Back to basics: why your team should know the history of programmatic

May 24, 2016
by James Patterson – GM, UK

In an industry that moves as fast as ad tech, keeping up to date can be both overwhelming and exhausting. Advancements and improvements are always imminent, while buzzwords and acronyms are added daily to the already oversaturated list of industry jargon. And yet, this is what we live for.

Advertising folks have a bit of a “shiny new object” syndrome, often overly eager to latch onto the latest trends, sprinkling the hot new topic into their discussions to prove they’re in the know. But before we move on to the next big thing in programmatic, it’s important to reflect on the history of how our industry got where we are today. Agencies sit at the nexus of the advertising universe. In order to evolve into an agency of the future, a deep, fundamental understanding of programmatic is just as crucial for your team as its nimbleness to adapting trends. Here are three reasons why you should encourage your team to go back to the basics:





It’s hard to understand why things are happening in the present without a clear grasp of how we got here. For instance, programmatic TV is one of today’s hottest ad tech conversation topics, but Google actually tried to make real-time bidding work in television all the way back in 2011. The project failed when major TV inventory holders chose not to participate. At the time, they were worried that the transparency and fluctuation of RTB ad rates would cause them to lose control over their pricing.

That’s why the current wave of programmatic TV solutions have all avoided real-time bidding. Instead, these new technologies are focused on automating the workflow and allowing buyers to apply audience data to inventory that the networks retain complete control over.

This is just one example. Unless you have the full back story, it can be extremely difficult to understand what’s motivating the biggest players in programmatic.

 3. “Those who don’t learn from (programmatic) history are doomed to repeat it.”




As originally published on The Drum