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Growing your programmatic business – what do publishers, ad tech companies, agencies and advertisers have in common and how can marketing tech companies help?

Date posted: 27 February 2015   |   Posted in: Blog

We are excited to sponsor and attend the second DTA awards. 

It’s fair to say that the market has moved on in the last 12 months yet most of the key themes and challenges remain the same.

There are key ‘people’ issues and decisions that effect your business and your ability to grow it within the ad tech market.  These vary depending on what you do; so we have picked a couple of themes that we get asked about regularly.

Selling direct to advertisers – do we do it and who do we hire? 

We increasingly speak to ad tech vendors who want to sell directly to clients.  Some of the challenge they face are;

  1. They do not want to upset the agencies
  2. ‘Media sales’ people sell to agencies and do not have chief marketing officer or client direct contacts and they tend not to understand the sales cycle when selling direct to clients

Historically businesses like Criteo were successful hiring candidates from affiliate and performance advertising backgrounds who sold direct to advertisers. 

As ad tech companies sell tech and not campaigns, ad tech businesses want to hire sales candidates who have an understanding of a ‘tech sell’ and who, ideally, have contacts directly with advertisers.  

As we all know candidates with this profile are not readily available in ad tech – as enterprise and direct sales people are not yet common place in ad tech companies. 

Marketing technology businesses in areas like customer experience, optimisation, analytics and social engagement platforms have sales teams who have:

  • Sold data driven marketing platforms direct to businesses who are highly transactional online in areas like retail, travel, FMCG and finance
  • Sold an online technology solution and understand a ‘SaaS’ sell
  • Have an increasing understanding of programmatic buying – as another data driven marketing channel

As ad tech companies consider how they can sell direct to advertisers – starting to meet enterprise sales candidates from marketing technology businesses, who are in a convergent space is a very good avenue to consider. 

Sphere have a specialist division in marketing technology sales recruitment and we are available to discuss candidates from this space and their skills and experience on request!

Are Agencies becoming technologists?

As they look to grow their businesses maximising the opportunities that programmatic trading presents to them lies at the heart of this strategy.  Agencies are changing, they are becoming technologists. 

Through the evolution of their trading desks they now have to sell to one another internally. 

Agencies have bought media from publishers and dealt with publishers for years.  It’s what they do! 

Yet we now see agencies faced with the decision of whether or not to buy inventory directly from publishers to power their trading desks?  And if they do this – what type of person do they hire? 

Digital advertising is data driven.  It always has been.  Yet with media now traded in an automated environment the size, scale and importance of these data sets has taken on an increased significance.  So finding data scientists, stats ‘geeks’ and people who can take data and use it to make better decisions for advertisers has never been more challenging and more important.

Publishers and advertisers face their own challenges and have similarly important decisions to make when it comes to what people to hire, in what role and at what time, to enable them to grow their businesses.

I wrote a piece for The Drum in December about hiring trends in 2014 and some projections for 2015.  If you missed it, do check it out. Like most things nowadays it really is all about technology, data and programmatic trading. 

Click on here to find out more.

Ed Steer, ‎managing director and co-founder, Sphere Digital 


Source: Drum

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