There has been much discussion about how real-time bidding, programmatic advertising exchanges and big data et al spell doom for the future of advertising as we know it.
Strategic technical requirements investment, recruiting non-marketing talent and working with coders who "eat their own dog food" is an adventure most of us didn’t sign up for when we "fell" into advertising.
Many of us have had to undergo a subsequent re-evaluation and restructuring around ad tech adventures.
Here, I share some of my pain and a few lessons learned on the path to ad tech enlightenment.
1. Your IT people don’t know about ad tech. In the same way you would never ask a systems architect to write the digital plan for a new-business pitch, don’t ask them about the strengths of Hadoop and PHP, or the plan to work with AppNexus to build your own trading desk. Buy the best independent advice you can get.
2. Be prepared to be the idiot in the room. Like print specialists back in the day, ad tech people have developed their own version of Esperanto that bamboozles and confuses folk who don’t have a coding qualification. Ask them to explain in plain English – you’ll be surprised at how much you will learn and actually already understand.
3. Talk to an RTB expert. Increasingly, we are seeing independent programmatic/RTB specialists such as The Exchange Lab and Rubicon advising clients on the best tech choices to optimise campaigns.
Brands expect transparency in ad tech. That's financially, operationally and comparatively
With their benchmarking expertise and deep-dive tech know-how, a few hours invested in getting a broad understanding of the tech options, opportunities and obstacles is surely worth the many months of pain a wrong decision can cost.
4. Brands expect transparency in ad tech. That’s financially, operationally and comparatively. Agencies have to grasp that no amount of upfront volume trading, added-value extras or annualised invoice reconciliation will compensate commercially for the nature of RTB management and reporting. New rules of client engagement require new commercial models.
5. And finally: ad tech is a painful opportunity. The revolution is here and continues unabated. Wearables are the next explosive metric and consumer engagement piece to rock our world.
Via tech such as Intel’s Edison, I’m going to be able to monitor how many times a day I see an ad and negotiate directly with brands on my mobile contract, utility bills etc, because that’s where real-time big data leads us.
Who’s going to be the first agency to build that consumer trust platform?
Mary Keane-Dawson is the chief executive at MyHealthPal