Brad Smith, SVP, Revenue and Operations for Videa, was one of the panelists featured at the recent Advanced Advertising Next TV Summit. His panel, “What Makes a Programmatic Campaign Successful and Will Programmatic Spending Grow?”, sparked some fascinating discussion points.
What were the most surprising takeaways from the Advanced Advertising event?
From the buy side it was impressive to hear others focus on data and on making programmatic sustainable for both buyers and the sellers in this new world. And on our panel, it was the shared level of importance that Doug (from Hulu) and Adam (from Dish) had for items that we at Videa see as crucial for programmatic to be positively impactful for all parties involved—from the need for pricing and order transparency to the demand for better triangulation of data. It shows me that the marketplace has come a long way in the past 18 months in terms of getting our collective priorities and standards in order and what will make the industry sustainable in the marketplace from both a buying and selling side.
Advanced Advertising is part of the broader TV Week schedule. Were there other takeaways from other agendas worth noting?
My Videa colleagues and I spent time in four or five of the week’s events. In all of them, it struck me that whereas in the past most of the conversation was inspirational, now the speakers are talking in absolute terms about the realities of the business. The drumbeat of automation, better data, and fuller transparency across the ecosystem continues and casts a positive shadow on these events. Whether it was Next TV, Advanced Advertising, or other recent events, these themes continue to take center stage. And as a sell-side platform (SSP) whose vested interest is protecting and enabling the optimal monetization of our clients’ inventory, it is comforting to see and hear these discussions.
Who were some of the key thought leaders at the conference and what were their messages?
The one that was most meaningful to me was Dave Penski, CEO, Publicis Exchange, who spoke at the end of the Advanced Advertising conference. His message was honest and direct. He talked about the challenges facing the agency world and how, if used properly, programmatic could have a positive impact to both the buy and sell side. It’s also reaffirming to hear his perspective on needing better, more robust measurement systems.
The panel you spoke on discussed what made campaigns successful and offered insights into whether the success justifies increased spending and more commercial inventory being made available by skeptical programmers. How does Videa approach the skepticism in the industry and what do you think the impetus will be to turn skeptics into promoters?
First is education—what we are doing and why we are doing it. Coming from the supply side, we have a unique perspective. We like to say that we’re built by broadcasters for broadcasters, and because of this we believe in the value of television—both for the buyers who covet its reach and depth of quality viewership, and from a seller’s perspective, where we understand the importance of relevant local content that drives strong viewership and brand recognition.
The second focus for us is engagement. We work hard every day with key stakeholders on both the buy and sell side to ensure our product meets their needs both now and into the future. We recognize that the digital model doesn’t fit television and that we need to be keen to listen to the needs on both sides. This garners trust and respect, and we also come out with a lot more ideas that drive our path to where our business goes.
How do you see programmatic impacting the TV sales ecosystem in the long term?
I think it is going to be a significant enabling tool for the sales force. It will allow them to continue to evolve and result in even closer relationships to their customers. I also believe it will help them better understand what their customers’ unmet needs are as they ultimately bring in new sources of data to help in targeting. It will be a significant enabler. Most people don’t think about that from a programmatic standpoint, but we do. We see this gaining in importance in both the short and long term as the sales model evolves.
What were your thoughts on the previous panel, “What Goes Into Building A Programmatic Ad Buying Program,” that two of your DSP partners participated in—TubeMogul and Videology?
I saw part of this panel. The buy side continues to rapidly evolve as well. While we all realize it’s early, it felt like there was a lot more uniformity to the approach to the buy side than there has been in the past. It was nice to see TubeMogul and Videology agree on a couple points that we on the sell side think are critically important to making programmatic work for both the buy and sell side. So that was exciting to see that they were gaining some feedback at the front end and that they are reacting to that by trying to build services that enable their clients in the long term.