Should brands get more involved in programmatic?

In September, the World Federation of Advertisers published a report that found that brands were moving programmatic advertising spend away from agency trading desks over transparency concerns.

This in mind, Marketing Week talked to brands, publishers, media agencies and ad tech providers at Marketing Week and E-Consultancy’s ‘Get with the Programmatic’ event in association with Appnexus earlier this month and asked them should brands get more involved in programmatic?

Given the stakes involved for those answering the responses understandably varied but the general conclusion was yes, to a point.

Jakob Nielsen, managing director interaction at GroupM, understandably flew the flag for media agencies involvement but said brands should also be active. “You can use data and insights in a much deeper way and I don’t think brands have started to realise that. The execution should be with agencies – of course I would say that – but if you look at what you need to do – you need to build systems, structures and scale.

“Media scale in particular [is important] so it doesn’t make sense not to have agencies involved.”

Sitting in the middle, Shane Keane, head of media management for the EMEA and APAC regions at Shazam, said there should be a balance “As a publisher we should stay out of the debate on who should do what. Brands have the need to have greater responsibility and control over their data and as such use it in the programmatic space but agencies have expertise.

“Unless you’re a massive scale advertiser you’re not going to have that expertise sitting in the room with you 100% of the time. As the talent pool matures and the tools mature maybe brands can take it over but now it should be left to agencies.”

On the brand side, Derek Luddem, area media manager for the UK, Ireland and Nordic regions at Mondelez International, says brand involvement should be on a case by case basis. “It’s for the brand to decide. For us, have a trusted partner that knows the space inside out , rather than ingesting that resource into the organisation.”

Graham Wylie, senior director for EMEA and APAC marketing at AppNexus Europe, says there is room for more brand involvement. “There’s a definite opportunity for brands to be more aware of programmatic and be more aware of the opportunities but that doesn’t mean a brand needs to take control and start doing the work. What they do need to do is set the right strategy and decide on the best model for their business to capitalise on the programmatic opportunity.”