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Simplify, streamline, sequence: Phil Duffield’s advice to programmatic players

The common complaint from marketers in context to advertising technology such as programmatic is the maze that needs to be navigated before the marketer reaches the publisher. The complicated ecosystem is seen as one of the reasons why large marketers are yet to adopt trading through programmatic despite the obvious benefits it brings with right messaging at the right time to the right people in the right context.

“The complicated structure can be scary and not just for the advertisers but for most industry stakeholders. It is important to simplify the structure so people can talk to each other and make the programmatic process simpler,” noted Phil Duffield, Senior Vice President, International, Adap.tv.

Mr Duffield was addressing a gathering of industry decision makers at the inaugural dmexco satellite in Singapore. His advice was to learn from industries that have been able to take the complicated ecosystems they were in and simplify it. Some examples he cited were ecommerce, travel and banking. “These businesses have been here and done this. They took the convoluted and while keeping track of everything, they made the whole process simple,” expressed Mr Duffield.

If simplifying is the first step to achieve business growth in programmatic, the second is to streamline. In the journey from the publisher to the ad server to the supply side platforms to ad exchanges to demand side platforms to agencies and so on, communication is broken. “There is data leakage in this daisy chaining,” remarked Mr Duffield, and added, “Data leakage is money wasted. Everyone is involved and wants some money. But I believe the big theme coming out here is the need for streamlining to avoid any wastage.”

The third step is to sequence. “When you are planning an ad campaign, as an advertiser or media agency is akin to when you are building a house – there are secrets involved in moving from one step to another. Same is the case with this industry. These secrets have to be understood to architect the right solutions,” Mr Duffield commented.

He emphasised on the reality that today data is in silos and there is no unified view. His recommendation to make programmatic simpler for marketers to understand is in three steps – the ease of use, efficiency and effectiveness.

For Adap.tv, the answer came in the form of One by AOL, which is a step in what the company believes to be the right direction.

Noor Fathima Warsia

A veteran journalist in the Indian marketing, media and advertising fraternity, Noor Fathima Warsia took on the role of Group Editor -– APAC for Digital Market Asia in May 2013. Noor has focussed on tracking trends and developments in the Indian media industry.