Still in its infancy, the programmatic marketplace in Australia has a fair share of growing up to do. There’s a lot of education needed for both clients and agencies to ensure they’re not having the wool pulled over their eyes. At least, that’s the view of Dominic Trigg, senior vice president and general manager in Europe at programmatic company Rocket Fuel.
“The programmatic landscape over here, I believe, is in a little bit of that early stages where there’s a lot of myths around and a lot of technology terms being used and anyone can roll up and say ‘I’ve got a technology, therefore you should take me seriously in the programmatic space’,” he told B&T during his visit to Australia recently.
“And unfortunately, marketers are going to sometimes get burned from that until they actually start discovering which of these companies really generates return on investment, and which of them are actually beginning to grow their marketing exposure or generate real impact.
“I’ve seen other companies in this space, and I won’t name direct competitors, but there are several, who talk about real, intelligent, programmatic buying, but what it actually means is a guy sitting around making some choices on a spreadsheet.”
He said it’s tricky for marketers to actually know what’s good and what’s generating income and return on investment (ROI) without actually testing out the various agencies available.
I don’t ever want to describe an industry like the Wild West, but it’s like any new industry. There’s a lot of misinformation going out there.
Trigg’s comments follow a report by Real Programmatic that found marketers need to be more informed on programmatic so as not to be taken for a ride.
“The fact that there are literally thousands of players within the programmatic ecosystem does make it difficult for the CMO to make informed decisions about how to make greater use of programmatic buying,” the report said. “With each of the players extracting a few for their services, the real efficiencies of programmatic are simply not being delivered.”
“We have no problem with companies charging a fee for their services. We believe that companies should be paid well for performing a service well. However, it is vital that companies are paid for their relative performance against marketing goals, not simply paid for running performance media. The latter being something that is happening all too often in programmatic media buying today.”
Read more about the report in the latest issue of B&T, which you can subscribe to here.
So what can marketers do to make sure they don’t get burned by agencies offering fancy-shmancy services, but just have someone entering things into a document?
Trigg said: “The best thing to do is look at the insights they get back from the people they buy through. Really question what technology you’re using to buy on this, and really question also, the kind of margins and returns they’re getting back from the media they spend.”
Trigg’s suggestion would be for marketers to try a couple of agencies to see which ones generate the best results for them, especially as marketers are constantly getting more and more wary when it comes to new technologies and ad methods.
“Marketers, more than ever, demand they get a return for the money they spend. And I think the industry has grown up a lot because of that. It’s no longer just getting a bunch of people together saying ‘I like it’,” he said.
“There really needs to be a return – there’s much more accountability in this industry than there’s ever been. But the way of buying it programmatically has allowed a revolutionary response to really be tracked through.”