NDA Viewpoints: Why a new currency of programmatic execution is coming

By Guy O’Brien. COO and Co-Founder, Encore Digital Media

The new regulations that have been outlined by the ICO will bring about changes not just the media landscape but to the currency of programmatic placement.

Currently, the currency is data, whether you are buying or selling it, the aim is to have the best in class that represents the audience profile you want to deliver your message to. 

Requirements for specialisms

This is set to change in the age of full consent as the ability to access scalable third party and remarketing data audiences will be increasingly difficult. This change in currency will result in a requirement for specialism, not just within programmatic trading but in sector and market knowledge. 

This is almost a throwback to media planning and buying where ‘humans’ actually needed to know their stuff about audience, landscape, channels, context and content. 

Agency-level changes

At agency level, the value exchange will move in favour of the agency as the skill sets outlined above will become increasingly relevant, and could well help programmatic align itself closer to the communications and creative planning, as well as the media planning. This has historically been a disconnect: agencies that can re-shape a model that allows for truly holistic planning could well see an upturn in fortunes. 

Environment and context will be key

Environment and context will become more and more vital to delivering performance, meaning the currency then becomes expertise, specialism, knowledge and insight aligned to both areas. Again, a classic skill set aligned to media planning and buying.

There are tools and tech that align to both areas for targeting purposes, however we have found that when these are mixed with real world planning and buying techniques the results are improved hugely by taking a custom approach that aligns the campaign expertly to the audience’s journey. 

The emergence of different models

There are certainly going to be different models for working with programmatic at tech vendor, agency and strategic partner level.

The tech frameworks that set out to work across the cookie data landscape are now having to move quickly to maintain relevance and deliver a product or service that is fit for purpose and allows brands the flexibility to deliver scale and performance in the manner they have been accustomed to. 

The premium publisher world should also see a boost in direct placement; this can still be delivered within a programmatic framework, but the insight and performance will need to be mapped across to other channels for an advertiser to truly see maximum benefit.  

An opportunity for management consultancies?

This is an area where the management consultancies will see an opportunity as they will be able to create a story that aligns technology and business outcomes to digital transformation as part of the service to delivered to a brand from an advertising and e-commerce perspective.

So many businesses rely on their digital arms to deliver outstanding ROI that if this is suddenly put at risk then the rest of the business has to be able to realign to develop new models that can react.

It remains to be seen if the if the ICO rulings will be fully implemented. But, if they are, those who have already started evolving their models in light of these currency changes will be the biggest beneficiaries.

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