Key learnings from Programmatic I/O

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Programmatic I/O took place last week on the 26th-27th of October in New York. This fall’s conference was the largest event ever, with over 1100 people in attendance in the middle of Broadway at hotel Marriott Marquis. Adexchanger did a great job of transitioning between relevant operational topics in the buying atmosphere to the larger hot topic – onboarding your own data to gain great opportunities in taking your marketing to the next level. Two days full of insightful speeches from thought leaders about key elements in programmatic media and how to best prepare for the data-driven digital future of advertising and marketing – here comes my key learnings:

 

1. Activating your first party data is the key for a modern marketer

The first presentation focused on how to activate first-party data at scale. Speakers included McKinsey, Verizon, Citi and Comcast discussing the opportunities and obstacles in onboarding own data to fully leverage it in marketing activities. A main focus was on legal and compliance that is hardly ever controlled. The recommendation was to keep the marketers legal department as close as possible in the data onboarding work from the beginning, so that all steps can be covered legally and not need to be changed later on.

The key message raised during the discussion was automatization and personalization, but on the other hand the speakers highlighted the gap in identity management and manually integrated/matched data. DMPs were mentioned as a solution to many of the requirements, although the understanding of how to connect intelligent analytics and e.g. predictive modelling to the daily marketing activities need further technology development. One comment that resonated well with me was the importance of leveraging analytics from run programmatic campaigns in improving the new ones created

 

2. Marketing hubs are the great promise of data, technology and advertising

The day continued with a very interesting presentation about marketing hubs. A research company called Advertiser Perception presented a large survey with US advertisers about Marketing hubs (marketing clouds). The survey pointed out the most important capabilities required from technology providers, such as: ID matching, cross-device optimization, customer data analysis and predictive modelling.

The discussion continued with Krux, RocketFuel and Oracle on stage in a panel discussion on the needed capabilities. Key points from the discussion were that a DMP is absolutely one of the most important cornerstones in a marketers technology setup of the future. However, with knowledge about customers comes the need for personalized content.

When speaking about the future, all tech vendors on stage could see better UI’s on the horizon and programmatic buying shifting to use more intelligent targeting. What became very clear in the discussion was that the marriage between MarTech and AdTech is much closer than one could think.

 

3. Drive organizational change to be a forerunner in digital advertising

Later we heard an interesting presentation on how to drive organizational change to become programmatically embedded. The presenters representing both advertisers and agencies highlighted the importance of connecting all the dots in the organization that work within the same customer journey.

The conclusions highlighted that choosing a technology is the easy part while People/Process change is the key to unlocking success. Going from being a product-centric to a customer-centric organization is usually hard, but needs to be done keeping in mind that the consumers don’t see how you are organized internally, they just see your brand communicating in a more personalized way.

 

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4. Case studies, investor views and artificial intelligence

Day two brought with it even more. We could hear advertisers, such as American Express, telling about their programmatic strategy and learnings. Their emphasis was the importance in selecting fewer partnerships that work transparently with pricing and data, manage buying strategy directly and investing in media that works.

From an investor’s point of view, Cantor Fitzgerald presented their vision of the Programmatic ecosystem and listed the top 5 investment picks for 2017 in their opinion. Both no-brainers and surprises was listed as they were mentioned to be Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet, Alibaba and Expedia. Fitzgerald also made predictions for the market, saying that there will be even more consolidations to be seen in MarTech and AdTech in 2017.

The final presentation was from IBM’s Chief Digital Officer, Zach Rodgers. He made a great ending by painting a picture of further optimized programmatic buying and budget optimization by using Watson and other forms of AI in the field of marketing and programmatic. AI is definitely a topic that we will be hearing more of in the coming events within digital marketing.

In conclusion, it was absolutely worth the journey over the Atlantic to take part of the two day event. Avaus’ data-driven advertising approach, that concentrates in owning your first-party data and using it effectively in all channels, felt right on spot in the futurized environment of digital marketing.

Want to hear more about the event or about how to onboard your first-party data into your marketing and programmatic purchases? Give me a call or let’s meet over a coffee!

You can also download Avaus view of data and DMP in advertising here.