Dustin Deunert is the Real Time Bidding Manager at the uniquedigital agency in Hamburg. Here Deunert discusses the data-driven advertising eco-system in Germany, the realities of the market, the agency approach and the uniquedigital strategy around automated buying.
What were your thoughts on our recent examination of the German Saleshouse?
We agree that the German Sales Houses are in a stronger position than the UK sales houses. Display performance budgets are fast rising and German saleshouses are still able to earn good money with classic target-group-planning and branding campaigns. Yield optimised selling through ad exchanges is still small in comparison due of following facts:
1. The German saleshouses are still running in a test mode and are hesitantly offering transparent inventory because they are afraid of cannibalizing their high CPM campaigns.
2. Secondly ad exchange inventory is mainly still limited to the standard ad formats.
3. On the German market retargeting data is an appropriate data source and provides reasonable results but the market lacks additional qualitative external data at a reasonable rate.
4. Currently there is still a lot of effort necessary for useful buying. Further, rates are higher compared to traditional performance-buying through saleshouses caused by additional technology fees.
So last weeks article comparing the German and UK Sales House Model described very clearly why we are where we are in Germany. When it comes to programmatic buying all display advertising players are aware of the importance and current development in the field. But it is somehow a German attitude to not enter a new market blindfolded and test and reassure instead. It is very likely that Sales houses wait for tech savvy people and promising companies to implement new algorithms and find better workflows, before building strong cooperations with or buying those companies.
With a market so heavily dominated by the saleshouses, what limiting affect does this have on agency’s ability to innovate?
Currently the big challenges are the scalability of RTB campaigns, availability of qualitative and transparent inventory and lastly the availability of external data at a reasonable rate. All in all the challenges we face are not due to technological barriers anymore as they are more due to political decisions on the sell-side.
Nevertheless the dominance of the saleshouses is not influencing the innovative capacity of the agencies. Agencies can make a first and maybe all necessary steps to get into position, but they are still reserved as long as not all parties fully commit to innovate.
How are agencies generally adapting to change in the data / tech driven environment?
Agencies are in charge to alter their media-planning and media-buying processes. In line with this the two big challenges for agencies are to integrate ad exchanges, available through a DSP or their own trading desk, into their media buying systems and to educate employees on automated buying and optimization strategies. One other also important aspect is surely to process available data (e.g. about lost and won auctions or particular user segments) and make it usable during the media-buying processes.
How is unique engaging with programmatic buying right now?
When it comes to programmatic buying, budgets and the amount of clients are continuously growing and clients are more and more willing to invest. Nevertheless we are currently still testing. The reason for this is the overall situation of the young market.
With our trading desk, we run multiple approaches and bidding solutions to serve RTB campaigns. We do not see programmatic buying as a fully automated process, as others maybe do. We therefore put a lot of brain and energy into implementing automatic and manual optimization strategies. For a successful RTB campaign, both have to go hand in hand.
Is programmatic buying purely a performance tool?
Currently it mainly gives us the opportunity to buy appropriate retargeting traffic and we do not see awareness or branding budgets being spent for programmatic buying campaigns so far. The latter is due to the lack of qualitative inventory, proper inventory transparence and also availability of certain formats. We will probably see more budget on branding during the next years, but until then performance campaigns will grow and make up for the the biggest part of budgets spend for programmatic buying.
What skill sets within unique equip you to excel in the data driven ecosystem?
unique is traditionally very strong in the performance segment. With our longstanding experience in performance marketing, we run successful campaigns not only on the DA channel but also on all other relevant performance channels. In DA we are highly proficient on how and where to buy the best performing ad impressions. We work hard to successfully apply our know-how on programmatic buying.ExchangeWire