In India, the speed at which you can get a campaign processed and live, is 30-40% quicker using Programmatic Guaranteed. So that is a massive saving in terms of man-hours.
Digital companies like Google are helping large advertisers and agencies benefit from the power of programmatic marketing through automated processes and use of data through various products. Over a quick chat, Google’s Matt Brocklehurst talks to BrandWagon’s Chandni Mathur about all things programmatic, the Indian market and opportunities in the space. Edited excerpts:
Take us through the programmatic advertising landscape in India.
India is quite an interesting market to look at, because you have 400 million people online of which 300 million are on smartphones; and by 2020, this is expected to go up to 650 million. We are living in a world of connectivity, so there are amazing opportunities for marketers to connect with people. But it is also harder to connect than before because there are so many messages in the marketplace and the user’s search is more demanding now, in terms of what she/he wants to receive. So that is one of the challenges. As a marketer, life hasn’t got any easier. We are living in a world that is multi-screen and multi-channel, so how does one stitch that together to deliver marketing that works? Programmatic helps make marketers’ lives easier. It simply uses technology to serve ads to hit the same things that you always wanted to as marketers. Programmatic is the way to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing.
What emerging trends are you seeing in this space?
There are a couple of interesting trends that are driving programmatic. If we take a step back, ad words and search are programmatic, so that is automatically serving ads in a tailored way. Then, we moved to a world where display and video came into play and that was done initially at a performance-based level. When I say performance, it means driving sales, leads, subscriptions, etc. It was a completely genuine and good use of programmatic but we have also moved into a new dimension now, which is using programmatic for more brand play. In conjunction with performance, you can start delivering on brand awareness, engagement, etc. One of the key drivers of that is premium inventory, which is now available in the programmatic environment.
Are spends on programmatic increasing, globally?
We are seeing an increase in spends. It is around 40%, globally, at the moment and it will go up to 60%. There are some concepts around creativity where there is an opportunity for programmatic to help use the technology to target the right person at the right time. The equation has changed now — from media plus creativity, we are seeing media plus creativity plus data now. Thus, data is a vital part of the process.
The point is, how do you engage with your customer in this world of millions of messages?
For example, Voot has 38,000 hours worth of content and lots of people are watching different pieces of content; so its challenge is to engage viewers across all these different content forms. The insight it had was that the interesting bit is the cliffhanger within a show. So it scraped all video streams and served that little clip in a display ad. But there is no point serving that clip to me, when I won’t watch it anyway. DoubleClick enables you to target the right audience segment. It knows from the user’s web history if one is interested in that programming and frequency-cap it, so that if the user doesn’t reply to the ad in a given amount of time, you don’t have to serve them that ad again.
How is Google’s DoubleClick ad platform opening up the programmatic environment for brands?
With DoubleClick, we have a concept called Programmatic Guaranteed. If I look at it through the lens of a publisher which has premium inventory, it could be page display ads, premium video, etc. We have been doing a global research project with BCG and I am leading that research in APAC where we are looking at how advertisers, agencies and publishers are facing Programmatic Guaranteed and how it impacts their workflow. Cross-device re-marketing allows you a singular view from across our devices. With DoubleClick, you can see your search campaigns, display campaigns, etc in the same interface and get a better view of measurement of your campaigns.
Could you share some findings from the Indian market?
In India, the speed at which you can get a campaign processed and live, is 30-40% quicker using Programmatic Guaranteed. It is a massive saving in terms of man-hours. There is a shortage of talent within programmatic; so if my time is getting freed up, I can do more strategic activities across campaign analysis, draw lessons from post-campaign analysis, work on relations that can be developed with publishers, etc.
For example, in India, Truecaller is trading its inventory as 100% programmatic which is very unusual; 60% of that is Programmatic Guaranteed. This implies, it has one person to look after 30 campaigns on a monthly basis. Typically it would take around four to five people to do that, which means it saw over four time improvement in revenues. The advantage that companies like Truecaller have is that they don’t have the issue of legacy systems. What we get in some advanced agencies in the US or Australia is that they work in the digital world where they are moving over to Programmatic Guaranteed but they have legacy systems in parallel. It is quite interesting that the Indian market has these shining stars to leapfrog into advanced programmatic.
In a multi-channel world, what opportunities will brands have in programmatic advertising going ahead?
I think there is a tremendous upside for brands. There is still a lot of work to be done and a lot of advantage for brands to get involved in this space, but further down the line, programmatic TV is a distinct possibility. In TV and outdoor, programmatic will start moving into those spaces as video on TV starts growing; stitching that together is another opportunity for marketers. The challenge is, how one makes sure that they are staying ahead of the competition and doing the best in a multi-channel world — programmatic is the best way to get that edge.