Five Things I Learned at Programmatic I/O

Last week, I was fortunate enough to attend Programmatic I/O in New York at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. The event is the premier conference of the year for programmatic professionals and executives from top brands, agencies, publishers, media companies & technology providers. It was a great opportunity for the Metamarkets team to connect with our customers and hear from the rest of the industry about their views on the future of programmatic marketing. Here are some of the top trends I observed at the show:

1. The Growth of Programmatic

Judging from the conversations at this event, there’s no doubt that programmatic and ad tech in general is still thriving and will continue to grow. Google’s Director of Product Management Jonathan Bellack detailed in his session about how Google had recently tripled its investment in programmatic, while Youssef Squali, a research lead at Cantor Fitzgerald, suggested we’re in store for several more adtech IPOs in 2017. Squali also indicated that the programmatic market needs to be simplified with more transparency and accountability to be more attractive to Wall Street – we agree with that sentiment here at Metamarkets and believe a focus on understanding data more clearly will help put programmatic companies in a better position.

2. A Call for Increased Technology Investment

Several panels touched on the need for additional investments that needed to be made in technology to help us tackle problems of measurement and data analysis with programmatic. A presentation from American Express Director of Digital Acquisition Amy Leung called for more custom algorithms to help us process raw data and achieve better transparency. As a company focused on providing interactive analytics that put data at people’s fingertips, we couldn’t agree more.

3. Re-Thinking Our Metrics

Metrics were at the heart of several important debates in the adtech industry today. Unilever and GroupM discussed their push for stronger viewability standards, while AOL’s Tim Mahlman said it’s time for us to rethink current metrics to tackle ad fraud. Yahoo’s Tom Kohr stressed the importance of data in his presentation on working with programmatic partners, highlighting the massive amount of programmatic data available to us and the need to drill down on our metrics to get better insights and drive more revenue.   

4. Navigating the Walled Gardens

In a panel on “Walled Programmatic,” Vince Paolozzi of Magna Global outlined the predicament with the Walled Gardens – in a perfect world, there would be no walled gardens, and all measurement would be standard. But until that point, we need to build solutions that help us navigate the complexities of working with the walled gardens. From my perspective, it’s clear from these sessions that there’s a need in the industry for standardized metrics. Programmatic companies know the Walled Gardens provide attractive audiences, but they yearn for more precise measurement to better understand how their spending is performing on those platforms.

5. Early Stages of a Digital Transformation

As attendees stopped by our booth to learn more about Metamarkets, I was struck by how early we are in the process of having the advertising industry transformed by programmatic marketing. Not surprisingly, most companies we spoke to were fully embracing programmatic and making it a major part of their ad spending, but few felt fully confident in their ability to make sense of all the data around their campaigns. It was great to talk to them about what we can do to help them explore their data and create visualizations to put the full power of programmatic data into the hands of anyone in their organization.

If you’re part of one of the many companies looking to make the most of your programmatic data, Metamarkets is the only analytics platform built for the unique challenges of the programmatic space, by providing interactive analytics to turn mountains of auction data into revenue-driving insights. We’d love to hear from you, and also hope to see you at Programmatic I/O next year!

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