A view from Oliver Blecken

Global viewpoint from Germany

Communication today is all about content and connections. Telling relevant stories to the right people in the right moment and place. In our digital world, we move from "one campaign for all" to "micro-messages for individual consumers" by optimising our client’s complete communication ecosystem.

Real-time advertising – aka programmatic – is an enabler for better campaigns. It helps us find the right audience and deliver relevant messages. It allows for micro-targeting of existing customers, data-based prospecting and interest-based content distribution.

Germany, however, is lagging behind in this area. Why? Because there are three reasons that clients are cautious of the opportunities real-time advertising offers.

Traditionally, German clients are like engineers and want to not only see communication plans but build and steer them together with their agency. There is a fear that programmatic steals clients’ control. The opposite is true: it gives us more room and tools to develop great content and connections stories together.

There are also fears about quality and trust. Prejudices still exist that "bulk sales of ad space equal poor-quality ad space". The truth is that premium inventory is also sold via programmatic, and blacklisting/whitelisting enables us to maintain brand safety.

German clients love security and trust people. To trust algorithms, they need more education on how programmatic works. The German clients – "engineers" – want to see the engine.

German clients trust people. To trust algorithms, they need more programmatic education

Third, Germany is a hesitant market. Publishers are still cautious about giving their inventory to markets of any kind. This is different to others (eg. the US) in which premium inventory including video is available. Publishers need to pick up on the idea that this will not crush their margins but enable them to invest in and develop better (content) platforms for advertisers.

So how do we overcome these barriers? Simply, to continue building great cases with our clients.

Programmatic enables us to bring a brand’s story closer to the consumer than ever before. We don’t always need a "big idea" that satisfies a broad target group. Rather, we should enhance the brand’s core idea and deliver tailor-made messages. As the "content and connections agency", we develop content marketing systems based on data-driven insights, tell consumer-centric stories and use innovative distribution technology to achieve measurable success for our clients. The stories we tell are closer to the individual consumer’s needs, leading to changed behaviour and better results.

German publishers have huge experience in entertaining and attracting users. In the programmatic era, they can monetise their sticky content in a broader way. In short, programmatic is the queen who helps content to stay the king.

Oliver Blecken is the chief operating officer at MediaCom Germany