You may have read in the industry press yesterday (16th February 2015) that VivaKi, Publicis’ ad tech arm, is being restructured to ‘move beyond the trading desk’. The move will involve specialist programmatic ad traders from VivaKi integrating with Publicis agencies as a means to more closely align the technology platform with media planning and buying teams. Individuals will be moved to sit alongside media planning teams to take ‘programmatic planning and activation services closer to the media planning process, where programmatic expertise belongs’.
The restructure will clearly benefit Publicis but is yet another example of a large agency group slowly getting round to putting in to practice what we at equimedia have known for some time. Namely that the trading desk has historically been viewed merely as a piece of technology that facilitates media buying, rather than as a bespoke, innovative and dynamic digital media strategy which can enhance and complement both online and offline media buying channels, serving the right ads to the right people at the right time. Integrating programmatic expertise in media planning teams ensures that campaign management and innovation is deployed to the benefit of each individual client.
As a result we have already ‘moved beyond the trading desk’ and our media planning and buying team sits (some might say unfortunately so!) next to our programmatic ad buying experts, working closely to ensure an ever increasing ROI for our clients across campaigns.
With our trading desk working hand in hand with our media planning team, this has allowed us to, for instance, direct a programmatic buying strategy around a wider TV advertising campaign, upweighting activity around times of day when TV ads are being aired. Furthermore, insights and learnings from our managed programmatic campaigns have helped inform other digital media buys, maximising reach whilst driving response and ROI.
As a leading independent media agency, we remain agile and forward thinking, ensuring that programmatic is never an afterthought in our media planning and that each media plan is executed in the right way, making use of our collective expertise in the agency. This agility has kept us ahead of the digital media curve and that is where we intend to remain!
It’s good to see an agency the size of Publicis embarking on this journey; it will be interesting to see how the tanker turns and whether the market will have moved on before it heads off in its new direction.