Notes on AdTech New York

Silverlight’s CEO Lori Goldberg and client André Rojer of the Curaçao Tourist Board shared the stage at AdTech New York, talking travel and digital advertising in a context of programmatic’s surging influence on creative and strategy. In case you missed it, below is a summary of key takeaways from their panel discussion, titled “Going Programmatic: In-House or Agency”:

Why Programmatic?

  • Performance: It is often better due to both cost and real time optimization ability. Programmatic allows incredible flexibility to actively optimize on an ongoing basis.
  • Strategy: Programmatic allows advertisers to focus on effective strategy, rather than the process, by leveraging third party data to reach the exact individuals you want.
  • Cost: Programmatic is substantially cheaper. In most cases, we can reach the same audience for a fraction of the cost.

A Reason To Go In-House?

  • Based on a couple of recent studies, up to 33% (Rubicon, 2015) of brands are managing in-house. A higher percentage do a blend of agency and in-house.
  • Netflix felt that they have very intricate user data that they didn’t want in the hands of someone outside of the company. Proctor and Gamble does its own programmatic in-house which is a majority – about 75% – of its media spend. Allstate felt they could save money and achieve greater transparency by taking programmatic in-house. Even so, there is significant lifting to do here. These companies effectively built an agency in-house by recruiting a team to fulfill their advertising needs. Still, recruiting and relocating talent and securing a competitive trading desk is no easy task and most brands simply lack the resources to assemble the type of qualified team that an agency can bring.

The Agency Argument

  • Agencies don’t hold monthly minimum requirements that clients buying direct might have to adhere to, especially when running across multiple DSPs. They are able to aggregate the commitment across all of their clients so that the burden is not put on any one client.
  • It is important to work with an agency that lives and breathes the idiosyncrasies of this space and understands the different targeting partners.
  • An agency can pool resources from a full spectrum is proficiencies better than most brands could ever assemble themselves. Like André said in the beginning – travelers go to Curacao because they want something they cannot get at home.


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