At a time when many of the technology providers in our industry are beginning to look alike, true differentiation is defined by openness and partnership. Tech vendors must have their customers’ best interests in mind (rather than being focused on their own, potentially competing interests) and should be able to provide education and strategy that will help their customers reach their business goals rather than focusing solely on the nuts and bolts of the technology they provide.
At PubMatic, we understand the value that is unlocked when we listen to customers and respond to their needs through innovation and communication. This ensures that they are in the best position to achieve their individual business goals and address the unique set of challenges each face. A key element to making this work is knowledge sharing, and our global educational forum PubAcademy is just one example of how we bring our beliefs to life in a tangible, meaningful way for our customers, clients and partners.
PubAcademy began in 2014 as a response to a series of direct requests from UK publishers that wanted to better understand the programmatic landscape and viewed PubMatic as the right partner to help them do so. And last month, PubAcademy had the distinction of celebrating its 25th event as well as the achievement of holding three successful events on three different continents (Australia, Europe and North America) within a 48-hour period. Over the two years since its inception, PubAcademy (formerly known as “Publisher Academy”) has covered dozens of hot industry topics, such as ad blocking, header bidding, programmatic mobile and ad serving.
The Evolution of ‘Publisher Academy’ and Birth of ‘PubAcademy’
In October 2014, we launched our Publisher Academy in London, featuring an intimate environment designed to encourage open dialogue among attendees. Following the event, attendees were encouraged to network with one another over drinks, giving them time to share and debate best practices, challenges and solutions in an open environment.
The response to this first event was overwhelmingly positive, and it quickly became clear that we had hit upon a good format for these discussions. This positive momentum carried us into 2015, and we rolled the program out across Europe in Italy, Germany and Sweden. While moving into new markets, we also continued to hold our monthly Publisher Academy events in the UK, securing speakers ranging from Amir Malik, Programmatic Director, Trinity Mirror PLC; Wayne Blodwell, Founder & CEO at The Programmatic Advisory; and Chris Arnold, Founder, Creative Orchestra to discuss myriad important industry topics, such as mobile creativity, data activation and of course, header bidding.
Early 2016 saw the expansion of our Publisher Academy events to APAC, with forums in Singapore and Delhi where clients, partners and prospects discussed header bidding. By this time, our audience makeup had shifted to include media buyers and tech vendors in addition to publishers—ultimately making for a more interesting and fruitful discussion for everyone in attendance. As we readied for our initial US event during Advertising Week in New York City—bringing the subject of header bidding to the week’s conversations with representatives from Gannett, MediaMath and Rocket Fuel—we decided that we needed to brand these events, and that the branding should reflect the varied audiences we now have in attendance.
Thus ‘PubAcademy’ was born.
One of the uniques selling propositions of PubAcademy is that it not only began in response to requests from our publishers, but that the topics we choose to address are customer-led and reflect the challenges they face on a daily basis or questions they have in response to industry topics. In other words, it’s not a sales pitch, a fact that helps us maintain the integrity of the conversations we have at each event.
What’s Next? PubAcademy Goes Real-Time
One universal truth about the advertising technology industry is that it never stands still, meaning that initiatives like PubAcademy are vital if our customers are going to be in the best position to navigate this ever changing landscape.
For that reason, we’ll continue to invest in PubAcademy, expanding the brand globally by launching in Japan in early 2017. We’ll also be extending the reach of PubAcademy beyond those locales where we have a physical presence through development of a dedicated PubAcademy section on our website. This will ensure that customers and partners can access this resource wherever they are, whenever they want.
As we move through Q4 of this year, we’re looking forward to more successful PubAcademy events around the globe in 2017. Stay tuned for details on the next event in your region; we hope to see you all there!
To find out more about PubMatic’s PubAcademy events, including when the next one will be held in your region, or to suggest a topic or speaker for a PubAcademy session, email PubAcademy@PubMatic.com