FT marketing director: ‘Brands’ understanding of programmatic data is improving’

Ahead of her appearance at our Get With the Programmatic conference on 21 September, the FT’s global B2C marketing director Sacha Bunatyan told Marketing Week that brands know more about their audiences than ever, but agencies’ media expertise will be hard for them to match.

Marketing Week’s Get With The Programmatic conference returns to London on 21 September.

Hosted in partnership with Econsultancy, the event will explore future programmatic trends, the technology steering these advances, and the brands showcasing them.

Sacha Bunatyan, global B2C marketing director at the Financial Times, is among the expert speakers who will be in attendance.

Ahead of Get With The Programmatic, we spoke to Sacha to get her views on how the FT uses programmatic and how the technology has impacted the marketing industry. She says brands’ knowledge of their audiences is improving, but that “targeted, tailor-made” partnerships with agencies will still be necessary to take advantage of their expertise in executing campaigns.

You can watch her answers in full in the video above, and they are also summarised below.

How has the FT used programmatic to promote the brand and sell subscriptions?

According to Bunatyan, programmatic advertising is hugely important to The FT, as demonstrated by the fact that it recently appointed Elli Papadaki as head of programmatic sales.

Furthermore, The FT’s chief data officer sits on the board of directors and the company employs more than 30 data scientists.

To ensure this analytical talent is not wasted, the subscriptions and ad sales teams work closely together using “one set of data, one set of segmentation”.

At Get With The Programmatic, Bunatyan will be able to discuss a programmatic campaign that resulted in a 300% uplift in subscriptions versus the average week.

What makes for an effective programmatic campaign?

Bunatyan says that effective campaigns require the right balance of a strong message combined with effective use of media.

The data and insights that come out of each campaign should then be evaluated to aid ongoing optimisation and improve decision-making.

How do you think agencies should be responding to brands bringing programmatic in-house?

There is “no one-size-fits-all approach” to the thorny question of how agencies fit into the programmatic landscape, according to Bunatyan, and the trend at the moment is for businesses to take greater control of their data in order to better understand their audiences.

At the same time, she describes the agency role as “multifaceted”, with the core expertise being in connecting brands with the right media.

In future she predicts that we will see a hybrid solution where brands will invest more in core competencies and link up with agencies for key partnerships around specific projects or campaigns.

For The FT, a good agency partner is one that can offer a custom, tailor-made approach.

To learn more about the FT’s approach to automated media buying, come to Get With The Programmatic in London on 21 September.

First published on Econsultancy.com.

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