CE Week Session Delves into Programmatic Buying … and Why You Should Use It

OwnerIQ’s Bob Scaglione Sees a Programmatic Future for CE

Bob Scaglione of OwnerIQ began his CE Week presentation on June 25 in New York City with a clip from the Tom Cruise film Minority Report showing Cruise’s character walking through a futuristic mall and being bombarded with holographic, virtual-reality advertisements.

In 2002 when that film came out, this scene may have seemed far-out and implausible. But in 2014, a spin on this kind of advertising is coming at us every day—and we may not even know it.

Scaglione is Senior Vice President, Strategic Channel Development, for OwnerIQ, a company that specializes in programmatic ad buying, and he feels this unique method of purchasing promotion is the future of advertising—one that the CE industry is buying into, but should be embracing even more vigorously.

What is programmatic buying? Scaglione defined it as “the automated process of buying digital media inventory, typically at large scale, using a real-time bidding process that is continually optimized for efficiency and performance.”

He demonstrated how the process actually works. In his example, when an Internet browser clicked on the site Boston.com, there was an ad spot on the page that was not actually spoken for at the time the browser entered it. In the milliseconds in which the page loaded, the spot went up for auction to three potential advertisers through a service such as OwnerIQ. Based on the consumer’s cookies and buying preferences, OwnerIQ’s system determined the best advertiser for the spot and settled on a price for showing the ad to the consumer. By the time the page was loaded, the user was seeing this ad as if it had always been there. And the whole thing takes place in about four milliseconds!

“Why is (programmatic advertising) important?” Scaglione asked. “The struggler with advertising today is capturing the consumer. The path to purchasing has become digital, either online or with a mobile device.”

Programmatic ad buying, he explained, offers a way to utilize the technology of today to maximize an ad’s potency and selling power by gearing the ads to today’s digital user.

And while the CE sector is one of the most frequent users of programmatic advertising, Scaglione implored those who aren’t using it yet to embrace it, saying “This is something that you really should be doing in your companies.”

Scaglione described other uses for programmatic advertising, such as the method hhgregg employs: “They work with other manufacturers to target audiences that want to look at products and serve up co-branded ads.”

Conversely, programmatic buying, he added, also enables manufacturers to target their retailers’ audience.

While programmatic systems such as that employed by OwnerIQ are currently used on home computers, Scaglione said a mobile version is in development that would enable this kind of instant ad buying on smart phones and other Internet-enabled mobile devices.

He discussed how some retailers still put advertising dollars into Sunday newspaper circulars that are quickly thrown away, while “the path to purchasing has moved online.”

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