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By Tom Burg Apr 28 2015

RTB Zeitgeist: Why Programmatic is Not Just About Data but About People Too

Republished from the SiteScout blog.

With programmatic, it’s as much about the people and the culture within an organization as it is the technology. That was the sentiment expressed in a recent article by MediaPost’s London Editor, Sean Hargrave, after he listened to accounts of the programmatic experiences of eBay and Moneysupermarket.

eBay recently ran its first programmatic trials, while Moneysupermarket switched to its own in-house programmatic trading desk. eBay revealed in its account of its experience that programmatic should be seen as part of a larger marketing effort, not as an isolated strategy.

The main message that came out of Moneysupermarket’s account was that in-house education and training around programmatic are crucial. For the price comparison business , it’s about moving its marketing team away from the last click model. The bottom line is that education and working across silos, as well as internal integration, are just as important as data when it comes to establishing a programmatic practice.

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As Marketers Rush to Programmatic, Consumer Privacy Rules Still Apply

Despite programmatic advertising’s obvious efficiency, it can still raise suspicions, particularly around issues of transparency, for those who aren’t fully savvy to the science.

Digital Advertising Alliance principles hold that organizations engaged in online behavioral advertising must inform people what’s being done with their data, and how to opt-out if they want to. The problem is not everyone adheres to those principles. According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), more effective transparency policing is needed, and the FTC will act on any perceivable threat to consumer privacy.

There is confusion over what programmatic buying entails and how it works, due to a lack of understanding regarding the technology. That’s what’s leading to these kinds of concerns around privacy and transparency. Better mechanisms to track and control, and greater transparency are needed lest marketers continue to be challenged on their programmatic spending, and consumer privacy questioned.

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How Digital & Data Go Hand-In-Glove

Data powers effective real-time marketing. With tons of data being produced everyday, effective data usage is increasingly important for brands as a competitive differentiator.

Having the right collaboration between data and technology is critical if brands are to be perceived as enablers as opposed to intruders. Brands need to make sure they properly vet any potential technology partners. They also shouldn’t silo their data. Data needs to be integrated if it’s to be effective, and data management platforms can help in that endeavour.

Finally, using data to come up with actionable insights shouldn’t be neglected. This can help brands optimize channel usage and audience segments, while delivering more targeted and relevant communications, and increase their ROI. At the end of the day, it all comes down to facilitating a superior customer experience. Harnessing data strategically is a big step in the right direction.

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