Anna Chan
Jun 10, 2015

Programmatic advertising is more alive than ever

"The death of programmatic display advertising?" Those in the industry have predicted the demise of this new frontier in advertising due to poor performance and execution, but that shouldn’t be the conclusion, writes Amnet’s Anna Chan. The real concern is that this trend is growing so fast that you may get left behind.

Anna Chan
Anna Chan

This column is in response to The death of programmatic display advertising?, by Antony Yiu of MEC, published here on 11 May.

Far from “death”, programmatic advertising is very much alive thanks to the immense amount of audience data it can track and utilize—a prized asset in today’s business climate.

In a world economy that likes Big Data, programmatic advertisers should be poised to win. With immediate reach to our clients’ online audiences, we are the starting point for data analytics for companies. The problem, however, is that data is only as valuable as the sense we can make of it.

No longer business as usual

The success of programmatic audience targeting is due to the unprecedented efficiency of ad spend that can be achieved. Now that we can see who the audience is, we can appeal to different customers based on their needs and preferences.

For lack of better tracking mechanisms in the past, cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) have become industry standards to gauge advertising campaign effectiveness. With rich audience insights made possible with programmatic advertising, however, to restrict ourselves to traditional metrics in this day and age is unnecessarily circumscribing our potential to create real business value.

With programmatic advertising, pricing and marketing strategies can be used to improve customer response. Airlines and hotels can act on whether a person is planning a budget-conscious family trip or a lavish romantic getaway. Supermarkets can offer special deals to distinct people, driving revenue through price differentiation. There is an immediacy with which many business decisions can be made programmatically.

There is real business value to be gained from programmatic. To stay relevant we must no longer just provide operational services, but knowledge as well.

Changing the face of advertising executives

The most important factor for programmatic advertising to mature and succeed is finding the talent to make sense of it.

We are looking at a new world of talent. It’s insufficient to just have advertising experience for programmatic to work. The dream team also needs data scientists, entrepreneurs, engineers, psychologists, and industry experts working together to articulate and strengthen the value proposition of programmatic advertising.

In the three years that Amnet has been operating in Asia-Pacific, we have established a diverse core team of individuals who have introduced new ideas and perspectives to the advertising table. As the rest of the industry buys into data, I believe such diverse talent will be the key to success.  

While corporations claim to value data and innovation, they face the usual pressures from their companies to deliver on conventional expectations. To see the benefits of programmatic advertising, it is important for agencies to venture into customer discovery, business optimization and experimentation.

It’s now or never

Programmatic advertising has allowed us to imagine and experiment with new ideas, and to understand Big Data better. Rapid technological advancements will always leave us with more questions to answer but in my eyes that’s what makes programmatic so exciting.

Anna Chan is the Managing Director of Amnet Asia.


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