In preparation for ATS Stockholm, this Thursday the 24th May, we asked three industry leaders in the Nordics, for their their thoughts on automated, data-driven buying in the region. It is clear that whilst automated trading is still fairly nascent across the Nordics, many are primed and ready to dive in, whilst some already have. A common theme emerging is that there is somewhat of a standoff between the buy and sell side. The buyside are becoming more and more focused on the opportunity, whilst the sell side still maintain fears on what the impact will be on established business models (a common historical global barrier to entry seen across the rest of the industry). ATS Stockholm promises to provide lively debate and opinion around the disruptive nature programmatic buying will bring to the region.
Is the Nordics ready for automated data driven buying and will it be a positive move for the industry?
Gustav Mellentin, CEO, Adform
The Nordics as a region holds around 20 million internet users across four local markets with few dominating publishers. For this reason, standardisation and automation will be key in more efficiently executing the large volumes of small campaigns, capping frequencies across publishers with overlapping users and executing co-ordinated targeted activities across the region.
It therefore makes sense that the Nordics is at the forefront of moving automated data-driven buying forward – the demand and drive for innovation witnessed among leading media agencies and advertisers confirms this viewpoint. The challenge at the moment lies in encouraging the supply side to better adapt to this shift. While some publishers have taken significant steps to benefit from the new opportunities, many show ongoing reticence to change old habits and increasingly miss the boat on the advantages of automation and data targeting.
However, the Nordics should not be underestimated as a hub of innovation and has a strong heritage in delivering and adapting disruptive technologies. Spotify, Skype, Tradeshift and Izettle are just a few examples of where the region has excelled and demonstrated its digital prowess on the global stage. As the Nordics’ leading buy side platform we are proud to play a part in the transformation of the display advertising industry and we feel overriding positive change afoot across the region, where 2012 is already set to result in some tangible growth in automated data driven buying.
Jukka Sundquist, Head of Display, Partner, Klikki
In the long run it is the only move. It is impossible to fight against evolution. The ones who get onboard first will definitely have an advantage. It is time for all the different interested groups to come up with their own strategy regarding the matter.
The ones who are not necessarily seeing this as a positive thing are large publishers. They of course fear that it will reduce their revenue, however, there will always be a place for customised brand-related advertising within a strict media environment. Sales work should be focused on these premium campaigns, and all other inventory should be given to automated buying.
Other interest groups, mainly agencies and advertisers, are at least mentally ready for data-driven buying and see it as a positive move. Nevertheless, even they are looking at different ways to make the most out of these new possibilities. The business models are still developing. In summary, the Nordics are starting to be ready for data-driven buying. We just need to get large publishers involved and all the interest groups need to figure out their business model in this changing environment. The groundwork is now being done.
Joshua Mortensen, Founder, Managing Partner, GlibHippo
Is any market ready for data-driven buying?
But seriously, the Nordics are ready. The markets here remains primarily performance-focused, so to the extent data-driven buying is likely to remain a tool for tactical advertising, the Nordics are good to go.
The online ecosystem here has not been particularly dynamic. An understandable industry provincialism means digital lags behind international developments and the actually high level of local consumer sophistication. Digital is still a bit of a backwater. Data, as a new tool, could inject needed dynamism to online, if it can demonstrably deliver and enough skilled practitioners can be found.
However, what we are really asking advertisers and media agencies – with data-driven buying – is to unlearn the last 100 years of advertising. Determine audience. Buy content matching that audience. This is how it has been done. Convincing advertisers that audiences can be targeted independent of content – that a blackbox makes the model they know irrelevant – is an epic conceptual shift. This can not be understated. While clients and agencies are still asking to see site lists, fixating on the word “premium”, asking for screen shots and using CTR as a KPI, the ambiguity of “audience” buying is going to be a difficult sell.ExchangeWire