The programmatic ecosystem is a complex chain of relationships, with many links and many players working together – but those links can often be disconnected. With our Programmatic Lunch event on 24 November, we’re hoping to bring the full chain together to meet and talk through some of the biggest issues affecting the space.
As well as some great food, the lunch will offer you an opportunity to join some of the UK’s top programmatic minds from across the whole value chain. Brands, publishers, DSPs, SSPs, ad networks, media agencies, data & measurement specialists, exchanges and creative agencies will all mingle and discuss the issues that matter most to them.
With the event just over six weeks away, we reached out to some of the attendees who’ve already signed up to ask what they considered the biggest challenge facing the industry right now. As you might expect, the answers covered a wide range of topics, from the growth of programmatic guaranteed to Russia’s influence on the US election, but already some key themes started to emerge.
One key concern was trust and transparency in the industry, and whether everyone involved was doing their best to make sure they could be held accountable for their role in the system. One attendee suggested that, in order to participate in such a powerful digital ecosystem, firms should be licensed by an independent global trade body, while others suggested that we’ll see a growth in ‘ethical advertising’.
“The biggest challenge for the industry to overcome from our perspective is most definitely transparency,” said Emily Hanson, vice president of marketing for Iotec, one of the event’s sponsors. “Marketers are demanding it and a lot of players in the ad tech ecosystem are not set up to provide it. No doubt we’ll see more lawsuits come to the fore on this, especially with relation to mobile programmatic.”
The other major theme in responses was the changing nature of the industry itself, as programmatic continues to evolve and find new iterations. New developments in location targeting, machine learning and omnichannel campaigns mean that messaging can be more unified than ever before, but at the same time, once reliable features of the digital advertising landscape are being eroded by the shift to mobile and the collapse of traditional channels.
“I feel like the biggest challenge facing the industry right now is how we operate in a post-cookie world,” said Ally Stuart, managing director for EMEA at Sharethrough. “People are spending an increasing amount of time on mobile which, combined with the introduction of stricter data laws, means that we are going to have to have a radical rethink of most targeting, attribution and measurement strategies.”
“I think the industry faces a challenge of keeping up to date with consumers’ behaviour in order to be able to reach people in the places and in the ways that will prove the most effective for brands,” said Andy Chandler, vice president for EMEA at event sponsor Tapjoy. “A large part of this year the industry has been inward facing, dealing with issues from within, many of which were certainly vital to address, but it has meant that the continuing shift of people’s attention away from traditional media models still isn’t being addressed.”
Not everyone sees the glass half-empty when it comes to the future though. Cadi Jones, commercial innovation director at ClearChannel, spoke about how new technologies were enabling a more complete and comprehensive approach to marketing than ever before.
“For me, the biggest change on the horizon is sort of a two-parter,” said Jones. “Firstly, the increase in people-based marketing, and with that an increased focus on location-based data as an indicator of who that user is, what makes them tick. Hand-in-hand with this is the idea of omnichannel marketing – getting a much better grip on who you are reaching across your entire media plan, and thinking about the different touch points you have with a single user.”
These responses represent just a small selection of the topics that will be discussed at our Programmatic Lunch. Tickets are extremely limited, with places restricted to only 10 tickets per type of company to ensure that the entire programmatic ecosystem is equally represented. Tickets include a three-course lunch and there’ll be ample time for networking with both old friends and new ones.
The event takes place on 24 November at The May Fair Hotel, London, starting with welcome drinks at 12.30. Click here to register your place, and we look forward to seeing you on the day.