The Next Generation Digital Media Agency

We asked Martin Kelly, co-founder of Infectious Media and our keynote speaker at the Network Ad Ops Forum in London July 15th to summarize his presentation


The next big shift in the market is coming and the industry needs to be prepared. Just as auction model platforms have revolutionised and created a huge search marketing industry, so media exchanges are going to do the same for display media. The buy side are excited about these platforms. Generally reticent about technology adoption, the prospect of eating into the network margin in a time when we are being squeezed by our clients is something not to be ignored. Put this alongside the fear of making the same costly mistakes when search marketing was ignored and there’s a compelling reason why there’s a lot of interest in exchanges. The theory is a sound one and it puts agencies on a collision course with networks as access to inventory management platforms will become widespread in the next 3-5 years. This won’t happen overnight and there will be a period of growing pains as agencies rebuild their display businesses around this technology. This involves deep organisational change at every level. Bigger doesn’t buy cheaper in this environment, negotiation skills are replaced by data analysis and ad operations will become the hub of the agency as opposed to the hub of the jokes. Lots of industry commentators have predicted the death of the network but that shouldn’t be the case. The straight arbitrage network is on it’s last legs but those that aggregate quality inventory, add value to it through data and embrace these platforms will thrive in the new landscape.

Martin is the co-founder of digital media agency start-up Infectious Media. Infectious is a new breed agency focused on Ad Exchange trading and are now working with a number of blue chip clients in this space. Prior to Infectious, Martin was Board Media Director at Agency Republic where he also sat on the Opera Digital Trading Board, Omnicom’s group level digital trading company. He’s a digital media veteran having been on the founding team that set up Zenith Media’s digital offering in 2000 and started off life in offline media as a print buyer at Zenith Media. Since then he has worked on the digital media business of clients such as O2, Vodafone, Camelot, Lloyds TSB, BMW and Volkswagen and was voted in the top three digital media planners in the UK by Campaign Magazine.