IAB Europe Virtual Programmatic Day – In-Housing Programmatic Trading Panel wrap-up

IAB Europe’s Virtual Programmatic Day took place on 28th April and with 1,500+ attendees it is one of the largest virtual events in our industry. Featuring speakers from IAB Europe member companies and advertisers CNN, Bloomberg Media, BBC Global News, Double Verify, The Trade Desk, Xandr, HelloFresh Vodafone, the event was split into panel sessions to address and debate the industries hottest topics from post-cookie to programmatic in-housing.

The In-Housing – Lessons Learnt and Best Practices Panel
The last panel explored the trend of in-housing programmatic buying, a trend which appears to be
increasingly popular amongst advertisers. The panel explored the realities of in-housing, best practices and how agency and technology partner relationships are evolving.

Ilona Lubojemska, Director of Client Services, The Trade Desk moderated the panel and was joined by:

  • Tushar Kalra, Head of Display and Programmatic Marketing, HelloFresh
  • Carlotta Meneghini, Head of Programmatic, Vodafone Italy
  • Laert Saliaj, MarTech Lead, Vodafone Italy
  • Oliver Gertz, Managing Director Interaction EMEA, MediaCom
  • Stefanie Scognamiglio, Associate Director, Solutions Consulting, Xandr

Event Recording
Watch the event recording here.

Audience Poll
We ran a poll during the panel to ascertain how the attendees representing brands are approaching programmatic buying. The results show that a hybrid approach is taken by most:

  • Outsource all programmatic buying – 11%
  • Have strategy & analytics in-house but outsource execution – 38%
  • Undertake trading execution in-house but get best-practice support from an agency or consultancy – 40%
  • Undertake all programmatic buying in-house without any external help – 11 %

Key takeaways of the panel discussion as cited by Ilona:
The main takeaway around in-housing is that there is no ONE approach brands can replicate when bringing programmatic trading into their organisations. With in-housing it is important to understand the roles the technology partners and agencies play and include them in the process. An open dialogue with the partners is especially important when it comes to establishing new ways of working and keeping on top of innovation, ensuring we have got the right talent looking after programmatic trading and we keep data at the centre of it all!

Audience Q&A
The panel received some audience questions that they didn’t have time for. The panelists have provided their viewpoints on some of those questions here:

Q. For the brands, if you had the opportunity to buy as direct as possible on the inventory of trusted publishers, would you divert money from other channels towards these new channels or not?

Carlotta Meneghini: What we’re trying to do is to bring as many media activities as possible under programmatic buying to centralise strategies, spending control and frequency. From our programmatic perspective we aren’t interested in buying inventory directly from a single publisher because we wouldn’t control the exposure of our communication. We evaluate inventory on specific KPIs that bring together efficiency, and brand safety.

Q. How do you see the future of independent agencies that offer programmatic services to their clients and even to global agencies at some specific cases?

Oliver Gertz: Agencies can provide know-how from their larger teams working across clients and technologies. We also expect that advertisers will see that in-house teams are not more cost-effective nor are they driving higher ROI and then look for hybrid models of in-house and outsourced work, but the ideal setup is much more integrated and agile vs. the old “send a briefing and wait” agency model.

Stefanie Scognamiglio: Independent agencies can play an important role in driving new product adoption or customised solutions for their customers. I would expect some consolidation in the market, but they are very close to their customer’s needs and their ability to innovate and adapt to the industry will determine their continued relevance.

Q. Will the clients still need you, if you as the network agency build up all their knowledge?

Oliver Gertz: Knowledge is not static and especially in such a fast evolving area such as programmatic it is essential that you have continuous learning. That learning, however, is often mainly test and learn rather than formal training, so agencies that learn across technologies, clients and countries will be able to provide outside-in expertise that evey in-house team needs.

Q. How does in-housing provide more transparency to advertisers, in a world where agencies offer full available transparency to their clients?

Carlotta Meneghini: I think agencies and customers, as we know them today, have goals that are aligned for the most part. However there is a part that will never be aligned just because they are different companies with different business models. In-house models allow clients to have transparency not just in terms of programmatic chain’s costs but also regarding the choice of inventory, of technologies to test etc.

Stefanie Scognamiglio: Transparency gains span beyond access to information. In-housing can help build knowledge internally on how to evaluate the shared information and take an independent point of view. A confident well-informed understanding of options is the basis for brands to take broader ownership of decisions and results.

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