Given the emergence of programmatic buying, Hotstar's consumer and revenue head Prabh Simran Singh and DoubleClick's head Prabhvir Sahmey believe that the role of a media planner is even more important.
In a session that was moderated by Atique Kazi, director, Xaxis India, Sahmey said, "Programmatic will not eliminate the role of the media planner. It will elevate it. Brands are going to move to always on digital campaigns soon and that's where the role of a planner takes more importance."
The discussion began with Kazi asking the panelists: "Has programmatic buying solved the problem of advertising on digital getting less relevant?"
Sahmey stated, “Yes, from we are seeing that. Data which would sit on excel sheets earlier are available now. It has been proven the programmatic is the future and brands are using it. An advertiser from the FMCG space wanted to understand where ads were running and get customised ads. We answered questions as to who could see them and gave them data. We are still solving a universal reach challenge.”
Hotstar's Singh had a different opinion. "My view is that it’s not helping technology develop because there’s an over emphasis on pricing. The quality of the platform has not been kept in mind. Another thing true for video is standardisation. Video and completed views have to go together. Not having standardisation of metrics on video is a challenge too."
Sahmey responded to that by stating, “I don’t disrespect your opinion but disagree with it. Walled gardens are coming down. There will be a democratisation of data. We (Doubleclick) have launched two new algorithms for video too and we are trying to address viewability.”
Staying with the subject of viewability, Sahmey added, "It’s hygiene. The ad has to be on a viewable part of the screen. We have to be mindful of the fact that a video ad on a video platform creates a different response compared to a video ad on a non-video platform. Before the video era, fundamentally people wanted to know whether ads were in the right geography. Now, viewability has come in. If you’re looking for cheaper inventory, you’ll get publishers who will give you that. You may get one good lemon out of many. The industry is stuck with what it was in 2005. They see the internet as something cheap.”