Programmatic spend is booming. The Global Federation of Advertisers recently predicted that programmatic would account for 28% of advertising budgets by the end of 2018, compared with 17% just one year ago. eMarketer is also bullish on programmatic, projecting that in the US alone, more than $65 billion will be spent on programmatic digital display ads by 2020.
There are clear-cut reasons for this surge:
- Advertisers are under pressure to drive productivity and meet more ambitious targets, and programmatic allows them to target and reach more customers more cost-effectively.
- The process of reaching a large and dispersed audience is long and difficult, and it’s only becoming more complex to manage without marketing automation.
- The market is shifting towards new platforms each day, requiring new delivery models, and programmatic is the clear way to stay on top of change.
- Customers continue to embrace new devices, and programmatic makes targeting simple across different platforms and mediums.
The early wins for programmatic spend have understandably been focused on digital display, but it’s time to think bigger. We all know video and TV will always be among the best ways to engage audiences, which is why brands are now exploring the possibilities of programmatic video and TV On Demand. This has become even more important with customers now using such a broad range of devices to view content.
The challenge is that companies have until now relied on third-party platforms to drive their video advertising. This relationship makes sense on paper. Major brands – the Danones and L’Oréals of the world – need to target an incredibly large audience and require a secure distribution platform with both the inventory and reach to make this possible.
But (and this is a major “but”) this setup means brands have been handing over control of customer log data to external parties, which means they lose out on its differentiating value. Moreover, in many countries there has been a lack of common standards around how this data is bought, sold and exchanged.
Let’s take a closer look at France, where the programmatic market is set for sweeping change. French brands and agencies have been able to buy anonymised log data from video adverts for some time, but they had to do so directly from broadcasters and explain exactly how this information would be used for targeting. This made it impossible for them to distribute video in a programmatic way.
To paraphrase Guillaume Charles, deputy managing director of M6 Publicité, Métropole Télévision S.A., the French advertising ecosystem had been steering clear of programmatic video because there wasn’t a sufficiently robust or secure standard in place to make this feasible.
This is now changing. As of 12th September, three of France’s leading broadcasters — France Télévisions, M6, and TF1 – joined forces with Adobe Advertising Cloud to create SYGMA Data Video Access, the first technology standard to combine premium video inventory with logged customer data. With SYGMA Data Video access, programmatic video has become viable and secure option for brands and agencies across the country.
Sylvia Tassan Toffala, VP advertising at TF1, added her take: “The SYGMA initiative aims to answer 2 major market trends, programmatic video and first party data targeting. Thanks to this development, trading desks now have the opportunity to access top premium video inventory combine with reliable proprietary data in a 100% secure, standardised way. “
The lack of quality inventory outside of platforms like YouTube has been one of the biggest barriers to advertisers managing their own video advertising, but SYGMA promises to even the playing field, at least in France. As my colleague Toccara Baker said at DMEXCO, one of our main aims at Adobe is to help brands take back control over their customer data and content so they can gain more transparency into their ad spend. Our partnership with Télévisions, M6, and TF1 marks a major step forward in that regard.
Greater control and a user-friendly experience will see programmatic video explode in the coming years, not just in France but across Europe. Even more importantly, direct access to customer data will allow brands to be more personalised and targeted in their content delivery, ensuring the right people receive the right message at the right time in the right format.