Thursday, February 12, 2015

Is Programmatic Advertising Killing Sales Jobs?

There is no doubt speed, effectiveness, and efficiency with technology that makes programmatic advertising a win for buyers and sellers of media.  Programmatic has been the buzz word of late, which fairly simply automates the purchasing and trafficking of advertising into available spots.  It is most connected to the digital world but continues to creep into traditional television advertising models.  In essence it removes human interaction from the equation and it is a disruptive technology.  

As a result of all this automation, media companies are able to cut back on employees.  In fact, AOL announced a couple weeks ago, ahead of its quarterly earnings, that it was laying off "150 employees Friday, or 3% of its staff.  The bulk of the layoffs, or close to 100, were in sales, a result of the company's surging growth in so-called programmatic ad sales, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation who was not authorized to speak on the record", according to USA Today.

AOL is not alone in these efforts and this is not the first time that technology has replaced labor.  Look no further then the assembly line that once required huge numbers of factory workers and now can be done with machines.  But it is a first for media, that less ad sales people are needed to drive the revenue for the business.  Will it replace humans completely, the answer is obviously no.  The key differentiater is creativity and the ability to develop innovative advertising programs that ad buyers want.  Content partnership, product integration, and cross marketing integration still requires the human touch.  But buying and placing a digital ad or 30 second commercial can more easily and efficiently be done without the hard sell or human negotiation.

The key success behind programmatic advertising seems to be the research that lives across all the data and the ability to decipher it in meaningful ways to best choose which media and in what combination makes for the best campaign.  And post advertising, the proof will be in the results the campaign generates.  Who is engaging with the content, when are they consuming, why are they interested can now all be captured digitally.  And that information, across set top boxes, web platforms, credit card information, and more are being absorbed, analyzed, and released.  Ask the right questions and your ad can reach exactly the type of person you seek to create engagement with.  And with hopefully a higher percentage that you are reaching only those likely to be interested in the first place.  Bottom line, successful financial results means that programmatic ad buying will then become the new norm. 

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