Cannes Conversations: Josh Jacobs of Omnicom’s Accuen

By Archived Rubicon Project Archives
Cover image for  article: Cannes Conversations: Josh Jacobs of Omnicom’s Accuen

This is the fourth in a series of “Cannes Conversations” on advertising automation with leading buyers and sellers. The conversations include all of the major ad holding companies and media owners such as Guardian, News Corp, Triad Retail Media and Turner Broadcasting.

The “Cannes Conversations” will continue at two events at Cannes Lions Festival hosted by Rubicon Project: the 2nd Annual Agency Trading Desk Panel on Le Rooftop on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 6:00-10:00pm and the 1st Annual Publisher Automation Panel on the Rubicon Project Yacht (the Antisan) Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 6:00-10:00pm. Guests must RSVP here.

Your Name: Josh Jacobs

Your Company: Accuen

Your Title: Global CEO, Accuen and President, Digital Platforms and Partnerships, OMG

SEARS: What’s your favorite candy bar?

JACOBS: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. They bring two great ingredients together and make them better.

SEARS: Today on average globally -- out of each $1.00 spent on media (all media, not just digital) by one of your advertisers -- how much today is spent on automated or programmatic channels?

JACOBS: $0.01 - $0.02

SEARS: What was this number in 2012?

JACOBS: $0.01 - $0.02

What will this number be in 2016?

JACOBS: $0.20

SEARS: Will a shift in agency compensation from percentage of spend and FTE models to pay-for-performance (aligning business outcomes with the advertiser) accelerate advertising automation, yes or no?

JACOBS: Yes. If agencies are incentivized to performance KPIs and gain access to the right levers to optimize and execute media buys, we’ll definitely see agencies increase their adoption of automation.

SEARS: What is the mission statement of Accuen?

JACOBS: Accuen is Omnicom Media Group’s programmatic agency. Our mission is to deliver market-leading programmatic media technologies and solutions to the world’s leading marketers.

SEARS: Please tell us:

SEARS: How many employees are there in your global organization?

JACOBS: Accuen is a part of Annalect Group, an 850-person global organization.

SEARS: What are Accuen’s three biggest global initiatives in 2014?

1. Rolling out the Annalect DMP across the globe. Enabling all Omnicom Media Group clients to access and activate data for their digital buys is an imperative for us.
2. Building deeper integrations with publishers. We are creating both closer partnerships as well as technical integrations with key publishers to enable clients to do some really cool things with data.
3. Standardizing our global activation platform. We’re seeing more demand from clients for consistent and complete programmatic solutions that match their global footprint.

SEARS: By 2016, what percentage of your holding company’s global media spend will be programmatic?


SEARS: What is your trading desk doing to encourage media owners to more aggressively adopt direct order automation?

JACOBS: If there is the technical ability to execute a buy through an API, simply using vanilla automation without the expectation of making the process better is beside the point. Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Direct deal automation without optimization doesn’t represent progress.

SEARS: What is your trading desk doing to encourage advertisers to more aggressively adopt direct order automation? Check all that apply.

___ Educating agency client service teams on the benefits of automation
___ Educating agency clients on the benefits of automation
___ Educating holding company, agency and client finance executives on the benefits of automation
___ Discussing all of the above with Jay Sears at Cannes
___ All of the above
_X__ Clients don’t care, they just want a better business result

JACOBS: We don’t encourage clients to adopt a specific channel. Results are the most important and speak for themselves.

SEARS: What is your guess? What percentage of CROs at top comScore publishers compensate their sellers equally for media that is hand-sold vs. sold via an automated channel (either orders or auction)?

JACOBS: In our discussions with publishers we’re often negotiating with different contacts for direct and programmatic access. There is a need to have someone with the technical knowledge to setup programmatic deals, but publishers need to think about the value of their inventory more holistically. Creating the cross-over between direct and programmatic buys is huge area of opportunity for everyone.

SEARS: What countries globally are the leaders and laggards in programmatic?

JACOBS: I’m stating the obvious, but the United States is the clear leader in programmatic. We’re also seeing China innovating and adopting programmatic at a really fast clip.

In fact, we’ve seen programmatic growth expand really quickly for our smaller markets. One of the markets we just launched last year has seen really impressive growth just based on demand from clients. I think we’ve passed the inflection point with programmatic and clients and publishers are ready to do business in this way.

Tell us a bit more about you:

SEARS: Who was one of your first mentors as a child?

JACOBS: My grandmother. She taught me the value of hard work.

SEARS: What’s your favorite movie?

JACOBS: “Dazed and Confused”

SEARS: Money is not a concern. You no longer work in advertising or technology. What would you choose to do for work?

JACOBS: If money is not a concern, I would buy Publicis.

SEARS: What is your favorite restaurant in the world?

JACOBS: Sammy’s Roumanian

Thanks Josh!

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