X-Series RTB Montreal – What did we learn?

On October 29th, IAB Canada’s Quebec committee put on a local X-Series event in Montreal around Real Time Bidding and the programmatic space. It was a half day comprised of one keynote presentation, 3 panel discussions each following a short setup presentation by one of the panelist, and one presenter.

So what did we learn? Boiling down all the presentations and panel discussions was actually easy when the half day came to an end because two themes really came out of them all. First, the industry needs to find a measure of simplicity, to cut through the clutter of all the necessary technology we need and use to deliver brand ads to consumers. There are too many intermediaries each taking their cut out of the advertiser’s dollar which leaves the publisher with very little. Although each piece of technology does bring much value to marketing programs, we need to keep in mind that publishers are the sites consumers visit because they trust them to deliver accurate new and entertaining content. If publishers cannot make enough revenue to cover the costs of delivering on what consumers expect of them, because too many players have put a hand on the pot, they will either diminish quality and loose consumers, or go out of business altogether. Another valid reason to simplifying the ecosystem is for the marketer’s sake. Although every piece is important, it’s becomes hard to decide which is really necessary when budget decisions need to be made. We’re they rolled into one or a few platforms instead of many, all important tools would get used all the time.

The second point that was really driven home for the Quebec audience is that despite the slightly different behavior here with programmatic, there is no going back and we had better embrace the efficiencies quickly to learn and apply our best practices and each figure out our place in a programmatic world. Do we become obsolete or do we still deliver value that cannot be programmatically obtained? The importance of this incoming truth was driven home when at a few occasions the panelists reminded (or announced?) the audience that programmatic may be affecting the web today but it will affect television, radio and print media in the coming years!

Nine sponsors were the key to make this event happen in record time (only 1 month from public announcement to event day). They were Olive Media, Index by Casale Media, Mediative, EQ Works, Redux, Tube Mogul, EyeDemand, District M and Magnet Intell. Thank you again for your collaboration!