Blog

November 21, 2016

The Agency Insider Series: Unlocking Programmatic’s Potential

By: Nicole Scaglione, Director of Buyer Development, OpenX

Trust me, I understand. I too worked in the agency world for many years. My client was one of the largest advertisers on the planet. On a good day, for new product launches, our budgets were in the hundreds of millions.

On a bad day, for smaller initiatives, budgets lingered around a mere 12 million (why bother, right?). When I took that planner job, a few years out of college, I was immediately flooded with requests from vendors (and yes, we called them vendors, as if they were all selling us hotdogs on the street corner) from every part of the country, for every medium, in every price range. It was overwhelming to say the least.

I went from taking every meeting I was offered, often staying at work until it was too late or too dangerous to walk alone to my car, to – shamefully – becoming that planner that every rep resents – ignoring most emails unless they were invitations to the spa, a fancy dinner, March Madness, Dave Matthews, the World Series… not that I had time to go to any of that… but, you get it.

The reason was simple: if we weren’t already working together or I could not make an immediate connection between you and my client’s initiatives, you were ignored. Not because I was a jerk, I truly was just very busy. I had been burned by overzealous and insensitive vendors in the past, ones who just wanted a piece of our budgets. So I developed a filter and probably missed out on some innovative opportunities because of being turned off. And unfortunately, my client missed out on them too.

Key Takeaway: Embrace programmatic and take the time to learn about the new and innovative methods available for media buying. It’s worth it in the end.

For programmatic planners and buyers today who don’t directly transact with exchanges but use tools through which those transactions take place, I understand why meeting with an exchange could seem irrelevant and superfluous. However, as you are managing a myriad of other highly urgent internal projects, it’s important to make time to learn about the source of your inventory – it’s probably one of the most valuable lessons you can transfer to your client.

Yes, understanding your DSP or managed service is critical. Talking to publishers and DMPs is a no brainer. But if you look at the Lumascape and only talk to partners with arrows directly connected to you, you’re missing critical events in the transaction. And so is your client.

This agency insider blog series will cover critical questions about inventory source differentiation, header bidding’s value for buyers, private marketplaces for publishers, and other topics relevant to agencies and media buyers, from the supply-side perspective.

We’ll present actionable guidelines you can take back to your teams to enhance your programmatic knowledge. With real-world examples from your colleagues and peers, you’ll learn the basic fundamentals, extract simplicity from the complexity, and demystify the challenges of programmatic.

It’ll be worth your time. Trust me, I understand. We’re busy too but we’re not too busy to help you enhance the impact of your dollars.