The inaugural ATS conference here in Sydney was a resounding success, with several hundred attendees and a great cross-section of industry commentary. From Star Wars analogies to resounding calls for more transparent data, it set the scene for an open and honest dialogue throughout the day.
Some of the liveliest discussions that took place revolved around Real-Time Bidding or RTB. Advertising agencies are increasingly embracing RTB as they reap the benefits of greater efficiencies and improved campaign results. Many advertising agencies viewed that demand for RTB, particularly in the online video space, will be high this year but more publishers need to come to the party and supply more inventory and transparency.
One of the key points that came out of these discussions was the need for more quality data. This was a concern for both publishers and advertisers, and one of the key questions raised was why 1st party data wasn’t being used by agencies and publishers, none of the 3rd party data providers offer enough to run a quality campaign.
For publishers, many are still getting to grips with properly commoditising their audience data and are therefore reluctant in jumping into RTB. The challenge is ensuring publishers understand everything about the data they currently have and what value it has to the ad trading process. Agencies and vendors also found this data issue problematic with discussions trending towards the need for current and thorough data to ensure the effectiveness of their campaigns, and to support the drive towards RTB.
Another topic that was touched on was the short supply of video inventory available and the quality of inventory available. Too many networks are commoditising the inventory and pushing up CPM’s.
Stuart Spiteri, COO of News Limited made some of the most controversial statements of the day, raising questions about whether South East Asia should be taken seriously in the market as they talk more than act, however China and Japan are set to lead the way.
The summit provided a great diversity of opinions especially from the agency and publisher perspectives – and I hope that next year we’ll be able to hear from a few more vendors as well as marketers.
I found the conference incredibly valuable. It was great to see that we’re all in the same boat and facing the same questions and issues on a daily basis. The summit provided the ability to have the honest conversations that we sometimes find challenging to have amongst our peers but it’s definitely paid off and I look forward to next year!