Republished from the Centro blog.

Programmatic advertising has changed, and Centro’s RTB Zeitgeist must do so as well. When we started this series a couple of years ago, we highlighted the trends that were driving real-time bidding (RTB). At the onset of this series, programmatic ad buying was relatively simple, in the sense that the majority of ad spend and transactions were happening via RTB in open exchanges. Being well-versed in RTB meant you had a good handle on what was happening in programmatic advertising. However, the world has changed and other ways to buy  in programmatic have emerged – private exchanges, private marketplaces,programmatic directautomated guaranteed. Furthermore, other aspects such as data management, data exchanges, video, mobile, viewability and more have to be taken into account. As my colleague Ratko Vidakovic recently said,‘programmatic’ and ‘RTB’ are not interchangeable terms. To address the expansion of the landscape, we are going to encompass more topic areas in our newly named Programmatic Zeitgeist to cover the full breadth of our space. Now, on with the show.

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There’s a reason why small to mid-sized agencies are grappling with programmatic; it’s not “the great equalizer” it was thought to be. Because of their size, bigger agencies are still being afforded certain advantages in the programmatic realm.

For one, publishers are starting to cut private deals with preferred partners, effectively negating the early programmatic promise of all agencies being able to buy inventory from the same pool. With private deals, power and budgets are still predominant factors. Also, programmatic talent is hard to come by and that’s especially the case for smaller to mid-sized agencies. Larger agencies can afford to hire many people and train them. Smaller agencies have to hire more strategically.
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SiteScout Product Update: The Return of Split-View

by Ratko Vidakovic on May 14, 2015 · 0 comments

For those of you who remember the original SiteScout user interface, it had a split-screen view when looking at campaign statistics and reporting. When we launched version 2.0 of the SiteScout interface, the split-screen view was not a feature. And so today, back by popular demand, we are very happy to announce the re-release (and reincarnation) of split-view.

The primary appeal behind the split-view is the ability to see more data on a single screen. Because there are fewer clicks required to navigate various reporting dimensions, you can accomplish tasks faster, resulting in increased productivity.

In the bottom pane, you’ll see deeper levels of reporting for the item that is selected in the top pane. You can toggle other available views for the bottom pane by using the View buttons to the right.

It’s also important to note that you are free to disable split-view by hiding the bottom pane using the Hide button. (As demonstrated in the video above.) If you choose to hide the bottom pane, it will stay hidden until you open it again.

Some other parts of the interface that have changed along with split-view release:

  • The “New Campaign” button has moved. In the Campaigns view, you can use the “New” button to create folders, campaign groups, and campaigns. The previous “New Campaign” button was ubiquitous, but it’s more logical that it lives within the Campaigns view, because that’s typically where all the real magic happens.
  • The “Assets” button on the left menu is gone. All the previous Assets items (Audiences, Conversions, Domain Lists, etc.) have been extracted and are now main menu items.
  • The behavior of tabs has changed. Now, all actions you perform in the UI (aside from new campaign) affect the current tab. If you choose to create a new tab by clicking the “+” icon, it will clone the existing tab you.
  • The “Apply” and “Apply All” options in the date range selector. Choosing “Apply” changes the date for the existing grid you are viewing, whereas “Apply All” changes the date for all grids in your actively open tab, and remembers it for the future. But you can obviously change it again, if you so choose. This option helps you set the date once, so you can optimize for that time period, without having to repeatedly change it again.

Lastly, don’t worry if you’re confused by this new interface change. Our team has created a helpful tour of the new split-view option, which you will see upon logging in. And should you ever want to replay the tour in the future, just go to the Help menu and choose “Split Screen Tutorial”.

That’s it for now. Stay tuned for more product updates coming soon!

p.s. Centro will be exhibiting at Ad:Tech San Francisco next week in booth #1722. If you’re attending, swing by and say hello!

Creativity in the age of programmatic is possible. Programmatic can offer new and exciting creative opportunities thanks to more precision in consumer profiling based on increased behavioural and demographic knowledge.

It’s all about finding a balance between data-driven hyper-targeting and creative intuition informed by psychological and emotional principles, which then drives compelling and resonant brand communications. The need for that human element hasn’t changed. With the power of programmatic, the personal touch can become more pronounced through effective execution.

