Revolution DSP

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We spoke with Cadie Jones, Commercial Director for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at Beeswax, about the progress of the DSP market. We already talked about the purpose of DSPs for agencies and brands (Agency & DSP together in perfect harmony?) and are looking forward to hearing Cadies’ opinion on the topic.
A bit more about Cadie; she spent a significant part of her life in digital media and programmatic, as well as being involved in the Pangaea Alliance – an alliance bringing together new publishers in the UK. Beeswax provides programmatic buy-side infrastructure; customization sets them apart from the rest. They originated from the idea of delivering infrastructure to people who would otherwise think they had to build their DSP to get the right level of functionality and customization.

We asked Cadie to tell us about
1. the differences in using Beeswax as an infrastructure company instead of a DSP
2. which clients require a more individualized solution
3. how does Beeswax blend in with ad tech stacks
4. what is the future of an independent DSP in our industry in regards to GDPR
5. where does she see the purpose of agencies or ad tech service companies in the future of programmatic?

Let’s dive into the topics.

1. “[…] the big difference at Beeswax is that we generally give each customer their instance of the bidder. […] and they’ve been able to do many different things with that. And that often comes down to bringing some unique data in terms of what they want to buy against bringing and controlling the inventory more themselves or perhaps, even bringing their inventory into the mix. And it also comes down to a real ability to customize some of the campaign’s objectives. […] But not all marketers care about that (click-through rate, CPA, video conversion rates). […] we’ve got to the point in programmatic […] that certain types of buyers do have specific needs and who want to be able to, you know, have that additional kind of level of customization or control.”

2. “It’s anyone who wants to buy programmatically, and so the obvious ones are the agencies […] programmatic agencies, independent trading desks, brands and marketers who are actually in some cases in-housing that activity. In some cases […] they have an agency or a service partner running the activity for them. In other cases, it’s ad tech companies. There are lots of different types of ad tech companies who might need […] to be able to bid programmatically. […] And sometimes publishers or broadcasters would need buying technology, perhaps to execute their managed service businesses. […] there isn’t a limit to who would need programmatic buying technology. And it’s interesting because it makes it complex.”

3. “It depends who you are and what you’re looking for. If you are a marketer spending money across display and video and mobile, you’re probably going to want YouTube supply. […] we’re not going to be the only DSP on the plan if you’re looking to buy mobile inventory, or display across the open web, and that’s your priority, or if you’re looking to buy video outside of YouTube, or if you’re looking to connected TV inventory. […] if you’re building an ad network or were a publisher looking to buy your supply or doing some audience extension, then you wouldn’t need another DSP.”

4. “[…] we have a number of customers who are using their custom identity field already for targeting […] and reporting, and we have what I believe is quite a unique setup where you can combine different identities. So have effectively like a fallback situation. Use my custom identifier, but if that’s not present, fall back to the IP address as an example. […] And there are a lot of environments here where there are no cookies or no identifiers present. And so you’re trying to find a situation where you can reach those users in those premium environments […]. And so I think we forget all the risk, think about identifiers, and forget that they do provide real value to users; no one wants to see the same ad over and over again. […] I think it’s very interesting to see what will happen. We have somewhat of an extension […] until Google changes their mind again, an extension on the third-party cookies in Chrome. But there are already lots of environments where there are no cookies. And I think the universal identifiers have made such progress within the industry, that we’ll come to a point where there will be several solutions. And I think that’s really where there is an opportunity across the open web.”

5. “[…] I think when you hear programmatic when you first talk about it, even though you know that the focus was always on automation. And the idea, I think, in many people’s heads was that it’s the machines doing it. You know, it’s easy, you just need to click the button and put in the budget. And that’s really not the case. And so I think the difference you can see based on […] who’s driving the campaign can make a huge difference. So I think we’re seeing so many different interesting models in the service layer. As more brands have started to take the contracts in house, we see a lot of them still working with their main agency partners. We see others who actually prefer an in-house team. […] Customers want different things from those service providers. There are some who are really specializing in the customer algorithm side of things […]. […] there are the others who are really focused on just driving performance. And you know, there are also lots of different flavors of service companies that are springing up, which is really interesting to see. […] I think the service layer is becoming; people are now realizing it’s important, which is good. […] we’re at the point now, where digital is programmatic, and so I think a lot of the growth is going to come as other media environments really come into the programmatic world; we saw it hugely last year through the States. And it’s really dramatically shifting in Europe this year. But the move to TV and premium video coming into this area of automation, I think, is going to be a really big focus for a lot of people in the next year or two.”

Edited for clarity.

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