This week’s Programmatic Insider Summit at Lake Tahoe and a mountain resort called Squaw covered a lot of ground. Panels, keynotes, and discussions hit on diverse topics including programmatic storytelling, managing ad fraud, what comes after ad blocking, data and privacy, hurdles for programmatic video and mobile, cross-device targeting, cross-channel metrics, and ROI. And almost all of these topics touched on how to improve the ad experience for consumers.
Participants also heard from leading brands such as Ancestry.com, Electronic Arts, and Casper on how they are incorporating programmatic into their media and creative mixes.
At a high level, not to mention a high altitude (participants were instructed to drink tons of water, mixed in with their wine, beer, and cocktails, of course), the discussions were a great demonstration of professionals learning from one another and sharing challenges, and best practices. Agency, marketer, and ad tech participants were genuinely eager to learn and share as demonstrated by the Summit’s signature roundtable discussions, in Q&As after the sessions, and during the social activities and dinners.
There is a sense of urgency to figure some of these issues out. One of the themes that stood out the most was creativity and its role in programmatic storytelling, execution, and targeting. Without the right immersive and dynamic creative, consumers will continue to block ads. And even if the creative changes and it becomes more targeted, relevant and entertaining, they may still block ads. There are no guarantees.
Stephanie Sczech, director global lifecycle marketing at Electronic Arts, made the point that programmatic practitioners should focus on creativity that scales and that in-game actions trigger marketing opportunities but different types of players require different types of actions. Player data is very social.
During a panel on making cross-device a strategy vs. a tactic, participants Vincent Rinaldi, director, programmatic at iProspect, emphasized the importance of understanding your data strategy, which starts with data and a data management platform (DMP). From there, you can create personalized messages and distribute them to individual consumers. The point was made repeatedly that creative messages need to be carefully targeted to each different customer segment. Often, in-house agencies don’t know what to do with -- or how to use -- all the data they get from DMPs. They must try to understand the marketer’s audience across each platform.
Overall, the Summit hit on a host of different topics and there was not necessarily a consensus on the best strategies signaling that programmatic is an evolving -- and yes, still nascent -- field with a lot of room for test and learn approaches.