PubAcademy Italy: Taking Programmatic Conversations to the Next Level

By Cristian Coccia, Regional Director for Southern Europe at PubMatic

By Cristian Coccia, Regional Director for Southern Europe at PubMatic

On December 13th PubMatic held our second PubAcademy in Milan, Italy. The event, one of PubMatic’s global educational forums where publishers and advertisers can come together to debate and discuss important industry topics, was particularly interesting on several fronts, not the least of which was the surprisingly technical nature of the conversations that took place throughout the day. Rather than focusing on high level topics or trends, publishers and media buyers alike delved into the technical details on a variety of topics, including how to achieve better results as well as ways to make the marriage between publishers and media buyers work better for everyone involved.

One of the highlights of the event was a presentation from PubMatic Founder and Chairman Amar Goel, who provided the audience with several yield optimization success stories, as well as best practices for building better ad calls (which parameters to add to video ad calls, for example) and how to set up dynamic floor prices to increase yield. Although Amar’s presentation was very technical, it clearly resonated with PubAcademy attendees—in fact, it was the most “snapped” content of the day.

It’s clear from the increasing interest in such technical topics that the Italian market is invested heavily in transparency and not necessarily satisfied with the quickest or easiest solutions.

This PubAcademy marked the first time that we have used a round table format to facilitate discussion, but the conversation that took place—moderated by Amélie Grenier-Bolay, PubMatic’s Director of Advertiser Solutions for Southern Europe—clearly indicated that the digital media industry in Italy has evolved significantly, with publishers committed to making more premium inventory available via programmatic channels, including header bidding. Discussions among media buyers and publishers also touched upon the ways in which header bidding solutions in particular allow for fair competition between traditional and programmatic channels, allowing buyers to compete for better impressions.

When it comes to the maturity of programmatic in the Italian market, it’s worth noting one additional point that also drove conversation at the event. Specifically, programmatic direct solutions—in other words, everything related to PMP, PMP-G and other solutions that allow publishers and buyers to transact while also considering not only data, but also the particular publisher and site where ads will be placed, for example—proved crucial to the growth of programmatic spend in Italy, and inevitably will continue to drive growth—especially when combined with better use of first party data and tools that allow buyers to “size” the amount of “in target” users across specific websites—in the year to come.

The final topic to receive a great deal of attention among PubAcademy attendees was mobile private marketplaces, which publishers and buyers alike view as the best way to inspire confidence among buyers by giving them access to publishers’ premium inventory.

While we were able to provide PubAcademy attendees with some of the answers to the questions posed during the event and specifics regarding how our solutions can help them solve many of the challenges they face today, we’re even happier to report that we were able provide publishers and media buyers in attendance with an opportunity to discuss best practices for implementing programmatic strategy. We look forward to hosting the next PubAcademy in Italy and everything we can share with and learn from attendees in 2017.

pubacademylogouniversal-01About PubAcademy

PubAcademy is a global industry education initiative PubMatic launched to help ensure our customers and partners are in the best position to achieve their individual business goals and address the unique set of challenges that they face in this ever-changing world of programmatic.

For more information about our platform, SEVEN, visit PubMatic’s website here or email info@pubmatic.com. 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.

PubAcademy NL: Programmatic Unlocked

This post authored by Jonas Olsen, Regional Director of Northern Europe at PubMatic

This post authored by Jonas Olsen, Regional Director of Northern Europe at PubMatic

Recently we held a special edition of our global educational forum, PubAcademy, in the Netherlands. The event was special for two reasons: first, because it was our inaugural PubAcademy in the Netherlands, and second because it was the first PubAcademy we’ve held in a country where we don’t have a physical presence. I’m very happy to report that the event was a huge success and left us with three key takeaways that we’d like to share with you:

The Dutch Market is Very Unified

Publishers, and to some extent buyers, are very unified in their approach to monetisation of their digital assets, and there is a refreshing degree of trust and sharing among publishers that we don’t necessarily see across many other markets. Frequently, a leading Dutch publisher will decide to take a particular approach to an issue, and then the majority of other leading publishers follow suit in adopting the same approach. One particular example of this behavior that was shared during our session was when publishers don’t dictate floor prices, instead letting the market decide the value of their inventory.

Additionally, there is a level of collaboration between publishers and buyers that’s fuelled by their collective desire to develop a more open, transparent and fair marketplace. A key driver behind this desire is recognition of the threat posed by the Google/Facebook duopoly and the fact that the only way to be successful in this environment is by working together.

As a consequence, whilst the market in terms of size is smaller than many other markets in Europe, this approach has made it easier for it to mature and punch above its weight in terms of programmatic development and adoption.

