Our Head of Biddable Media, Kaja Szczechura was on the road this month at the Programmatic Pioneers Summit in London. Conversations circled around “right-housing”, the balancing act of data and creative, and the future being audio. So, excuse the pun, but listen up to Kaja’s five top takeaways.

“We have overcomplicated Programmatic.”

This confession was one of the firsts that came out of the morning of day one. With acronyms spanning across the whole alphabet, it’s not surprising that even experts are getting lost in the world of programmatic. There are over 6,000 ad tech vendors, which makes it increasingly hard to get your head around the programmatic landscape, but here’s the good news, you are not alone.

It’s about right-housing not necessarily in-housing.

We heard from a few big brands who reiterated that they are not in the business of media and advertising. Yes, they are advertisers, but they’re hotel brands and FMCG brands first. Their business is primarily in the realm of customer service and products, not media buying, discrediting the recent media coverage around the rise of in-housing, as it does not reflect the whole industry’s view or movements.

We heard from Pepsi Co, who are not interested in in-housing. Instead, they’re interested in upskilling and empowering the existing team with knowledge; an exercise many call ‘right-housing’. This will give brands the power to lead on programmatic conversation confidently and Pepsi’s perspective to opt for empowerment rather than employment is something incredibly refreshing.

Quality vs Quantity

Dialogue around quality was the theme of the conference. The quality of the metrics, ad fraud, brand safety and viewability, all being topics that should be on everybody’s radar, something we’ve always been passionate (and noisy) about. Although ad fraud has dropped this year, it is still something advertisers, and agencies need to consider when activating a programmatic campaign.

Secondly, we talked about the quality of KPIs, more specifically around the viewability metrics such as view-through conversions and QCPMs, for example. Some brands also shared their successes with running premium (high-quality) publisher activities, compared to the open network - all adding weight to the argument for the need of quality.

Don’t let creative be the downfall.

The discussion didn’t stop there; the quality of creative was discussed. With programmatic being such a data led channel, it was evident that the gap between creative and the data is proving to be difficult for everyone. This was highlighted further when discussing segmentation. Danone shared an interesting technique for segmentation, all around ‘Tribes’, which allowed them to successfully match their ad copy to the values and beliefs of different segments - finding a happy medium between data-driven strategies and tailored creative.

A moment to yourself - Audio is the future.

We also heard from Spotify and their research around the notion that Gen Z is far more mindful of their physical and mental health. Spotify's study found that 36% of the Generation Z population consider audio as an escape from the visual stimulation they are bombarded with. Spotify Audio can come in handy at this point. With many of us listening to music through headphones, the Audio formats provide advertisers with an opportunity to speak to the consumer directly, literally.

Which is a nice point to close on, as for those who are interested in learning more about Spotify and their advertising opportunities specifically effective for students, our first Programmatic Partner feature is discussing just that.

If you would like to stay up to date with all things programmatic and student specialist marketing then sign up to our Think Student bi-monthly newsletter. And while you’re here; save your spot for our next Think Student Live - it’s not one to miss!


Watch The Programmatic 101 Webinar On-Demand Here

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Kaja Szczechura Author Portrait

Kaja Szczechura

Head of Biddable Media