Edgar Baudin is Co-Founder & Managing Director at Gamned. Here he discusses the Gamned offering, the state of the French exchange marketplace, the generalist versus specialist argument and the effect of Sapin legislation on real-time media buying in France.
Is much of the data-driven ad spend in the French market still coming from DR budgets and are brands still avoiding automated channels?
Most of the spending in France is still related to DR campaigns, i.e. acquisition and retargeting. The first group to adopt this technology was composed of merchants who focused on ROI, and that explains why they drive the biggest parts of the investments.
Now that brands have access to transparency and ad verification, they’ve started to switch part of their budget over to RTB campaigns. There’s still a lot of work to be done, informing and educating marketers, for them to increase their budgets and go from the test campaign phase to long-term RTB integration in their media plans. Branding campaigns will need a strong increase in data offering which is a must-have for audience and targeting setups.
Today, trading desks have a key role to play explaining the new paradigm which allows marketers to consider Display Advertising as a much more powerful channel. By enabling total control of frequency and reach, brands can now consider GRP’s in their ad campaigns.
What’s Gamned’s position in the current ecosystem? How do you help advertisers?
Gamned has been a Real-Time Media Desk since 2009 and our clients are advertisers and agencies. One of our strengths is R&D, with six of our 20 employees devoted to developing in-house technology and tools which are at the service of our customers.
Our belief is that real-time trading is not enough: in order to properly benefit from real time advertising, we’ve worked on improving real-time messaging and segmentation. To that effect we have, for example, developed our own dynamic banner technology which enables us to deliver a personalized message to each unique impression which we purchase on exchanges.
Our approach helps advertisers to better understand the benefits offered by real-time advertising, and of course to generate better results.
These results should of course be measured using ROI-related KPI’s on DR campaigns, but also in terms of the teachings of segmentation, data usage and creatives. We work closely with all our customers to define the targets together before launching any campaign.
How are French marketers taking to data-driven media buying? Is there still a knowledge gap among French CMOs?
Some CMO’s consider data-driven buying to be one of the main advantages of RTB buying. “Don’t buy ad space, buy targeted audience”, is the magic motto.
It is, however, very complex to implement data-driven buying as there is no “one size fits all” method.
Most CMO’s will need to define in more detail their tactical and strategic needs concerning data, and to learn how to distinguish more precisely between transactional data, social data, intent data, behavioral data, occupational data and so forth. Gamned has chosen to work very closely with its customers in that department, as we know very well that automated buying by itself is not enough.
We have seen some excellent results when combining first and third party data, with impressive improvements in performance. The volumes are, however, often limited. Ultra-segmentation does work and can teach us priceless lessons, but the scalability of this technique remains difficult.
In your opinion, what are the trends going to be in the French data-driven display market?
In early 2011, the number of unique segmented cookies available was much too limited, but things are finally starting to evolve in a good way. Thanks to the great work done by data suppliers such as Exelate, Weborama or DataVantage, more and more publishers are realising the potential revenue which can be generated by monetizing their data.
Another very effective way to increase volume and relevancy is by leveraging Facebook data from ad campaigns and fan pages, like we have been doing for the past months.
What about the argument of specialists versus generalists in the new exchange eco-system? Do you think there is a need for ad traders with deep domain knowledge in the French market?
This is a recurring question which we discussed at the ATS in Paris last year! From our (pure player) point of view, the RTB ecosystem definitely requires specialists. The environment is changing so rapidly that the only way to efficiently address advertisers’ needs is to offer a proper setup. It’s not just a question of choosing a DSP, buying a bit of third party data and managing campaigns. Our entire trading desk has been developed with the aim of delivering real-time advertising and this is our one and only focus. With one third of our team dedicated to R&D this is the key to our success and efficiency.
How is the Sapin legislation affecting the new exchange eco-system? Is it an issue for new ad traders?
The aim of the Sapin legislation is to fight corruption by giving advertisers total transparency in regards to their ad investments. The entire Sapin process is however technically impossible to implement on RTB buying. As we already guarantee our advertisers full transparency on their media costs and margins, we consider ourselves to be Sapin-compliant. This legislation has however always been considered a complex issue in regards to internet advertising.