Publishers Prefer Using Unified Tech Solutions

Using a plethora of tech partners—one for ad serving, one for SSP, one for mobile, one for analytics, for example—is not the approach that leading publishers in the Netherlands have adopted when it comes to implementing and managing their programmatic tech solutions.

Our audience articulated an overwhelming belief in finding a technology partner who can deliver a full stack solution–such as our comprehensive monetization platform, SEVEN. This was clearly the preferred route for most, if not all, of the publishers in attendance.

The Market is Still Very OpenRTB Focused

When questioned about the slow adoption of programmatic direct solutions in the Netherlands, it became very clear that this is a market that’s still heavily skewed towards open market RTB. When we dug deeper into the reasoning behind the perceived reluctance to adopt programmatic guaranteed solutions, one response we received was, “If it’s not broken, why fix it?”

The buyers in the room felt that the transparency provided by publishers and their approach of having a level playing field – i.e. the ability for everyone to access the same inventory through fair auction pricing – coupled with publishers’ willingness to try and evaluate different buying strategies and tactics meant that they are able to access the best inventory without having to use private marketplaces (PMPs) or programmatic direct solutions.

That said, there was a definite understanding in the room that in order to gain access to large branding budgets and high-demand formats such as video moving forward, buyers will need to be open to adopting programmatic direct solutions and publishers will have to alter their ad decisioning strategies to accommodate these shifts.

Our PubAcademy Netherlands event made it clear that although this is a complex and sometimes contradictory programmatic market—open, transparent and progressive on the one hand, but happy with the status quo on the other—they are open to change and will continue to exceed growth expectations for some time to come.

 

pubacademylogouniversal-01About PubAcademy

PubAcademy is a global industry education initiative PubMatic launched to help ensure our customers and partners are in the best position to achieve their individual business goals and address the unique set of challenges that they face in this ever-changing world of programmatic.

For more information about our platform, SEVEN, visit PubMatic’s website here or email info@pubmatic.com. 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.

PubAcademy UK: Publishers’ Choice

Our penultimate PubAcademy of the year took place on November 9th in London, bringing publishers and buyers together to discuss the choices publishers are forced to make in order to successfully navigate the sometimes choppy waters of programmatic. We also took this opportunity to discuss how sellers and buyers can work better together to ensure all parties involved realise the value on offer.

Through the discussions that took place, we were able to identify the four key themes that seemed to resonate well with attendees:

Publishers Want to Take Back Control of Ad Decisioning

It would seem that the majority of our industry is familiar with the concept that today’s legacy ad serving infrastructure is ill equipped to help publishers manage and capture holistic yield. It is clear that many publishers are still trying to figure out how they can explore and implement alternative, open ad serving set-ups whilst minimizing the disruption to their businesses.

Working with a holistic monetization platform such as PubMatic SEVEN, with its modular approach, allows publishers to choose which products or solution sets they want to integrate and when. Only by having this choice will publishers truly be able to realise the full potential of their digital assets.

Publishers Want Partners, Not Tech Vendors

While the continued evolution of the market, its increasing complexity, and the plethora of tech vendor choices available all play a role in driving programmatic spend, they have just as much potential to inhibit growth as well.

In that light, our key panelists highlighted the importance of establishing two-way partnerships between publishers and their tech vendors. When publishers are evaluating technology partners, the primary concern is finding ones that are open, transparent and willing to integrate with each other for the good of the publisher and the overall digital media market.

Header Bidding is Still a Hot Topic, But The Conversation is Evolving

During our discussion we challenged the hypothesis that header bidding is little more than “waterfall” 2.0. Many publishers are still allocating priorities as they continue to build out strategies around their direct sold books of business and where the sweet spot can exist between the IO and programmatic direct. Regardless, all of our publisher panelists were in agreement that header bidding has had a positive effect on yield and that it’s here to stay. The conversation is evolving, as is the need. Having to manage multiple header tags and the impact they have on page performance and user experience remains a concern.

Hence the exploration of the pros and cons of solutions that address these potential issues, such as wrapper tags and server side integrations, are going to be vital over the coming months. Looking forward, there remains a lot of uncertainty around whether open source or proprietary is the route to take. The jury’s still out, but expect a verdict soon.

Publishers and Buyers Still Have Work to Do to Make the Marriage A Happy One

Our panel of publishers and buyers shared some of their key asks of each other to help everyone realise the potential that programmatic offers. In no particular order:

  • Make PMP deals more discoverable and design them to meet buyers’ needs. Building PMP deals around curated audiences, for example, or being sure to support the buying models of agencies;
  • Design PMPs to be ‘always on’ and proactively troubleshoot when they are underperforming;
  • Design offers that support the buying models that agencies will be adopting in 2017—the combination of programmatic AND automated guaranteed, for example;
  • Provide access to more targetable and segmented second-party data to drive increased bid density;
  • Finally, communicate more frequently and be more transparent.

pa_logofinaluk112216About PubAcademy

PubAcademy is a global industry education initiative PubMatic launched to help ensure our customers and partners are in the best position to achieve their individual business goals and address the unique set of challenges that they face in this ever changing world of programmatic.

