The entry of Google and Apple combined with the trend toward in-house buying is transforming the booming market for programmatic media buying. Expect faster, more targeted and cheaper inventory across digital, video, mobile and social channels, as margins are sacrificed for scale, greater transparency becomes table stakes, competition for significant clients intensifies and savvy use of data science becomes the critical differentiator.
Scrutiny among clients concerned with undisclosed price arbitrage, bot fraud, and decaying programmatic strategies will continue and escalate. It’s becoming easier and cheaper for clients to steal away talent from media agencies, license state-of-the-art software and do media planning and buying themselves. As the big dogs enter the market, they will exacerbate downward price pressure and act as service centers empowering many more organizations to get the benefits of programmatic buying which will increase competition dramatically.
The smart players are combining first, second and third-party data from CRM systems, mobile, social and offline sources, with their buying algorithms to sharpen targeting and deliver increased efficiencies. They are focusing on outcomes rather than on the price of tonnage. And they are explicitly measuring and reporting what they buy and its impact on target customer segments. Many can assess, tweak and optimize buys in real time against cost-per-click, cost-per-conversion or cost-per-unit KPIs.
Look for the leading firms, independents and media units within global ad networks, to expand programmatic tactics across channels and to offer integrated omnichannel plans and prices. At first, these will be strung together with bubble gum and chicken wire, kluge-y and hard to measure. But over time, omnichannel programmatic buying against well designed integrated communications plans will become the industry standard.
The media whirlwind will not only continue, it will get more complex, faster and tighter. Ask yourself, how you are preparing to compete and win in this changing environment?
Danny Flamberg, EVP Managing Director of Digital Strategy and CRM at Publicis based in New York, has been building brands and building businesses for more than 30 years.Prior to joining Publicis, he led a successful global consulting group called Booster Rocket, as Managing Partner. Before becoming a consultant, he was Vice President of Global Marketing at SAP, SVP and Managing Director at Digitas in New York and Europe and President of Relationship Marketing at Amiratti Puris Lintas and Lowe Worldwide.
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