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With programmatic, it’s as much about the people and the culture within an organization as it is the technology. That was the sentiment expressed in a recent article by MediaPost’s London Editor, Sean Hargrave, after he listened to accounts of the programmatic experiences of eBay and Moneysupermarket.

eBay recently ran its first programmatic trials, while Moneysupermarket switched to its own in-house programmatic trading desk. eBay revealed in its account of its experience that programmatic should be seen as part of a larger marketing effort, not as an isolated strategy.

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According to the IAB’s recently released 2015 “Marketer Perceptions of Mobile Advertising” report, most marketers are keen on mobile programmatic, but only a few have actually bought mobile ads programmatically.

The report revealed that 67 percent of the 200 marketing executives polled think mobile programmatic is important, while 41 percent believe it will help them reach a specific audience, But only 27 percent have bought mobile ads programmatically. One theory to explain the disparity is that there are only a few automated ad formats available, with banner ads being most predominant. Marketers need more mobile options.

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A group of international publishing powerhouses have partnered to form the Pangaea Alliance, a new digital advertising offering that’s using programmatic to allow brands access to their combined ad inventory.

Spearheaded by The Guardian, the alliance also includes CNN International, The Financial Times, Thomson Reuters, The Economist, Hearst UK and Time Inc., and boasts a total audience of more than 110 million users. Launching in the next few months, Pangaea is also promising potential advertisers that their ads will be seen next to quality content in an attempt to assuage fears regarding ad fraud.

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RTB Zeitgeist: Getting to grips with programmatic

by Ratko Vidakovic on March 13, 2015 · 0 comments

2015 is the year marketers will realize that programmatic isn’t a fad. It will all come down to the better access it enables to data and precise execution, to a scaled variety of inventory and the resulting reach, and to ideas and practices that were only accessible to the biggest advertisers just a couple of years ago.

Another programmatic prediction for 2015 is that the supply side will begin to wake up to what programmatic actually means. Publishers will feel pressure to create new products and invest in digital brand activity, including programmatically delivering rich media and online video ad inventory.

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How to get started with programmatic display advertising

There are a many reasons why it’s the perfect time to get into programmatic display advertising. Only a few companies are using it, so there’s less competition. Also, the companies that build a strategy to dive into programmatic are the most successful. If you find an agency with transparent fee structures, you’ll be in a better spot than your competition. Ultimately, the technology might be complex, but the payoff’s significant.

To get started, first you need to find a demand-side platform with substantial inventory. Develop a thorough understanding of your target market. Make sure to disseminate that knowledge throughout your organization. Find partners with feasible costs of service. Next, build specific audiences to target. Then, optimize strategically, and there are a number of ways to do that, including testing ad frequency, segmenting audiences into finer demographic sets, testing different site placements, and testing the time of day.

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What you need to know about programmatic direct

Programmatic direct is on the rise as more advertisers and publishers seek to bring the efficiency of programmatic to direct orders for ad inventory. Estimates have programmatic direct spending surpassing $8 billion in 2016, accounting for over 40 percent of all ad programmatic display spending. But the process still causes some confusion.

A few specialized vendors facilitate programmatic direct, relying on API integrations with publisher ad servers, allowing advertisers and agencies to have campaigns served directly on a publisher’s ad server in an automated fashion. There are many advertiser benefits, including the automated process, better targeting, ad serving priority and guaranteed inventory volume. Yet drawbacks still hamper widespread adoption, such as detached relationships with publishers, limited adoption, isolated platforms and premium prices. Despite the challenges, programmatic direct is also a process that’s still very much to the publisher’s benefit.

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The New Normal in 2015: ASO strategies, RTB, & programmatic marketing

Along with app store optimization strategies, new trends in real-time bidding and programmatic marketing will come to the fore as they continue to become the norm in 2015.

Programmatic has evolved beyond simple transactions and RTB, now accounting for 47 per cent of non-search advertising in the U.S., with an overall spend of $21 billion. As an increasing number of targeted data points become available to programmatic marketers in 2015, expect advertising relevancy to increase. With major brands like Proctor & Gamble and American Express investing more heavily in programmatic, machine learning will have a bigger part to play this year.

Also, marketers should seek to utilize optimized programmatic marketing methods to get the best bang for their buck whilst simultaneously drawing in the right consumers.

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RTB Zeitgeist: Should You Keep Programmatic In-House?

by Ratko Vidakovic on January 21, 2015 · 0 comments

The Blame Game: Transparency In Programmatic

Today advertising is more intelligent and less dense. The uptick of programmatic advertising has played a big part in that visibility. In considering programmatic, C-suites are faced with an important question right off the bat: outside programmatic campaigns to ad agencies or keep it in-house?