For more information about our platform, SEVEN, visit PubMatic’s website here or email info@pubmatic.com. 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.

PubAcademy: Education Through Engagement

Emma Newman, Vice President of Marketing, International

This post authored by Emma Newman, Country Manager, UK

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.

pubacademy-map

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

pubacademylogouniversal-01One 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

PubMatic @ Advertising Week

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It’s hard to believe that fall is here already and another Advertising Week is upon us! The PubMatic team is excited to kick off Advertising Week with an action-packed schedule of events, and we hope that you’ll join us!

MMS @ Advertising Week – “Taking Back Control”
Date: Monday, September 26
Time: 3:25 pm
Location: IAC Building – 555 W 18th Street

Kirk & Peter MMSDon’t miss PubMatic President Kirk McDonald and Peter Foster, GM of Global Advertising and Brand Solutions at Match Group, as they discuss publishers “Taking Back Control” during MMS at Advertising Week. Publishers need to evolve—and even join forces—in order to survive and thrive in today’s digital advertising ecosystem. Discover how forward-thinking companies like Match Group are addressing these questions head-on to ensure success today, tomorrow and in the future.



PubMatic’s PubAcademy US – “Header Bidding: Tactics & Strategies”
Date: Tuesday, September 27
Time: 4:00 pm
Location: PubMatic NYC – 229 W 43rd Street, 7th Floor 

For the first time PubMatic’s international thought leadership series, PubAcademy, comes to the US with a special edition for Advertising Week in New York City. The Header Bidding: Tactics and Strategies session will feature insights from industry leaders, followed by a brief Q&A and networking with drinks and nibbles.

Moderator:  Craig Chinn, VP of Customer Success, PubMatic
Panelists:    

  • Tim Wolfe, VP of Ad Operations, Gannett
  • Tanuj Joshi, Head of Media Partnerships, MediaMath
  • Ryan Teshima-McCormick, Director of Marketplace Development, Rocket Fuel
  • Ben Feldman, Senior Director of Operations, PubMatic

Register to Attend!



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Advertising Week – Telling Stories Across Screens & Programmatic TV
“The Cross-Screen Programmatic Dialogue”
Date: Thursday, September 29
Time: 4:15 pm
Location: Times Center Hall, ADARA Stage – 242 W 41st Street

PubMatic President Kirk McDonald takes the stage at Advertising Week with Andrew Feigenson, Managing Director of Digital at Nielsen, Eric Franchi, Co-Founder of Undertone and Seth Rogin, President & CEO of Nucleus Marketing Solutions to discuss the impact of digital, video, and mobile on the art of storytelling and story-making. These industry experts will address whether it’s possible to have a balance between content driving audience and content driving revenue in the digital world; how they are successfully integrating services and messaging into story-led multi-platform universes of original content; tactics for reaching target audiences in unique ways that grow brand awareness, and loyalty and advocacy.


We hope that you’re able to join us for our special Advertising Week edition of PubAcademy and we look forward to all the lively and informative conversations we’ll be having together!

PubMatic Launches SEVEN @Dmexco

Heading to Dmexco this week? Be sure to stop by the PubMatic Booth, Hall 8, Aisle C069 to find out about our latest product launch: SEVEN, PubMatic’s comprehensive revenue management platform that gives publishers full control of their digital assets and gives media buyers the ability to purchase verified audiences and premium inventory at scale across all screens, channels and formats.

The SEVEN platform provides solutions for:

  • Holistic management of ad decisioning;
  • Automating the buying and selling of inventory;
  • Managing quality control and compliance;
  • Providing real-time data and analytics.

SEVEN encompasses both PubMatic’s existing offerings–including its SSP, RTB, PMP, Analytics, Header Bidding, Curated Audiences, and more,–as well as new solutions including the Unified Ad Server and OpenWrap, within these four solution areas.

PubMatic’s Unified Ad Server is the first built specifically to enable seamless workflow across all ad revenue channels, whether guaranteed direct sold campaigns, private marketplace, private marketplace guaranteed, automated guaranteed, open exchange or integrated wrapper. With PubMatic’s Unified Ad Server, publishers now have the ability to:

  • Manage programmatic and non-programmatic inventory from a single view;
  • Optimize revenue across sales channels without jeopardizing guarantees or brand control requirements;
  • Access enterprise-grade analytics with real-time data and insights.

