Views from Mediatel’s Automated Trading Event (Part 3)

By Rachel Taylor, Multiply* Manager, Posterscope
Part 3: Closing reflections, the potential of automated guaranteed
Part 1 discusses the importance of complexity: The future of automated trading.
Part 2 discusses metrics with: Remembering Human Logic
Part 3 discusses: The potential of automated guaranteed
As covered in the previous instalments of this series, this year Mediatel’s annual automated trading event saw some spirited debates into the issues around complexity in automated trading, the need for a re-evaluation of our metrics and how trading models tie into debates around data and creativity. But I know you’ve been waiting on the edge of your seats to know what the overall conclusions were. Specifically, will automated guaranteed be the predominant by 2019 as James Brown predicted?
Steps are being made towards automated trading across all media. We have touched on the evolution in OOH previously. Mungo Knott explained how the industry is moving away from silos to embrace common standards so it might be possible to trade by cost per frame and more holistically use data sources. An example of this would be Route guaranteeing the audience down to time of day. Alternatively, panel type and its environment might create different ‘channels’ for clients to consider.
TV opportunities such as Sky Adsmart allow data driven targeting to balance against a client’s desire to appear in specific programmes while VOD has opened real-time buying opportunities. Additionally, the US has seen several examples of TV spots where different sections of 20 second copy were designed to speak to different audiences.
Radio has seen the birth of DAX (the digital audio exchange) allowing audio ads to be streamed in real time based on location and Mediatel’s J-ET platform which provides a single source accountability system. Across all these mediums there is a balance with classic inventory which remains equally important for traditional branding. Here the tone of the conference was optimistic that classic could remain true to its roots without stopping the growing share of digital inventory being traded through an automated guaranteed platform.
Overall, the panellists and delegates were positive about the potential for automated trading. While this is to be expected from an event of this type, there was a real sense that the industry has acknowledged some of the teething issues and is moving towards a model where the efficiencies of automation can be tempered by human logic and controlled inventory sources at an affordable price. There is always a risk that as we move further towards these trading platforms we will evoke more interest from management consultancies or risk clients taking the process in-house. However, automated guaranteed, by routing the trading process in the relationship between media owners and agencies allows the media industry to drive this process.
Hopefully 2017 will see us build on the excellent progress across 2016 as we make automation more accountable and use our human intuition to build it into campaigns so that it compliments long term branding objectives and creativity.