Part 1

Part 2

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Lauren Hutton - VP of Technology at AudienceX

Lauren is Vice President of Technology at AudienceX, which is an integrated advertising and marketing agency driven to empower marketers, engage audience and elevate advertising by empowering people with the strategic support.

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Show Notes

Part 1

What a Trade Desk Is (02:10) 

Everybody is confused about this but nobody wants to admit it. Some people think of it as the technology that drives this real-time bidding technology or buying operation in media and other people think of it as the managed service layer above that. 

I liked Forrester's definition of what an agency trading desk. It’s a centralized service-based organization. It serves as that managed layered service. 

Agency trading desk is a team of people and generally, that's on top of the tech. 

Real-time bidding is an analysis of multiple data sources to be able to evaluate and value placement. 

The Difference Between a Trading Desk and a Media Buying Agency (07:57) 

In essence, they are almost the same but our industry of ad tech loves adding new acronyms. 

You generally refer to a media buying team that can work in programmatic platforms and understands the nuances of algorithmic and artificial intelligence technologies as the trading desk versus immediate buyer. 

Traditionally, I would say media buying agencies generally aren't placing, optimizing and running the media themselves. They're just buying. 

Factors That Go Into Optimizing Programmatic Advertising (10:35) 

It varies so much by the platform. I would also say when we're optimizing a campaign in an individual platform, you want to work to the specificity of that specific platform. 

There are certain platforms you're going to work within that have only several different variants that they can look at for optimization. Some platforms will be able to report on device, geography, and maybe tactical methodology but some are going to be more sophisticated and they will be able to allow you to understand every single bid you placed. 

The Overview of Different Platforms (12:05) 

I generally tend to think of sophistication in terms of omnichannel capability. 

The more reach you have, the more channels you can run across, the more sophisticated you are, the more data you're going to have against an individual. 

Ad networks don't necessarily have RTB technology. They don’t have direct integrations with publishers or exchanges. They run tags that purchase inventory and then resell that inventory using a waterfall tag system. 

You want to make sure that, when you're buying inventory, it's directly from the largest exchanges with the most inventory and the highest quality inventory. 

Trade Desk is one of the leaders in the space, MediaMath, Display and Video 360 which is the programmatic arm of Google. Data Zoo has been impressive as well. 

When it comes to Facebook, they are playing the game of programmatic advertising platform when they are a social platform. They get away with it because their data is very significant and important. 

Part 2

Building Your Trading Desk (03:23) 

There is an overhead associated with someone running campaigns for you in-house. Just like there is overhead for having a very large marketing team.

What many companies are starting to realize is that they are paying a lot of money to agencies when they could just bring these individuals and make them a part of their in-house team. 

When you're paying hourly agency rates, they're incredibly marked up and you don't always get to see where all the money's going. 

I always think of the components of building versus buying as three main buckets. You have your centralization, your management, and your reporting. 

Centralization means that you have brought things in-house. 

The understanding of hierarchy, reporting, and analysis can be a huge data architecture and data mapping problem that people are going to have if they bring things in-house. 

We have very strong media buying technologies and the next thing we’re noticing is that if we try to centralize and understand that data across all the platforms, we’re not there yet. 

For instance, there’s Google Looker which is a data visualization tool that can also help you map disparate data sources together.

What ETL Stands For (09:49) 

ETL means extract transformation and loading of data. It's generally a connection to different platforms via API or scheduled reporting that ingests that data and makes sense of them together, which is that transformation phase and then loads them into the database. 

After the ETL solution is in place, we need a visualization tool like a Tableau or Google Looker to sit on top of our database, a query from it and visualize the data in a meaningful manner.  

The baseline for creating this kind of technology is around $500,000. 

The more it grows, the greater the costs are and the more you realize if investing in this makes sense at all and whether you should just find the right partner to work with.

Access to Programmatic Advertising (14:55) 

I think that everyone in the industry, no matter what their spend level is, should have access to programmatic technology and there are some that allow them to just get access right away. 

AdRoll, which is a retargeting point solution, allows you to set up a campaign right away after giving your credit card info. 

You can do the same on Google. You don’t have to be a media buyer to create a Google account and run display ads. 

Everyone should have access to the same technology but probably not for the same price because that’s the idea of capitalism - the more scale you give me, the more discount I can give you because I'm still making a greater revenue amount off of you. 

If you're going to buy only 10 units versus a million units, you're going to pay more for those units. 

Marketers need to be able to let go and ask for help outside of their company.