Last month, National Geographic used Oath's Programmatic VR Ads to promote its docudrama 'Mars' Season 2. Fresh off the block, these first-in-market programmatic VR ads are an example of the “new opportunities for brands to engage meaningfully with consumers,” said Melissa Lau, Director, Oath Ad Platforms. Melissa, with Vishal Parekh, Director Sales – Oath India, recently led a very well-attended Masterclass on ‘Evolving Programmatic: What Every Marketer Needs To Know,’ at ad:tech Mumbai.
Programmatic is evolving fast, as advertisers turn to the technology to target their audiences with precision and improve the efficiency of their ad spend. “India is the fastest growing market for Programmatic ad spending, with programmatic growing by leaps and bounds,” said Vishal, as he set the context, taking the audience through the programmatic ecosystem and landscape in India. Understanding how to navigate programmatic is imperative for advertisers. This was reflected in the strong turnout and engaged participation at the event. Over 120 marketers and advertisers from Yes Bank, ICICI Lombard, Myntra, Club Mahindra, Levis and Kotak Bank attended the session on November 30.
Melissa spoke in-depth about the future of programmatic, covering topics like the technologies that power it, choosing the right DSP, combating fraud and ensuring brand safety, among others.
A look at key concepts and new opportunities in programmatic, from the session
Reach your audience through the power of audio and video
There was a lot of audience interest in programmatic audio, TV and VR ads. Melissa outlined how advertisers are going where the audience is and can now reach engaged consumers on a multitude of platforms, like connected TV, for example.
The programmatic audio sector is also exploding both globally and in India, which represents a “totally new buying opportunity,” Melissa explained. Digital audio is the number one app activity on mobile and advertisers are tapping into this growing audience through programmatic audio ads. Oath recently introduced programmatic audio ads, enabling advertisers to reach highly engaged podcast and streaming audio listeners with the DSP's advanced targeting capabilities in a brand safe environment.
Advertiser objectives + AI = ROI
How can advertisers run smarter, faster and more relevant campaigns that produce better results? By leveraging the data-driven insights and predictive audience targeting that Artificial Intelligence (AI) can power to serve targeted messages in the right place at the right time. But before technology does the heavy lifting, advertiser objectives and KPIs (branding – unique users, reach, impressions; performance – ad engagement, clicks, conversions, etc.) have to be clearly defined. Artificial Intelligence then comes in, harnessing big data and advanced algorithms to allocate ad spend. The result, as Melissa pointed out, is “maximized value and return on investment based on the advertiser’s specific campaign objectives and KPI.”
The Dream DSP
Marketers have to carefully choose the right Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs), so they are not limited by factors like missing functionality and weak local partnerships. A good DSP should be supported by advanced features and ease of use, local, scalable data, technology and media relationships. However, Melissa also introduced the “Dream DSP.”
“I see this as a full-funnel solution,” Melissa observed. “For us at Oath, this has meant combining unique data sets with a new machine-learning optimization platform and enhanced productivity features. We want to give advertisers the flexibility and control to manage omni-channel programmatic strategy, deliver against complex branding and performance goals and reach precise audiences with premium inventory across formats and devices,” she added.
Differentiating between brand safety and fraud
Melissa made the distinction between brand safety and fraud. “Brand safety is not fraud. In fact, brand safety is extremely subjective. What is considered brand safe by one may be considered unsafe by another. However, there is an overlap with fraud when it comes to spoofed domains, as brand safety cannot protect you when domains are spoofed,” she explained. “Achieving a “fraud-free” advertising ecosystem requires ongoing vigilance through supply verification, supply & auction transparency, and dedicated anti-fraud solutions,” Melissa added.
Summing up, Melissa said, “Ads work best when they’re precisely targeted, presented in a premium context that is brand safe and relevant to the user, their experience in the moment and to the content that surrounds the ad. That is the philosophy that drives us at Oath, which our Oath Ad Platforms make possible for advertisers.