Programmatic advertising is once again one of the most important topics in the media and advertising business for 2019. With the automation, analysis, and storage of large amounts of data in real-time constantly evolving, it creates multiple possibilities for using and reforming programmatic. So, what does the future of programmatic advertising have in store?

We spoke with Ghanem Awn, COO of Yieldlab, an ADvendio integration partner, specialized in premium programmatic advertising, who work with leading European media companies such as Media Impact and SevenOne Media to manage their business relationships with media agencies and buyers.

Ghanem Awns Expertise in the Media Industry

Ghanem has over 20 years of experience working in the media industry where his primary focus is digital advertising media and technology for purchasing and selling. His expertise spans across multiple organizations as he previously worked as Senior Key Account Manager at the international DQ&A Group prior to joining YieldLab where he was responsible for clients across Europe and strategic partnerships with technology providers Google DoubleClick and Brightcove.

After joining Yieldlab in 2011 as Director of Strategic Partnerships, Ghanem was appointed COO and is now responsible for Key Account Management, Platform Solutions, Business & Strategic Operations, and Marketing.

With your vast knowledge and expertise in the media industry, what do you see as the fundamental benefits for media companies using programmatic advertising?

The advantages of this form of marketing automation are, on the one hand, the increased efficiency from the replacement of the complex manual media trade by technically supported automated buying and selling processes (programmatic buying & programmatic selling). On the other hand, they manifest themselves in the effective gains from an automated, data-based media dialogue, individualized campaign control and delivery (targeting).

Demand and supply can be bundled, curated and, for example, expanded through new formats and additional partners. In particular through a holistic sales strategy, a combination of conventional sales and programmatic sales. All components together enable an extended yield optimization and thus a significantly better and modern monetization of inventory.

With the change in programmatic over the years, where do you see the biggest changes and developments?

In recent years, programmatic advertising has developed from a niche to a mainstream model in digital marketing. In its country of origin, (USA), programmatic advertising was dominated early on by the goal of yield optimization. This included placing advertising inventories in so-called ad networks or ad exchanges via appropriate interfaces.
Media agencies and advertisers were then able to access these ad impressions directly and automatically so that this form of media trading quickly established itself due to the cost-saving software-based processing.

The next step was to introduce bidding procedures for the offered inventory: real-time bidding (RTB) as the original form of programmatic buying was born. While real-time bidding experienced a real triumph in the USA and Great Britain, another path was emerging in the German market in particular, which has always been characterized by a strong, traditionally defined understanding of quality.

In contrast to the Anglo-American markets, where the open auction-based purchase of media in ad networks dominates due to the supply situation, the need for high-quality inventory and data quality as well as comprehensive transparency and security in the German market has led to the private marketplace model with a direct relationship between publisher or marketer and media agency or advertisers quickly establishing itself as the preferred form of data-based automated media purchasing, which is still the case today.

Cross-Media Use of Programmatic Buying Technologies

Programmatic is no longer only to be found in the digital industry but is also used for other channels such as video, TV, radio. What do you think of this evolution and development?

“Programmatic Everything” is a logical step. All media which digitize will sooner or later also be “developed” programmatically. Today, digital out-of-home advertising spaces (info screen, mall video, station screen, etc.) are already just as programmatically traded and delivered as TV spots, addressable TV, audio, and even classic print ads.

For example, a focus on future-oriented topics such as digital out-of-home, audio or addressable TV and the revolution in TV advertising, is being driven forward at Yieldlab.

With regards to the print industry, do you think the use of programmatic buying technologies for print media has a future?

Absolutely! Even if the classic media genres naturally cannot be a data-based delivery of advertising media in immediate real-time, as programmatic advertising is understood in the digital sector, the programmatic purchasing of media on the part of advertisers and agencies will develop in one direction: a central process or a central technology platform that maps all relevant channels, including the classic offline media channels.

The Future of Programmatic Advertising in the Media Industry

Will media companies who currently have not adapted programmatic have a chance to remain competitive in the future?

I personally think: no. First of all, they will gradually lose the media potential and campaign volume. Depending on the media channel, this will take place on a long-term or short-term basis. Programmatic represents a strategic aspect and should be integrated holistically into corporate planning. The advantages of programmatic marketing and the pressure to be effective and efficient are simply too great. Not least because the media market is still a buyer’s market with a massive supply overhang.

Media companies have to do everything they can to refine their media in the best possible way based on data and technology and at the same time set up their marketing processes as lean and agile as possible. This can only be achieved through extensive automation.

Programmatic means change and opportunity at the same time. – Ghanem Awn

What are your predictions for the future of Programmatic Advertising?

The proportion of programmatically traded media inventories will continue to grow. On both sides – the purchasing and the sales side – to reduce complexity, there will be a trend towards using omnichannel platforms, via which all media, channels, and inventories can be traded and controlled holistically.

With regards to target groups, addressing, cross-device targeting, i.e. the holistic user approach using e.g. addressable TV, desktop and mobile, will become indispensable in view of the persistently high fragmentation of media use. This will not only make retargeting more intelligent and efficient it will also finally enable high-quality storytelling. I am convinced that the future of advertising lies above all in these creative and qualitative topics.

At the same time, we must above all, further develop the quality of programmatic advertising including increased intelligent solutions that bring together the requirements of buying side and selling side even better. Of course, this also means leaving your own silos and thinking about being much more integrated than before with regards to the further technological development of systems. However, this also offers the opportunity to make programmatic advertising an even more successful marketing operating system than it is already.