By Sultan Riaz | @Riaz_MediaWhiz | Marketing Coordinator
Programmatic buying and premium display advertising were a big a topic of discussion this week at MediaPost’s OMMA Premium Display conference. Keith Trivitt, director of marketing and communications at MediaWhiz, moderated a panel, “Battling The Transformers – Can Media Maintain Its Value Against The New Ad Machine?” which focused on the state of premium display advertising among high-end publishers.
The panel was stacked with an all-star cast of speakers, including:
- Andrew Sollinger, Managing Director, The Americas, Financial Times
- Jason Oates, President, LiveIntent
- Bill Rowley, SVP, Business Development & Publishing, Martini Media
- Kathryn Kulik, Global SVP, Media Sales, CBS Interactive
- Kristine Welker, Chief Revenue Officer, Hearst Magazines Digital Media
- Premium display advertising is clearly helping publishers and advertisers adapt to their customers’ needs.
- Programmatic buying will not be completely eliminated from a company’s budget.
- The appropriate balance must be found between publishers using programmatic buying to sell their low-end display inventory and meeting the high end of the premium online advertising market.
- According to the Andrew Sollinger, managing director, The Americas, of the Financial Times, the biggest issue for publishers will be “moving [advertisers] from programmatic to premium.”
- Although ad exchanges and networks are beneficial to high-end publishers, the best way to keep advertisers happy it to focus on what they want; and what they want is premium display advertising that is designed with value to the consumer in mind.
Here’s a recap of what was a spirited 45-minute discussion about premium display advertising.
Programmatic Buying: Friend or Foe?
While all panelists agreed that programmatic buying is an important, if not vital, aspect of the business, they differed on its impact on the value of premium display advertising. “Custom premium is here to stay,” noted the FT’s Sollinger.
Through the discussion the point being driven is that premium display advertising is focused on the consumer and provides content that both consumers and advertisers want. “Premium display starts with the consumer or it won’t work. Ad experience needs to be built around the customer,” according to Katerine Kulik, global senior vice president of media sales at CBS Interactive’.
The Reader/Viewer is King
The consumer-centric focused of publishers’ high-end premium display inventory has provided brands with a much better experience when advertising through premium display, which has led to increased demand in recent years for premium display, especially custom content.
Bill Rowley, Martini Media’s senior vice president of business development and publishing, explained the growth in demand for premium display: “[Our] customers (brands) want great ideas. Custom display is a challenge, but we are seeing more requests for it.
The Value of Premium Display Advertising
With requests for premium display growing, the big question is, How is premium display valued? Do marketers place the value? Upper management? Or is the value of premium display derived from what the market – i.e., consumers of media content – will bear?
According to Kristine Welker, chief revenue officer of Hearst Magazines Digital Media Group, “Data and technology helps put the value of premium display in focus.” The value of premium display is in the area where consumers find the most value, not the producer. By following the data, businesses can take advantage of the value their premium display advertising might offer.
What exactly creates a value for premium display? “Scarcity creates premium,” said LiveIntent’s Jason Oates; an important point to consider as to why premium display is so valuable. For example, in the early days of premium display publishers tried to drive traffic to where they were advertising. That has become increasingly difficult with the rise of “side door” media consumption in which consumers come to content through a variety of means, primarily social media.
Hearst’s Welker described how her company was under pressure to optimize and monetize side-door traffic and how they eventually adjusted to the phenomenon. “We were under constant pressure trying to drive traffic to our sponsored areas. It wasn’t working, so we had to adjust our content to where the user wanted to be,” said Welker.
With more customers finding publishers’ content through side doors, businesses and advertisers are forced to adapt. “No matter where the user comes in you want to message them in the appropriate way. The brand message should follow them wherever they come from on the site,” said Katerine Kulik, global senior vice president of media sales at CBS Interactive.
If this panel discussion made one thing clear it is that premium display advertising is very much alive and well and has a prosperous future.