CAB 2016: Event Recap

Blog   |   The Operative Team   |   November 4, 2016

On Wednesday, October 19th, the Operative team, along with 44 of our most influential clients, got together at the 48 Lounge for the 2016 Client Advisory Board meeting (CAB). CAB is not a typical ad-tech seminar, but rather a highly anticipated gathering dedicated to clients. Clients have always been a huge part of Operative’s roadmap, and we truly appreciate how candid and involved they are at events like CAB as well as in everyday interactions with our team.

This year, it was clear that publishers are no longer taking a back seat to technical innovation in advertising. With platforms from SnapChat to Apple courting publishers, there is a rare opportunity to dictate how digital advertising advances. Additionally, TV and video companies are just now determining how the two channels will converge at the sales and operations level in their organizations. Our clients are clearly eager to embrace distributed content strategies, programmatic advertising and audience based sales and analysis. More than ever before, it’s about creating a profitable way forward through these complex innovations.

LUMA Partners CEO Terry Kawaja provided the keynote, which touched on several hot topics for the crowd in the room. Terry made a powerful case for connecting publishers across TV/Video, direct and indirect platforms through first party data and more transparent analysis. He questioned the value of the GRP in a digital future emphasized the amount of M&A that we can all expect in an overly fragmented market. With all of this change, it is clear the Terry believes publishers need to make brave leaps forward by embracing first party data and by streamlining a crowded technology landscape.

Emily Riley brought Terry’s presentation full circle by revealing conclusions from Operative’s recent survey on the new TV economy and showing where advertisers, publishers, and agencies feel they stand in the rapidly changing digital landscape. She exposed the most current Operative research data, indicating that publisher priorities for video, data and programmatic don’t seem to align with advertiser expectations. Riley peaked audience interest by questioning how publishers can better capture premium, data-driven advertiser dollars as TV and video change rapidly.

Our after lunch breakout sessions took a detailed look at cutting edge topics and challenges. The content distribution breakout session led by Devlin Jefferson and Brenda Salce-Garcia addressed key issues head on, including challenges in monetizing in an ever-changing industry. They also discussed Operative.One platform improvements to encourage a broader array of products across these distributed partnerships.

Extending supply and demand on and off platform was the topic of the second breakout, presented by Caitlin Gelles and Andrew Sullivan. Operative’s Connect platform was shown to group members in a demonstration which showed how the innovative new product can help publishers work together to achieve scale at premium prices.

Don Amboyer and Adam Hecht candidly discussed programmatic. Programmatic is still only a fraction of publisher revenue, but the promise of automation drives more focus on this channel. Innovations like header bidding were also discussed as well as how important Operative Compete is for publishers as they increase programmatic scale and require more leverage and transparency.

The day concluded with collaborative breakout session summaries to share their key takeaways with all attendees, leaving everyone feeling motivated and a part of a unified Operative team.