The programmatic model is all about efficiency — getting the right message to the right people at the right time while simultaneously reducing advertising costs. Given the ease with which companies can manage their own programmatic practice, it can prove difficult to justify paying a premium in order to have an agency do it for them.

That said, companies looking to bring programmatic in-house also require the right expertise, which might translate to additional staff. Whatever their choice, company C-suites need to remember that all advertising, including programmatic, needs a human touch.

Read More from MediaPost…

Should You Keep Programmatic In-House?

The Blame Game: Transparency In Programmatic

A recent report from Forrester and Index Exchange has put the spotlight on publishers’ attitudes towards transparency issues. They say they’re at a significant disadvantage compared to their counterparts on the demand side. According to the report, publishers feel that the demand side is moving quickly and isn’t waiting for the sell side to catch up.

It’s all led to a “vicious circle of suspicion and distrust,” the report notes, which isn’t serving the best interests of either side. Distrust in the programmatic space isn’t being limited to the interactions between these two either. It’s also beginning to permeate relationships between agencies and brands, a phenomenon that’s propelling the current “in-house trend.” A publisher is quoted in the study saying it’s incumbent on advertisers to “make the market more comfortable.”

Read More from Huffington Post …

Private Marketplaces: The Death Knell For Publishers?

Private Marketplaces: The Death Knell For Publishers?

Private marketplaces, while created with the best of intentions, are still in some ways a work in progress, says Evolve Media’s Brian Fitzgerald in a recent article for TechCrunch.

Open exchanges create a “bottom-line approach to evaluating and buying media,” he says, leaving little room for considerations such as ad environment or positive brand association. Private marketplaces were created to leverage the efficiency of programmatic buying in a closed environment wherein sellers proffer more premium ad placements and better creative frequency control. The problem, says Fitzgerald, is that these private marketplaces enable buyers to get a sneak peek at higher-quality inventory while publishers are left in the lurch with no guarantee of payment against that inventory.

Ultimately, what’s needed, argues Fitzgerald, is “a market that rewards publishers for creating great content, rich environments and market-leading solutions.”

Read More from TechCrunch…

That’s it for this week’s RTB Zeigeist. To subscribe to #RTBZeitgeist, click here.

Over 80% of all Industry Players Used Programmatic In 2014

Programmatic was a prevalent force in 2014, with 80 percent of the advertising industry — including advertisers, publishers and marketers — executing digital advertising programmatically throughout the year. That accounts for over three-fourths of the whole marketplace.

Banners were still the dominant digital ad format, with more than 85 percent of the market using programmatic to execute them. Mobile was employed programmatically by over 60 percent of the market, preroll ads by 50 percent and native advertising by 20 percent of the industry, demonstrating how programmatic has progressed past display advertising.

Quality, however, was lacking in 2014, with viewability and ad fraud being the market’s main obstacles, with brand-safe environments also constituting a major concern for industry players.

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15 insights from the Real Time Advertising Summit

Learn about the 15 key takeaways that you need to think about when it comes to real-time advertising, recently identified at the Real Time Advertising Summit in London. Here are some of the standout points:

Simplification is crucial to the continued evolution of programmatic advertising, as is the need for education. It’s important for advertisers to find out how programmatic works. Creative shouldn’t be an afterthought in any programmatic campaign and, with so many options available to consumers, advertisers are going to need to work harder than ever to maintain customer loyalty. For advertisers looking to get involved with programmatic, it all starts with data management.

Finally, there is a prevailing need for transparency within the programmatic ecosystem. Advertisers want to know where their money is going.

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Knowledge is Fuelling the Programmatic Shift

Advertisers are increasingly bringing their programmatic advertising practices in-house thanks to ad teams increasing their knowledge about the industry.

It used to be that ad agencies were the ultimate source of programmatic know-how. That’s not the case these days as many advertisers are becoming much more educated about programmatic advertising and ad tech in general. The need for transparency is driving advertisers to bring programmatic in-house. Many are seeing the DIY approach as the best way to garner insights and knowledge.

Such a shift is tipping the balance of programmatic smarts and control away from the agencies and to the advertisers themselves, allowing them, among other things, to keep command over their sensitive first-party data. It’s worth noting talent restraints and lack of implementation strategies are the key challenges these advertisers now face.

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