The Two Concepts Every Media Company Needs to Know in the Age of Automated Advertising

Blog   |   Charlotte Kenyon   |   March 26, 2019

Lessons Learned from OP/ED ‘19 series – Part 1

“The Automation of Advertising starts…now.” Operative CEO Lorne Brown kicked off the 6th annual OP/ED Summit with these words, sparking conversations and influential connections between some of the biggest and brightest players in media and ad tech for the remainder of the event. But these words pack more punch than you may realize at first glance. As the industry continues to change and transition, media companies, and advertisers alike are left wondering how to supercharge their strategies for the future while keeping up with the ever-growing and increasing demands of today…and are also stuck without a playbook (and definitely don’t have a crystal ball close at hand). That all changed for the audience at OP/ED. No, we didn’t throw a crystal ball in everyone’s swag bag, but after careful review and research, Lorne revealed that we all have had the playbook in our hands all along if we reflect and analyze successes and failures from other industries (past and present). By doing this reflection, not only do we hold the playbook to the automation of advertising, but we can also develop strategies to find greater success and avoid pitfalls of industries past.

Concept 1: The Power of a Platform

Alibaba is one of the largest e-commerce companies in the world, and according to The Wall Street Journal, giving Amazon and eBay a run for their money. It stands firmly in the ranks of other giants like Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. So what does Alibaba have to do with OP/ED? It has set a true example of the power of a platform.

“Singles Day” was created by Alibaba to counter Valentine’s Day as a way to empower consumers to celebrate being single. Sounds nice, right? Well, this “nice” holiday has now blown past revenues of holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and even Valentine’s Day – bringing in a cool $30B in 2018. By foreseeing the demand, scope of audience and appeal to brands, Alibaba reshaped the traditional retail holiday and made it shine.

As brands became more involved and invested, the technology needed to be front and center. Alibaba teamed up with key brands, created a framework that supported the high demand and purchasing and was able to reach the right audience at the right time with the right products, bringing Singles Day to the top of the retail holiday charts.

The power of the platform is already in the hands of today’s media companies. Rather than attempting to compete with industry giants and conglomerates, it’s time to take another look at unique audiences, brands, advertisers, and technology and discover that the next Singles Day may be in your future.

Concept 2: The Secret Sauce

So you now have the power and know all the ingredients you have to work with to get there…but the success depends on how it all comes together. The secret sauce includes your products, data, AI/ML, Attribution and Inventory – but optimizing these critical components with today’s technology and the right insights is what will set businesses up for success. This is where taking automation to the cloud and to the next level comes into play. By using a unified tech stack and native cloud solution, media companies can connect with brands and advertisers that will give them the  “Singles Day” success they are looking for, while also paving a streamlined path to direct buyer response and claiming their piece of the $100B industry growth pie.

By incorporating concepts from Alibaba and the power of a platform, and stirring in the secret sauce each media company already has, the automation of advertising will unite markets, enable shared data and insights providing transparency and optimization, and empower businesses and partnerships with brand protection and price control. Media companies have the power, and by choosing the right platform, the technology and methods to engage directly with buyers and audiences. The future has never looked brighter.