Your Name: Timothy Whitfield

Your Company: Xaxis

Your Title: Director, Operations

SEARS: What do you read to keep up with politics, art and culture?

WHITFIELD: Flipboard

SEARS: What do you read to keep up with friends?

WHITFIELD: Flipboard

SEARS: What do you read to keep up with our industry?

WHITFIELD: Flipboard

SEARS: What’s your favorite commercial of all time?

WHITFIELD: The Big Beer Ad.

SEARS: On average in Australia and New Zealand -- out of each $1.00 spent on media (all media, not just digital) by one of your advertisers, how much today (in 2015) is spent on automated or programmatic channels?

WHITFIELD: Can’t talk about specific numbers but I see a 20 -- 40% increase YOY on the adoption of programmatic. The companies which are more tech savvy seem to adopt faster.

SEARS: What will this number be in 2017?

WHITFIELD: Speculation. But I feel the better number is how big will programmatic be in 2017 and I feel that it will be > $300M. It could even be as high as $500M if PTV is fully launched.

SEARS: Tell us the about the Australian and New Zealand operations of Xaxis.

WHITFIELD: D.I.S. -- We need to offer value from a Data, Operations and Strategy perceptivity. Programmatic is actually easy. Adding value in with D.I.S is half the battle.

SEARS: Please tell us:

  • SEARS: Percentage increase, managed budget (media spend) 2014 vs. expected 2015 for Australia and New Zealand:
    • WHITFIELD: Whole market is circa 20-40% and we are on par with that.
  • SEARS: How many employees are there in Australia and New Zealand?
    • WHITFIELD:  
      • Total: 35
      • Sydney: 20-25
      • Melbourne 8-10:
  • SEARS: What countries/geo areas are you entering in 2015?
    • WHITFIELD: We are in 39 countries globally. 1000 staff globally. Continuing to expand.

SEARS: Draw an analogy between the automation of television and an Australian rules football game. Are we in the pre-game? Still driving to the stadium?

WHITFIELD: Can’t stand Aussie rules. (smiles) We are in the second half of the semi-finals. The technology road map for 2015/2016 has been set. The key objectives for D.I.S have been established. The interference from Brand Safety, Viewability, Ad Fraud has been calculated and planned for. We know what the game is and we know where we (the market) is going.

SEARS: How can advertising automation help the strategy and planning functions (directly or indirectly) at an advertising agency?

WHITFIELD: The opposite of programmatic is manual not premium. This the famous quote from Marissa Mayer. The more automation the better. However, I feel that the automation that we should be focused on should be the automation that helps with the heavy lifting of moving campaigns from Symphony to AppNexus.

SEARS: Can linear TV be automated, yes or no?

WHITFIELD: Yes. It’s already happened. The piping is already there.

SEARS: Thanks, Tim!

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