Media Planning & Buying

360i’s Belsky: The Time Has Come for Programmatic Reform

September 11, 2014

With great opportunities come big headaches – and that’s exactly what programmatic is for marketers right now. In a new Ad Age byline, 360i President Jared Belsky explains how agencies can help marketers structure for programmatic success.

Below is an excerpt from his column. You can read the full story in Ad Age.

The landscape is getting progressively more sophisticated, premium inventory is now being bought and sold programmatically, and major marketers like Unilever, Mondelēz and P&G are shaking up the industry with bold moves to buy nearly all of their online media programmatically. Now that the pendulum is swinging to programmatic buying, marketers’ frustrations with the confusing structures of the industry are boiling over, and this demands broad industry reflection and the exploration of new ways of working.

Agencies are in the business of being trusted advisors. We serve to partner with our clients to create value for their companies, consumers and employees. The closer we are to being extensions of our clients’ marketing departments, the faster we build trust, and usually the better work we create. So how do we help clients structure and organize for programmatic success, with trust at the core?

Current programmatic models aren’t designed around this trusted advisor theory, which is leading more marketers to consider taking programmatic in-house. This can be a daunting and challenging undertaking for most brands, as programmatic talent can be very costly and the capital investment around this model is very real. But it’s leading programmatic players to consider some very significant issues marketers are trying to solve:

  • Confusion. If the mission of the programmatic founders was to create the most complicated set of acronyms and client-unfriendly nomenclature, then mission accomplished. In 2014, you can still bring together 10 different “programmatic experts” and they all have a different definition of what “premium reserved” means.
  • Opaque operating model. In certain situations, programmatic is hidden behind a complicated and opaque model, which has created distrust among clients. Technology, data, inventory, pipes, tools and people are often bundled into one lump, which does not allow clients to be as educated as they desire.
  • Lack of integration. Programmatic has grown up on a seemingly parallel path with other data-driven marketing functions (like search), resulting in separate infrastructures, partners and systems that pose significant challenges for marketers looking for nimble and integrated marketing solutions.

It’s our job to make programmatic work better for our clients.

Continue reading in Ad Age.