“It’s great to see companies like PubMatic developing the ability for publishers like us to optimize revenue across channels—especially without sacrificing guarantees,” said Stefan Carlsson, Head of Programmatic at Bonnier Tidskrifter. “With the launch of SEVEN it’s clear that they have a lot more in store as well.”

To find out more about SEVEN, visit www.PubMatic.com or visit the team at Dmexco this week at the PubMatic Booth, Hall 8 Aisle C069.

Don’t Miss PubMatic’s Exclusive Content at Dmexco

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Finalizing your plans for Dmexco? Don’t miss our exclusive content sessions, featuring guest speakers and PubMatic programmatic experts discussing some of the hottest topics facing media buyers and sellers today, including:

  • Mobile web monetization;
  • Executing header bidding tactics;
  • Consequences of living in a digital media duopoly dominated by players like Facebook and Google.

Stop by the PubMatic booth in Hall 8, Aisle C069 for the following conversations:

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Will King, Commercial Director, Voluum

The Mobile Web is Dead. Long Live the Mobile Web.
Wed, 14 Sept. 11:00 – 11:30
Thurs, 15 Sept. 15:30 – 16:00

With consumers spending as much as 85 percent of their mobile time immersed in apps, how can publishers really make money from their mobile websites?

Join Will King, Commercial Director at Voluum, and PubMatic’s UK Country Manager Paul Gubbins as they discuss what publishers need to think about and do in order to maximize the value of their mobile web inventory, and how they’re helping advertisers take advantage of this opportunity to speak to the highly engaged mobile audience.

Header Bidding Power Hour
Wed., 14 Sept. 14:30-15:30
Thurs., 15 Sept. 13:00-14:00

By now we’re all familiar with header bidding’s widespread adoption and how it can benefit publishers, but what benefits do header bidding and wrapper solutions provide for media buyers? How will header bidding evolve beyond a necessary hack to a standardized, measurable part of the programmatic ecosystem?

Stop by our Header Bidding Power Hour for an opportunity to ask any of PubMatic’s programmatic experts all of your questions about header bidding, wrapper solutions, server-side solutions, and what they mean for publishers and media buyers today and in the future.

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Amir Malik, Programmatic Director, Trinity Mirror

Publishers: Who’s Really in Control?
Wed., 14 Sept. 16:00-16:30
Thurs., 15 Sept. 11:00-11:30

With forecasts predicting that 85% of all incremental digital revenue will be spent with either Facebook or Google, publishers are faced with the troubling question of who is really in control of their digital strategy—and their most valuable asset, the consumer connection.

Join Amir Malik, Director of Programmatic and Digital at Trinity Mirror, and PubMatic President Kirk McDonald as they take a hard look at the impact of living in a digital media duopoly, what this means for publishers today and in the future, as well as what they can do now to take back control.

Find out more by following PubMatic on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

Come Visit Us at Mobile World Congress!

mobile world congress

The PubMatic team is on the ground at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. We’re excited to make some new connections and reconnect with existing contacts during the conference. The PubMatic booth, located in Hall 8.1 – App Planet Stand 8.16E, is fresh with our new branding (more to come on that), and will be packed with team members throughout the week, so don’t hesitate to stop by and have a conversation!

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3 Topics We’re Excited to Discuss at Mobile World Congress Next Week

mobile world congress

We are thrilled to return to Barcelona next week for Mobile World Congress, where PubMatic’s global mobile experts will be eager to discuss the top-of-mind issues for leaders in publishing, media and advertising today.

As we prepare for the conference, we wanted to share a brief preview of the top three focus areas we’re looking forward to discussing with attendees: effective monetization strategies for publishers, inspiring media buyer confidence and global mobile growth opportunities. Read more about these trends below, and we look forward to meeting with you at the conference to talk further.

To schedule a meeting with someone on our team, click here or visit our booth at Hall 8.1 – App Planet Stand 8.1E61.

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PubMatic Innovators Build the Future of Programmatic in 36 Hours

Hackathon Blog Picture

On February 4th PubMatic’s second Hackathon kicked off across three of our global offices in Pune, India, Redwood City, California and New York City.  Creative minds began working excitedly as the sun began to rise. Most developers worked through the night and cranked code for thirty-two hours straight.

PubMatic’s Hackathon, dubbed “The Innovation Contest” brought employees with various skillsets (ranging from data science to Java) and across different functions (from product management to IT) together to form thirty-seven teams in total. 121 innovators came forward with their ideas to participate and build the most innovative technology in the industry. Ideas aligned with three key themes – the future of ad-tech, infrastructure optimization, and automation. Initiatives ranged from innovative ways of rendering multi-sized ads to building new analytics solutions.

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