When it comes to predicting the impact of programmatic technologies will have on the buy-side, we’re often told there are two very distinct paths the industry could go down. Some say the platforms could become so user-friendly — and the machine learning so sophisticated — that pretty much anyone will be able to jump on and deliver optimal advertising campaigns. If this is the case, the argument goes, then media agencies are/will be in trouble. On the other hand, you can also argue that as the technology becomes more sophisticated, there will always be people capable of squeezing out performance that other people can’t, so specialist knowledge will always be required to procure the technology, manage the data, and to take a holistic view of how advertising money is spent alongside other marketing activities. If this is the case, then agencies will continue to thrive if they evolve.

VAN would argue that this isn’t a zero sum game and that both of those scenarios will co-exist, alongside the kind of relationships that involve all brands, the agencies and the technology providers all working together.

Last week VAN met with Pierre Naggar, Managing Director EU for Turn, a programmatic platform for marketers. Interestingly, he said that they were there not only to meet with media agency and trading desk clients, but were also seeing much more interest in programmatic advertising from creative agencies and brands:


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