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MediaMath: Highlights From The 2019 APAC Leadership Forum

We are excited to help our clients and their partners tackle these opportunities in the year ahead, working to benefit marketers, agencies, publishers and consumers with a better advertising ecosystem that creates wonderful experiences.

Following the success of our summits in NA and EMEA earlier this year, we launched our first MediaMath Leadership Forum in APAC this past March 27-29th. We gathered at the stunning Ritz Carlton resort at Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia with a stellar attendance of key leaders from partners, agencies and brands across Australia, Singapore, Korea, and the US.

The objective was to kick off an “unconference” that brings together senior thought leaders from across APAC in a relaxed setting to drive interactive learning about cross-regional opportunities and share perspectives around how we can collectively work towards transforming the marketing ecosystem for good, setting a forward-looking tone for 2019 and beyond.

Key topics discussed during the forum included future market trends and our product vision to support these needs, the future of people in programmatic, best practices around building a successful programmatic and data strategy and deep-dive roundtable sessions on identity, supply and AI moderated by MediaMath subject experts.

Knowing who your consumers are

The main focus areas essential for a thriving ad tech ecosystem are identity, supply chain management, the application of AI and ML and progressing the dream of true omnichannel outcomes and workflow. As an industry, we can identify devices as never before, while the number and types of devices are increasing at a record pace. Stable, persistent device IDs are core to achieving an accurate, anonymous digital representation of consumers. There are many challenges in bringing this to life, and some solutions exist, but it’s still a very siloed approach.

Creating a quality supply chain

Several factors have contributed to the complexity of the programmatic supply chain as the marketplace has matured. In recent years, transparency has been one major theme for the industry. Clients’ needs and sophistication may vary; some of them may want to look under the hood to see how the supply chain works while others are less concerned about it. A must-have for clients is super clean, performant supply for the best value, something we are working on at the behest of some of the biggest industry names like P&G. There is a need to understand that just because the walled-garden platforms are some of the most economical doesn’t mean the quality is the best. There is a continual challenge to balance price and quality, and often performance-based KPIs tend to push out discussions around either CPM or supply. We need to focus on business outcomes driving the conversation, combined with a transparent supply chain to drive better performance.

A is for AI, not automation

Many marketers still equate programmatic with automation, but automation alone does not guarantee the best business outcomes. In the data-rich world of modern marketing, optimal results require intelligent automation through machine learning (ML).  Fraud, privacy and transparency were all significant concerns/challenges raised at our summit. Whether or not AI and ML can help with better filters to help overcome this challenge is a question that remains unanswered.

And P is for people

While we have already addressed the hype in recent years around the need for AI in performing high-value advertising tasks, the next step is to be adaptable enough to apply it to almost any advertising campaign promptly. AI and automation will also help with talent management. With the rapid growth of the industry, we have really and truly stressed the talent pool. Finding the talent that has programmatic experience and retaining them is a challenge. AI and automation will relieve some of this pressure as the industry continues to grow. It will allow the talent pool in aggregate to mature and strengthen by taking care of the operational tasks, and this benefits all of us. The future of people in advertising means working on more strategic functions vs. repetitive jobs.

There is not and will not be one ideal digital marketing talent ecosystem. It will depend on the brand, the business objectives, the size and the geographical presence. It can be any combination of in-house, agency or consultancy if we ensure alignment on strategy, incentives, goals, communication channels, knowledge management and enablement and the best solution to maximise ROI with a level of effort that is optimal across those involved.

We are excited to help our clients and their partners tackle these opportunities in the year ahead, working to benefit marketers, agencies, publishers and consumers with a better advertising ecosystem that creates wonderful experiences.

Click here to watch the recap video from the summit.

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