When it comes to programmatic media, I do consider myself to be one of the OGs. For context, some history for you:
It was the early 90s when the world wide web made its debut to the public. As we all know, the internet exploded and changed everything very quickly. In parallel with massive adoption of network computing, so too was massive growth of the internet itself. From a display advertising perspective, the boom of web content created a new, highly scaleable world of available ad supply. This new digital ad supply was highly desirable to both marketers and web publishers alike; the challenge was in the ability to monetize and transact. As a solution for marketers to buy digital inventory at scale, companies called ad networks came into existence. While ad networks filled a need, they also created a lot of problems. It was not uncommon for buyers to be denied transparency into what sites ads could run on and where they actually did end up running on (subsequently creating brand safety, verification and many other issues). Buyers typically also had no transparency into the variable cost of unique ad impressions which made it incredibly easy for ad networks to bundle unsavory supply together, sell it at a huge markup and do so with no accountability (and at the expense of the buyer).
Traditional opaque ad networks also limited a marketers’ ability to retain invaluable and proprietary data, insights and learnings. On top of it all, devious web bots further complicated things by generating tens of millions of dollars in ad fraud. The industry needed to evolve. Fortunately that evolution really ramped up with the birth of ad exchanges in the mid 2000s. Similar to ad networks, an ad exchange is a source of digital supply however in an exchange marketplace, advertisers and publishers can buy and sell ad space in real-time bidded auctions. These ad trades are executed in a software called demand side platforms (DSPs). DSPs plug into a vast array of digital data and inventory sources. DSPs also are built with machine learning algorithms, prediction mechanisms and automated processes to enable media to be precisely programmed to buy the right audience, at the right time for the right price (insert something about scale here. Efficient, effective, transparent, precise).
While biddable search had already been around for a minute, the industry-shifting technological advancements that happened during the mid 2000s really marked the true beginning of what we now know as programmatic media. Today 85% of all digital ad spend is activated programmatically (according to XYZ). The IAB put U.S. programmatic ad spending at nearly $79 billion, an increase of 87% from 2017, the first year benchmarked in the report. The beginning of the seismic shift towards programmatic media (both just in general and the demand from brands), prompted large advertising agencies to create internal programmatic expertise hubs.
My unique experience across all programmatic channels, couple with vertical and horizonial pformessional experience, code (insert your degree from NW), coupled with experience on the front and back end and all ends in the agency world, I have a unique view of what is currently being done right, wrong and needs to change in the indsusry. I know what brands and agencies each need. I know where the gaps are, entrepresnaul. Education? My unique experience across all programmatic channels, couple with vertical and horizonial pformessional experience, code (insert your degree from NW), coupled with experience on the front and back end and all ends in the agency world, I have a unique view of what is currently being done right, wrong and needs to change in the indsusry. I know what brands and agencies each need. I know where the gaps are, entrepresnaul. Education?