The demand for programmatic advertising is on the rise, but media companies are still sorting out how to maximize results from this new form of automated advertising.
IBT Media recently announced it will be working with several partners to offer programmatic guaranteed advertising. This process allows advertisers to directly buy inventory across the media network without the standard bidding process. Programmatic has been critical to IBT's business model and a “leading revenue stream" since last May, according to CEO and Co-Founder, Etienne Uzac.
Here, Folio: chats with IBT Media’s programmatic sales director, Ana Browne to crack the code on its newest program.
Folio: What are some of the big advantages for IBT in moving away from an external programmatic bidding platform and into an in-house direct selling environment?
Ana Browne: The biggest advantage is that we take the mystery out of the equation for both sides. We can guarantee the buyers the supply and audience they are looking for, and on our side, we are guaranteed that they are spending a certain amount to advertise across our sites. We’ve cut out the lengthy negotiating process. The server is already there and the buyer just goes in and buys the advertising space that they want. From start to finish this can take under an hour to get ads up on the site.
Folio: How are you selling the benefits to your partners?
Browne: As with all programmatic, they are guaranteed better performance since the technology optimizes everything and since it is guaranteed, they know what inventory we have and what price they can purchase it for. We have taken the mystery out of the equation by eliminating the bidding process. Plus, this process can be very quick – it can take under an hour from start to finish.
Folio: How did you ready your sales team for this transition—new training, new philosophies, etc.?
Browne: We just needed to ensure that everyone understands the new process and the new concept that everything is guaranteed on both sides. We are no longer left wondering if advertisers will spend with us and advertisers don’t have to question whether we have the inventory that they need. It’s all very upfront. Our sales team just has to be able to explain this new process to the buyers.
Folio: How important is the human element with this new process?
Browne: Very important. The deal still needs to be defined and we need to explain to buyers what we do have to offer across Newsweek, International Business Times, iDigital Times, Medical Daily and Latin Times. We need to somehow communicate with the advertisers in order to understand their needs and assign the right supply. We can also explore other opportunities for the future. You always need that human element to finalize everything and make it happen.
Folio: What kind of data will you share with your partners to ensure they are reaching the right audience and scale?
Browne: The buyers can explore the first-party data we built through our adserver, and we do have the ability to customize according to their needs. The data helps them access the right audience.
Folio: Can you quantify how much of your ad sales are coming in through programmatic buying? How do you see this transition impacting that?
Browne: We have been working with programmatic for almost a year now, and we see improvements on a monthly basis. 30% of ad sales are through programmatic and we expect this to increase and grow our programmatic sales.
Folio: Are you exploring print programmatic with Newsweek?
Browne: Absolutely! We are working on that right now. We think it’s an exciting opportunity.