There is a discrepancy between the market’s perception of ad and marketing technology and reality, argues GroupM’s director of technical operations Timothy Whitfield.
The perception-reality divide is one of two major themes Mr Whitfield sees across the media industry at present – themes he intends to explore when he speaks in the Digital Future Panel at the Future Forum conference this week.
“Perception is very high that we can do everything, all technology integrates seamlessly with all other technology, there is little or no wastage in the market and campaigns run perfectly,” Mr Whitfield said.
“Reality isn’t quite as good as perception. So data is lost as it moves from one technology to another – a bit like having a jug of water where you pour it from cup to cup to cup and there’s a bit of spillage. As that data is lost, it represents wastage.”
However, as someone who works at the forefront of the burgeoning programmatic media space and has spent the past 13 years developing third party ad-servers and campaign stewardship systems, Mr Whitfield is not pessimistic.
“We need to chip away to bring that perception down, but also boost up reality and get somewhere closer towards closing that gap,” he said.
Mr Whitfield believes there are huge opportunities to introduce automation across the campaign cycle and says the large number of people manually touching campaigns at the moment is ridiculous.
The other major theme Mr Whitfield sees in the industry is what he calls TEP: transparency, efficiency and performance.
It’s a theme driven by clients and advertisers in search for better outcomes and one that journalists have been enthusiastic to cover in light of concerns about viewability and ad fraud.
This has placed pressure on the marketplace and in January, GroupM signed a deal with nine major publishers guaranteeing 100 per cent viewability on key placements, or else the advertiser won’t pay.
That’s twice the 50 per cent viewability global standard set by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
Ad fraud, as well as ad-blocking, remain big concerns for Mr Whitfield. He is a key contributor to the IAB’s Brand Safety Council of Australia.
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