Recently P&G announced (link) they would be making changes to their programmatic tech stack by switching out Audience Science, a long-time partner and early innovator in the programmatic space and switching in a centralised global DMP (via Neustar) alongside a conveyor belt of demand side platforms dependent on their capabilities against a given brief for a given market. You can easily argue the pros and cons of this new approach but why this move is so fascinating (at least to me!) is that it has highlighted that there are a number of options an advertiser can opt for when approaching their programmatic technology stack.

I wanted to use this post to highlight what those options broadly are and three benefits/drawbacks of each (there are certainly more).

1 – Single vendor for everything, globally

This is what P&G had led with for years via their partnership with Audience Science.

Benefits
1. Consolidated ad spend provides greater leverage (i.e better rates for tech, likely a dedicated resource structure and a product roadmap customised for an advertisers needs)
2. Consistency in reporting methodologies (impression, brand safety, conversion etc.)
3. Operationally efficient to operate the technology and the budget implementation/reconciliation is easier to manage due to only operating one platform

Drawbacks
1. The provider can be guilty of not innovating quickly enough (as they see the business as ‘guaranteed’) and may end up not having feature parity with other providers
2. 3rd party solutions (data, inventory, specific tech partners) may prioritise beta’s with other ad tech companies therefore leaving the single vendor behind – this is often the case with local market 3rd parties who want to partner with local market ad tech
3. The advertiser only gets ad tech thinking from one source and not multiple

2 – Best-in-breed vendors, locally/regionally
This is the most widely adopted approach today for global brands.

Benefits
1. Access to beta’s specific to that market
2. Local market knowledge and resource on the ground
3. The technology capabilities (in theory) are the best available for each brief

Drawbacks
1. Non-consolidated spend which therefore reduces any leverage you may have as a global organisation
2. Operationally inefficient as having to track/operate across multiple technologies – a good specific call out is poor best practice knowledge sharing across markets due to fragmented approach
3. Very resource heavy

3 – Single data platforms globally, best-in-breed activation locally/regionally
This is the new approach that Audience Science seem to have adopted and many other brands are following suit.

Benefits
1. Centralised location for all data assets and segmentation management globally, specifically positive for integrating global CRM and analytics data into one place
2. Will expand use of the data management platform as all users will be trained on it globally driving knowledge sharing
3. Best in market activation partners with local 3rd party (inventory, data and specific tech) deals

Drawbacks
1. Resource heavy
2. Inconsistent methodologies for brand safety, viewability and campaign optimisation
3. Reliant on a single data management platform to be leading the market from a privacy and feature perspective

In summary, there are lots of points to consider when weighing up the approach that is most suitable for an advertiser (and alongside their agencies) which can be daunting, but going through a logical process to really understand the requirements for each brand and the specific challenges that brand has will help them land on the most appropriate model. It’s actually a really interesting time for brands and programmatic…. when you cut through the noise!

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