More than 300 marketers, agencies, and platform companies gathered at the St. Regis Martin in San Francisco on Monday for AdExchanger's Programmatic I/O conference.
Below is a selection of comments made by speakers throughout the day, as recorded by AdExchanger's editorial staff, including Judith Aquino, Kimberly Maul, and David Kaplan.
Andrew Casale, VP Strategy, Casale Media
"Browsers taking privacy into their own hands is a scary proposition for the space. The fate of ad exchanges is not linked to the cookie though."
Rajeev Goel, CEO of PubMatic
"There is a misconception that everything will be programmatic. I think 50% is about right. Not every campaign or every marketer objective requires programmatic. There are a bunch of challenges: people, process, compensation strategies. I do think we're at the tipping point for the next S curve, which is private marketplaces and private exchanges. We saw last year that 1% of the media on our platform was done via private marketplaces and in Q1, it was over 5%."
Dave Chiang, Vice President of Monetization, CBS Interactive
"We are hoping to get more of a commitment from the buy side. We're worried about them leaving the relationship if something didn't perform to expectations."
Scott Knoll, CEO, Integral Ad Science
"There are three levers or pillars to the ad business: the message itself, the right audience, the right place. Industry has focused on audience. But if you don't have the first two right, you're wasting your money.
We've gone the wrong way by focusing on cookies. In an exchange, the whole idea is you have buyers and sellers looking for the right price and placement. But by focusing on cookies, we've limited it to a small percentage of the inventory. Whether it's audience or environment, we need to create a marketplace for efficiently buying and selling inventory that goes beyond the cookie."
Dave Spitz, EVP Strategy & Corporate Development, WPP Digital
"There are huge budgets attached to brand data. Historically those haven't been programmatically driven. They've been more rear-view. But that's changing. When we talk about computer-assisted, real-time, I do see more brands tracking their results. Everything is getting faster and we're getting to the point where it'll be more actionable."
Megan Pagliuca, VP and GM of Digital Media, Merkle Inc.
"A consumer isn't just interacting with one channel. They're watching TV, they're on Facebook, they're searching. As we try to understand that challenge, the infrastructure around the media mix is primary. In other words, how do you get to the point where there's one measurement number you can use across all channels to understand the consumer.
A data management platform just for display is not worth it. Only [use one] if you're pulling a lot of different things together from search to e-mail."
Steven Quach, Director Online Marketing, Hotels.com
"We'd love to have a one-on-one conversation with each customer. Obviously that's not practical, but that's the role data plays: bridging marketer and customer. We use data across our business; it's all about analytics and how the performance is driving conversion. A piece of our business where we could do better is figuring out what a customer wants from a user experience on our site.
From a CRM perspective, building custom segments, driving performance comes from having first party data. There are then 30 segments that I can then tap into. However, there's a lot of overlap once you start getting into third party data. The industry needs to address that."
Bob Arnold, Associate Director, Global Digital Strategy, The Kellogg Company
"We are very invested in the programmatic space. From a display standpoint, we spend a majority of our budget on programmatic buying and we've had tremendous success there. We're looking to move into the space for video as well as mobile.
As a brand marketer, programmatic is pretty frustrating; it's using data to buy media and having the ability to quickly iterate off of it and optimize. It was based on clicks and CTRs, but we know that CTRs don't necessarily correlate to the brand metrics we're looking for. I wish we had a real-time signal to feed into the ecosystem to show if the brand messaging is breaking through to reach consumers and then be able to optimize to it."
Cezanne Huq, Head of Online Acquisition, Intuit
"I'd love programmatic to be able to account for all sorts of devices, beyond our expectation, beyond tablets and mobile. We need to be thinking about programmatic in ways that seep into creative optimization and also programmatic in terms of qualitative, not just quantitative.
[If third-party cookies go away] we will see a reduction in spend, but it will make us work harder. I like the framing of first-party relationships. The interesting thing is, if you turn off your cookies, we can get tons of data without cookies, so we have to figure out what attributes beyond cookie data will get us."
Stephen Howard-Sarin, Head of Digital Display for North America, eBay
"Our customers are happy that eBay knows what they want, but that doesn’t mean we can’t create segments of shoppers, and let Zappos or smaller companies market against those shoe buyers. It’s consistent with the the mission of eBay. EBay connects buyers to sellers and that’s a marketers’ job. Now we’ve commercialized that."
Nicolas Franchet, Head of E-Commerce, Global Vertical Marketing, Facebook
"Targeting is great, but you need an action. It’s finite. There’s a lot more richness in determining who is most likely to buy your product."
Mike Shehan, CEO, SpotXchange
"There has been a pretty big sea change over the last year with a lot of TV dollars flowing in. They can use RTB and programmatic and all the benefits it provides in terms of accessing audience and large sources of supply, to supplement large active TV campaigns."
Brett Wilson, co-founder and CEO, TubeMogul
"When we started, a lot of the budgets came from display budgets, at the expense of other digital ad formats, but now it's coming from TV budgets. More and more, the distinction of digital video versus TV is going away. It will be video, video, video."
Mary Shirley, VP, Horizon Media
"When it comes to the question about premium, for a lot of marketers, TV and online are easy to wrap their heads around, but when you start to get into video that is professionally produced and web- exclusive, where is the right place for marketers to be?"
Toby Gabriner, President, Adap.tv
"Measurement matters. If you are soiling how you are doing this and don't have a common way to understand reach and frequency, that's a problem. Digital has never had a currency and the fact that we're seeing Nielsen and comScore coming out with currencies that allow brand dollars to be bought and you can do cross-channel measurement, that is a game changer, to have conversations with the TV groups so they can think beyond just a box in the living room."
Colette Dill-Lerner, VP of Internet Marketing, Guthy-Renker
"The proliferation of ads on Facebook has made it an important platform for us, but it’s a black box. The ads seem to be performing well, but we’re not getting any smarter."
Christina Alm, Assistant Interactive Marketing Manager, General Mills
[In talking about challenges in paid media] "It’s hard to come up with real time metrics to give you the confidence you need to continue down a path. Also, how do you get the creative side of the equation to be smart enough to deliver dynamic experiences from a targeting perspective?"
Ned Brody, CEO, AOL Networks
"Transparency is a euphuism for how much did I buy that impression for? Transparency is about understanding what consumers are doing on your site.
Everybody's afraid of RTB as a race to the bottom and that it will lead to degradation of their ad sales. When you have many mouths to feed along the value chain, the amount of dollars an advertiser spends gets smaller and smaller. That's where the value of programmatic comes in. Technology will always find a way to help marketers spend dollars more efficiently."
Curt Hecht, CRO, The Weather Channel
"Our manual piece is how do you build great sponsorships. I don't want our team spending time on whether we have a homepage ad unit. That's not high value. We think about audience and that we're making tools available to the agencies designed to make cable TV more addressable. The first step is to have a better composition of the audience an advertiser wants and being able to have the tools to best target them."
Ken Allen, Managing Director, Blackstone
"This [digital marketing] is an arms race where Google and Facebook are using capital as a competitive advantage.
M&A will continue. It will be driven by platform wars [such as] the convergence between platforms. Many players will be doing what other players are doing."
Eric Klotz, Founder, Visualized
"The basic components of data visualization are data, story and design. Story is becoming the most important... A strong story expedites understanding."