The Forrester report predicts that there may actually be four programmatic models for video in the future:
■ Proto-programmatic: Firms such as Simulmedia and Viamedia are adopting approaches borrowed from programmatic buying and provide richer audience data than Nielsen ratings to drive program selection for TV inventory.
■ Programmatic direct: The buyer and seller, not the computers, will discuss and agree on terms of the contract. While the terms may include some fixed inventory, one of the areas for negotiation will be how much of the buy will be programmatic, the cost for that inventory and the factors that guide placement.
■ Private exchange: Publishers take the lead, creating programmatic marketplaces for their properties but inviting only a select set of advertisers to participate. “Networks may still host upfronts to show off their content,” Nail said, “but they won’t make deals over dinner. Buyers will go back to the office and use their computers instead.”
■ Open exchange: Any advertiser or publisher can participate in exchanges run by independent vendors such as BrightRoll and SpotXchange, much like they do today.
Will media buyers find themselves shoved aside as the computers take over?
“The role will become much more strategic and quantitative, and yes, all those entry-level associate media planner jobs will likely go away,” Nail said. “The people are who are able to sit with their clients, understand their goals, understand their audience, and then use data to define those objectives in a way the algorithm can target, those jobs will still be around.”
Nail added that new technology always causes growing pains and turmoil, but it shouldn’t be perceived as the enemy. “It isn’t about the technology, it’s about the strategy. Yes, there are new processes and new data that you can use to execute your marketing strategy, but if you don’t understand strategy in the first place, the technology won’t save you.”