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Media Buying Will Go Programmatic

February 18th, 2016   ||    by Susan Kuchinskas

Today’s world of media buying is changing fast, and it’s hard to keep up. So, when the industry’s top media buyers speak, people listen. An interview with TV Week’s 2015 Media Buyer of the Year, Kris Magel, president of Initiative Media, US, has piqued particular interest in the media realm.

Programmatic Media Buying

Newly appointed as head of Initiative, Magel explains how he got his start in media and discusses the future of his field. He sees the programmatic buying of television spots as inevitable. Initiative is pushing clients to spend more on programmatic television. Magel expects agency clients to spend half their budgets in programmatic within the next five years.

What’s keeping him up at night, he says, is the inability to accurately measure media and calculate ROI.

According to AdAge, by 2019, Magna Global expects programmatic TV to account for $10 billion, or 17 percent, of television ad budgets. While many buyers today see programmatic as real-time bidding for display ads, in fact, it’s evolving into a technology for managing, optimizing, and analyzing all marketing efforts, according to Chris Le May, senior vice president and managing director of Europe and emerging markets for DataXu, writing for IAB UK.

But Magel emphasizes that programmatic is a technology, not a strategy, with a data-focused approach that makes media buying more effective. In order to create a true transactional programmatic marketplace, Magel believes campaign measurement and ROI calculations need to catch up with the growth in media channels. Yes, there is now plenty of data available, and buyers can merge data from various sources to understand the media usage of a specific consumer, and then use that data to make decisions. However, he adds, “It’s a little clunky, very manual, and not as automated as we would all like it.”

Magel is certainly not alone in his call for better ways to measure ROI. George Patten, managing director and global lead for media management at Accenture, writes in Campaign Live, “Marketers need to know what is and is not working. This is especially important as agencies move into digital and programmatic buying. Claims for programmatic in particular need better validation and documentation.”

Success in Embracing Change

In the interview, Magel models traits which have lead to his professional success. When Magel started his career, he hadn’t even heard of the media business. He’d only answered a job ad for a billing clerk. But when he transitioned into his first media job, within DeWitt Media’s national TV-buying group, he recalls, “I basically said, ‘Give me any opportunity to negotiate whatever you don’t want to do.'” That’s a can-do attitude all buyers should try to adopt when confronted with a deluge of change in the media buying business.

It’s easy to cling to the old ways, but the increased automation which programmatic television can bring to media buying lets planners and buyers spend less time on implementation and research, and more time on creativity and strategy, and it can also make the job more fun. As Magel says, “If the business were the same as when I started, I think it would be safe to say that I wouldn’t be in the business, because it wouldn’t be interesting enough for me.”

Even more importantly, programmatic television will help buyers understand the actual ROI from campaigns. What could be more enjoyable and rewarding than that?

If you’re ready to embrace this efficient method of media buying and learn the true ROI of your television campaigns, give Videa a call.

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