Like all things in this new digital reality, technology has radically altered the way online advertising is bought and sold.
Automated ad sales are growing quickly, and companies that only a few months ago refused to sell online ad space through programmatic channels are now doing so, according to Jack Marshall of Digiday.
The decision, he claims, no longer rests with the publisher but is dictated by forces in the marketplace beyond the publisher’s control.
“Whether publishers like it or not, programmatic ad buying has reached a point of no return. Media owners might be eager to limit the use of technology in their ad sales processes, but the fact of the matter is their clients aren’t,” says Marshall. “At the end of the day, publishers will sell how buyers want to buy. The market has voted: Buyers want to buy this way.”
Some agencies are reporting as much as 20% of their display ads are purchased through these automated networks (Lowenthal, for one) and that number is climbing, quickly.
Why the reluctance on the part of publishers to embrace the idea?
“Publishers have always been nervous about ad sales technology, and understandably so. They worry that automated trading will undermine their direct sales efforts and drive down their inventory prices. In some cases, it has. Both Yahoo and The New York Times have blamed their declining ad revenues on it in recent months.”
With results like this, of course publishers would want to avoid it. Yet it’s a matter of fighting the tide. In other words, if you don’t dance with the new technology, someone else will and the automated marketplace cares little for its partner, only its potential for revenue.
It’s a brave new world out there for the advertising sales force too. To succeed in this new age, your sales force better have digital ad savvy and be trained in a consultative sales approach that will add value for your advertisers and keep them looking to you as a valid and viable partner.