For me, the most interesting recent trend we have witnessed in France is the move by the country’s leading publishers to work together in today’s highly competitive and rapidly evolving market by collaborating to create premium publisher exchange marketplaces.
The move by La Place Media has far-reaching implications, as it is symptomatic of a wider shift in the balance of power within the RTB space, which has historically tended to lie on the demand side.
This spirit of co-operation is spreading with the launch of Audience Square. Indeed, this ‘enlightened self-interest’ that has led publishers to band together for a common good seems somehow appropriate in a country where our national motto is ‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité’.
Publisher collaboration will no doubt increase the adoption of RTB by advertisers,as large premium publisher groups such as TF1, M6, Amaury or Lagardère make ad inventory around their premium content available and show commitment to the future of RTB.
It’s an exciting time for our industry in France and one of the key factors driving the success of Turn’s model in Europe, and within all the territories we operate in globally, is how we have native first-language speakers on the ground who understand regional sensibilities and ways of working.
Another key trend we are seeing in France is the move for publishers to allocate a segment of their premium inventory to an advertiser at a negotiated rate.
If an advertiser has a private Deal ID with a premium publisher, all other clients are excluded from bidding on those impressions. Private marketplaces are still able to utilise RTB to enable the targeting and optimisation aspects, but give more control to the publisher around which advertisers are provided the opportunity to bid on a particular impression.
Once an agreement has been made between the publisher and the advertiser, our platform is able to support this type of transaction and Turn’s flexibility gives us an advantage as we can work easily with both individual publishers and groups.
Until now, most of the conversation has been about the benefits to the buy-side such as better CPMs and superior creative targeting, which has left publishers wary of the danger they perceive of over-commoditisation of premium inventory. This situation is typical when a market is still maturing and supply and demand are finding the right balance.
However, through access to technology partners that provide a flexible and scalable platform to enable effective collaboration, publishers can now see the value in releasing inventory into the RTB space — and we’re seeing the benefits on the buy side as well with an increase in the amount of brand campaigns.
Programmatic premium enables brands to combine the creative, impactful brand experience that advertisers are seeking, with the technological advantages afforded through RTB. This is a potent combination that delivers significantly improved ROI on brand campaigns.
The next step is to add guaranteed buys into this environment, so that advertisers have assurance around their required levels of campaign delivery and exposure.
The French RTB market is largely focused on display, but with the ability for brands to monitor all channels through a single console such as Turn’s Campaign Suite, we are set to notice an upsurge in the multi-channel approach incorporating mobile, social and video that is increasingly gaining currency.
In France we are also witnessing developments in the data market as is the case in the UK and elsewhere, but there is still an over-reliance on third party data.
By enabling users to look across first-party and third-party data in one single system, Turn offers the opportunity for marketers to run campaigns that are much more reactive, much more personalised and have a much greater conversion propensity. When applied to premium ad placements, this delivers tangible improvements to the ROI.
At Turn, my role currently also encompasses Spain and Italy, where we’re also starting to see an increase in RTB activity. It will be fascinating to see the similarities and differences in approach in these two countries as the markets evolve.Global Desk Editor