OPINION - Outsmart not outspend.
Recap of a podcast with Vinny Rinaldi from Wavemaker
I was recently fortunate enough to sit down and record a conversation about programmatic with Vinny Rinaldi, Head of Investment and Activation at Wavemaker (a Group M agency) in North America. Vinny has an incredibly well-rounded & smart view on programmatic given his experience working at ad-tech companies, advertisers and agencies.
In this Two Cents I wanted to call out some of the most interesting points of the podcast and add some additional thoughts to it. If you’d like to listen to the podcast, you can do so here - http://www.theadpod.com/ or search for it on your usual podcast provider.
(Definition) Programmatic is infrastructure not a channel. All media should be bought through technology.
Absolutely spot on.
(Concept) How do we outsmart the marketplace not outspend it?
I really like this framing and is something which major advertisers have really misunderstood about digital, largely because of how TV had a handful channels which were bought based on Reach & Frequency (i.e. you can pay more for more ads and drive out your competition). R&F still has a role in media buying, but price is an output of 500+ factors, setting it as an input leads to sub-optimal buying.
(To fuel growth) we need to start using the different mediums of data to our advantage as a brand, and all brands are different.
Many advertisers are on a first party data journey. Some are very far ahead, largely owing to them skewing towards being ecommerce-first businesses. However, even companies who sell the majority of their products through partners or offline can become data savvy to drive growth. This doesn’t mean audience segments (which Vinny also points out on the pod) but in insight & analytics also. Every brand should have a data strategy (as well as many other things obviously).
(In-housing) When you go in-house, it’s really hard to expect everyone to know everything across a team of 5 to 10 people. You need a lot of people to execute a campaign.
I’ve personally spoken a lot about this, but the TPA Digital team released a great whitepaper on Hybrid models (often the most suitable model for majority of brands) which speaks really well to this point - https://www.tpa-digital.com/considerations-of-hybrid-inhouse-model
(Brands using auditors/consultants for pitches) Most of the bigger/legacy brands are starting pitches with an excel based pricing exercise and that’s hurting the industry the most as that is not how media should be treated.
It’s great that this outdated and pile of crap model is being pushed back on from agencies. There have been some infamous examples of where an agency holding company has pulled out of a pitch. Ofcourse pricing comes into the equation when deciding between agencies, but it should literally never be the starting point and shouldn’t be some pre-determined excel spreadsheet, often which has been copy/pasted from another pitch process. I think anyone who starts a pitch process with price is lazy and/or completely lacking in any understanding of how media works.
(Trading in a fragmented digital world) We are trying feverishly to put in the right investment strategy that balances the increased digital nature of media buying and through a platform-based world.
Vinny’s job is hard! Structuring & executing huge deals with broadcasters/publishers when consumers are fragmenting across their properties is tough. Historically a deal would just be with the TV spend, now its TV, Desktop, Mobile and could be across multiple brands within the broadcaster portfolio. Plus, the agency group is likely buying through these multiple agencies, platforms and different pricing methods. Smart commercial negotiation and savviness is likely more important than it ever has been for brands, even in a platform-first world.
I hope you enjoyed this style of Two Cents - as always, I welcome any feedback!