Jay Sears, Senior Vice President Marketplace Development of Rubicon Project discusses “Automation, Programmatic and TV” with Veronica Holmes of Publicis’ ZenithOptimedia. The two executives appeared at Rubicon Project’s 1st Annual Real Time Trading Update from Canada's Buy Side in Toronto in June 2015.
Your Name:Veronica Holmes
Your Title:President, Digital
SEARS: What do you read to keep up with politics, art and culture?
HOLMES: I have a large selection of sites I like, so I use an application, Feedly, to organize information to make a review of the headlines easier and faster. For pleasure, I enjoy browsing the latest entertainment gossip from North America and the UK, reading fiction e-books, and checking what’s popular on YouTube. I do like reading opinion pieces and longer editorial, so I spend some time with The Atlantic, Vice News, BBC News and The New York Times.
SEARS: What do you read to keep up with friends?
HOLMES: I actually prefer to keep up with friends via a visit and a glass of wine.
SEARS: What do you read to keep up with our industry?
HOLMES: Trade blogs like marketingland.com, searchengineland.com, Media in Canada; trade magazines like Marketing, Strategy and Adweek are main sources for me to gain a little perspective. I like to also keep in touch with vendors.
SEARS: What’s your favorite commercial of all time?
HOLMES: There are many commercials I admire. Here’s a recent one.
SEARS: With regards to advertising automation and programmatic, what are Zenith’s three biggest initiatives in Canada in 2015?
SEARS: On average in the Canadian market, 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?
HOLMES: I would have to say that $.05 of all media is spent through programmatic means. That is mainly due to TV not being enabled through programmatic means in Canada (just yet).
SEARS: What will this number be in 2017?
HOLMES: We are very careful when forecasting for the future. If the advertisers move $.15 to $.20 of every dollar into programmatic means of execution, that means that we’ve had great acceptance of this avenue for media. It all depends on what will happen with TV which in Canada is probably 3-5 years away (at least).
SEARS: Tell us the about the Canadian operations of Zenith Marketplace:
HOLMES: Zenith Marketplace’s vision is to create a custom ecosystem for each client comprised of both premium (fully defined publishers otherwise known as private marketplace) and open exchange inventory sources to understand media composition in digital and operate more efficiently and effectively for our clients.
Zenith Marketplace offers a collaborative partnership where our clients and the Marketplace team define KPIs for real time bidding space as well as discuss and agree on the composition of the plans through each avenue (desktop, mobile, social) and with each environment (premium and open) to arrive at the best marketing mix.
SEARS: Please tell us:
SEARS: Draw an analogy between the automation of television and an ice hockey game. Are we in the pre-game? Still driving to the stadium?
HOLMES: Some companies say that we’re in the rink right now however I would say that in terms of linear TV in Canada we are driving to the stadium. The technology is not yet there at scale and movement from broadcasters is very slow. VOD is ahead of the pack; however that doesn’t represent majority. We need a major broadcaster to invest in new technology to get into the stadium.
SEARS: How can advertising automation help the strategy and planning functions (directly or indirectly) at an advertising agency?
HOLMES: There are two benefits -- one operational and one strategic. The operations benefit is based on technology in place and diminished workload. Automation represents operational efficiency for advertisers. The strategic benefits are getting to understand audience patterns better and limiting fragmentation of purchases. By controlling and understanding the proper exposure of advertising in front of desired audience, we can start to look at message sequencing and prospecting for more moments of receptivity, especially in digital.
SEARS: Can linear TV be automated, yes or no?
HOLMES:Perhaps our thinking is limited because we focus on the current methods of delivery for television and its regulatory framework. TV disruption is happening -- not sure it matters if “linear” TV is automated.
SEARS: What two-three events or happenings will accelerate the automation of television?
2. TV disruption by Netflix, YouTube, etc.
SEARS: Transparency -- on media costs, on data, on inventory -- has become a lightning rod issue. Should transparency be a negotiated benefit for the advertiser client, yes or no?
HOLMES: Yes -- but it’s actually not an issue for ZenithOptimedia Canada. This has been our approach from day one: Transparent on costs, data and inventory in order to make best decisions for the client. If there is no transparency on cost and data/inventory, how can a client and the agency work in partnership to make best decisions?
SEARS: Which of the following will accelerate the automation of site direct (direct orders) budget? Pick all that apply:
HOLMES:All apply. A is the most important one but closely followed by all others.
SEARS: If you could go to the airport right now with friends or family and fly anywhere in the world for vacation, who would you take and where would you go?
HOLMES: Anywhere really interesting. I have a long list.
SEARS: If you could create an endowment to fund any existing non-profit you designated, what lucky non-profit organization would that be?
HOLMES: Health and Education are my key interests.
SEARS: What is your favorite restaurant in the world?
HOLMES: My kitchen.
SEARS: Thanks, Veronica!
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