as one to create uniform standards of measurement. 

“You don’t want to take a universal problem and turn it into [a competitive issue among agencies],” he explained, adding his hope is that since there are organizations trying to bring the industry together, such as Ad Net Zero, of which HMG is a member, “it shows we’re all engaging on this topic.”

When it comes to media investment, Goode and Grant agreed that there could — and perhaps should — come a day when all media is bought and sold programmatically. “It will [happen],” said Goode.  The pair also noted that there will also come a day when DSPs will eventually merge with SSPs because they tackle the same issues from oppposite sides but eventually meet in the middle. 

Next up was Rohan Ramesh, vp of data & media at independent agency Known, who walked through ways to optimize first party data to craft better executions across social platforms. Following a presentation, Ramesh was asked about how to bring data science together with creatives and media execs by Antoinette Siu, Digiday’s media agency reporter. 

“I had a non-traditional introduction to the advertising world, and got my PhD in neurobiology and frankly didn’t want to keep experimenting with mice,” said Ramesh, who added Known intentionally pairs behavioral scientists with creatives and media folk to generate novel insights. “After we run a campaign  we can answer … can use reinforcing algorithms. I’m not a creative — I have no ability to design creative assets myself — but those types of conversations result in an experimentation mindset and a test and learn approach that really works for our clients.” 

Ramesh said it’s important to prepare clients for the reality that not all testing will be successful. “Some of the testing we do will not result in improvement — some of your test won’t work,” said Ramesh. “It’s OK because if you adopt that approach, you’re moving in general toward a place where you’re optimizing forward” with the client. 

Short form video content is rising, and ad dollars are only going up across social but especially on TikTok, added Ramesh. That means extra pressure to continually update creative assets.“One asset on day one maybe isn’t something you want to be running in that platform for six months. What you see on TikTok right now is going to inform what you see in a day or two, but it won’t really dictate what you see a month and a half from now,” he said. “As a result audiences are changing all the time so you want to be really agile with that platform.”  

Dru Sil, retail data analytics lead with Omnicom Media Group in the U.S., explained how the network’s Supply Chain IQ tool helps clients not only adapt campaigns based on supply chain issues, but can even predict for clients where they should be adding or stopping media executions and even influencing messaging. 

Sil relayed an example about a beverage client that was rolling out a new hard seltzer in 11 states. Using the tool, OMG enabled the client to adjust on a day-to-day basis where to heavy up messaging and where to stop based on supplies of the product using geolocation matched with SKU data from its partner Crisp. “We were even able to get predictive with it, letting the client know where sales would go up or go down,” said Sil. 

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