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Fight for Premium Programmatic Part III: Mobile Targeting & Beyond
In our final installment, Kiip’s head of programmatic, James O’Connor, and head of data, Jonathan Collins discuss how premium programmatic has been defined and how that definition has changed over the years, and whether or not premium programmatic is attainable today.
1. How has premium programmatic been defined over the past 5-10 years? How is that different today?
James (Head of Programmatic): Significant change has occurred in programmatic if you look back ten years. In the very early days, programmatic was used as a means to offload and monetize remnant inventory that would’ve otherwise gone unsold. Yet with the advances in targeting technologies, data portability, and the programmatic pipes themselves, the industry began to wake up to how narrow in scope it was to use programmatic in this limited capacity. This development has led to countless premium publishers selling their homepage inventory, out of home billboards, connected TV (amongst others) through a programmatic execution.
Jonathan (Head of Data): I’ll defer to James on life back in the programmatic Stone Age, but I believe that premium programmatic today is inextricably linked to the quality and availability of cross-device and offline data. Injecting the right data elements into a programmatic campaign can turn a throwaway impression into a meaningful consumer interaction.
2. How does programmatic differ on desktop and mobile?
James (Head of Programmatic): The lens upon which we consider ‘premium’ within mobile requires some adjustment. Who knows when the ‘Year of Mobile’ actually occurred, but mobile programmatic has undergone significant growth in the past five years. The mobile medium, dominated by a new crop of publishers upended the media world. Top name game developers now commanded audiences as large as the Super Bowl multiple times over, every day. Understanding the advent of the app economy and the time spent in mobile has required a change in the calculus of what’s viewed as premium by marketers and industry as a whole.
Jonathan (Head of Data): Most younger consumers engage only with their mobile devices outside of work or school. That means the vast majority of in-demo programmatic advertising seen will be seen on a mobile device. The good news is that mobile programmatic has strengths over desktop that will ultimately allow for a better consumer experience. Mobile devices are highly personal and reveal a great deal about their owner, whereas desktop machines are often shared and used for information retrieval. Personalization will be the key to premium programmatic and it will be difficult for a desktop tower to compete.
3. Can we achieve true mobile premium programmatic inventory today? If so, how?
James (Head of Programmatic): I believe we’re already. Games like Angry Birds might not be the New York Times, but that inventory is still premium despite the fact it’s a game. There should also be consideration for premium when knowing the context, not just the content. It’s a premium experience to deliver your brand message to a user at the right time, at the right place, in the right format. Understanding the environment of what your brand message is serving into delivers premium value through the context of the moment and knowing the behavior of the user and what they’re doing is what makes it premium.
Jonathan (Head of Data): I think it is possible to achieve in the next year or two but will take coordination and agreement between players in the space (DSPs, SSPs, Publishers, Advertisers, the IAB). Uniform taxonomies, data transparency, real consumer input, and fraud reduction are all initiatives that will help push premium mobile programmatic forward.
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