Volker Ballueder, Country Manager UK, Mexad gives his opinion on attending OPS Markets London
On Thursday I attended the Admonsters OPS Markets event in London. It was set in the London Film Museum which I didn’t even know existed, so a wonderful setting. I should add that the drink reception was in the Harry Potter room, but let’s start at the beginning.
Maybe a note that this opinion of the event and my understanding and interpretation are my own views. Not that of any associated company! And, please note that I tried to be as objective as possible. Any comments are welcome of course
Donald Hamilton kicked off the event with a nice introduction on data. Data seems to be the buzzword in the industry at the moment, and everyone is talking about it. mexad‘s CTO Guido Pfister was speaking about it also. Guido in his talk said that RTB (real time bidding) can be very effective even without data, arguing against the myth that RTB is ONLY data driven. Of course data goes very well with RTB.
Anyway, data seems to be only valuable if it is qualified, and structured. Donald clearly pointed out that the successful use of any data, online or offline, depends on analysing it properly and then use it in the right context. A theme throughout the day also emerged: publishers should look into how they collect and use their data, or whether data theft is being done by having advertiser or agency tags on their site.
There was another theme ongoing: TESTING. Yes. Having data available and adding bits of information from your online conversion funnel, then adding behavioural data (almost sounds like a recipe), you still need to test it. Go out there and see how the data works and whether it is worthwhile. Does it increase your ROI, your conversions?
And Guido from mexad was speaking about RTB technologies and bidding strategies. The first impression is still the most important, but look at the conversion funnel, the attribution model, your bidding strategy and do one thing: test was works best! Hence mexad works platform agnostic, working with all technologies to find the best possible way of getting performance from any RTB/buying platform. And, they have been testing a lot!
Why is testing so important? I believe that if you work in an industry that is very young, and then in a part of it that only exists for a few years…then there are no right or wrong ways only. There is still a lot of learning to be done, and testing is the only way to find out what delivers the best results.
Google was on stage, telling us that 55% of their inventory in the UK is being sold in real time. I wonder if it is almost 100% next year, or when we don’t speak about RTB any more as that will be the only currency. As this is the way the industry is going.
Then you had Jakob Nielsen speaking from Xaxis, the new GroupM umbrella for audience buying, DSP technology, data integration etc. Looks like a clever agency solution – let’s see how much of it is actually going to be utilised and how other agency groups react to the announcement of its formation earlier this week. As Jakob said, it is not “hokus pokus” and also will be offered to other agencies, being transparent in what they do. My question would be whether any other agency group buys into a WPP product? I just cannot see any Publicis or Aegis agency using Xasis, or a smaller agency for that matter. Maybe WPP agencies outside GroupM though.
In the IAB session about the cookie directive I was hoping for more clarification on the EU cookie directive. But the summary is that the industry should get in gear to find a self directive solution rather than getting someone who doesn’t know about the industry forcing us to adopt something that will kill targeting via cookies altogether. The ABC picked up on that at a later stage. One solution is an icon being placed on the creative to inform consumers about data collection and opt out. I guess it needs to be tested In all seriousness, there is no “one size fits all” solution, and we need to look at a pan European solution on this one.