Opportunity Knocks: Media Trading Desks Move In-House

Daniel Lewis our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 12/5/2018 12:13 PM
It’s anticipated that by 2022, 80% of the advertising process will be automated. With the remainder of the process made up of elements that rely on human drivers, such as brand value and storytelling, we will have reached peak automation.

Programmatic is playing a huge role in this transition, dominating the majority of mobile display and TV advertising. With the promise of more targeted ads, more and more marketers are pointing their budgets in this direction.

The consequences of this, however, could have a lasting impact. Larger agencies are already introducing their own Programmatic teams, whilst Adobe believe that 62% brands will bring their media buying in-house by 2022, opening the door for an array of new opportunities.

Moving Home


There are several reasons that brands are choosing to bring their media buying in-house. First and foremost, with more and more budget directed towards Programmatic, the ability to automate their buying has a significant appeal. With the technology now available to do so, keeping this in-house has a number of benefits:

Control: Brands can have greater control over how they spend their budget, giving them more autonomy over every stage of the process.
Transparency: By owning their media buying, brands can gauge a better understanding of their ROI.
Engagement: Customers continuously move from channel to channel. Keeping buying in-house helps brands keep up.
Leverage: Brands can leverage their first-party data to create and execute in-house strategies.

The last of these is particularly important. Following the introduction of GDPR, brands are under a significant amount of scrutiny regarding how they use customer data. By keeping this in-house, brands can have more control over how their data is both stored and used, without sharing it with third parties.

Making the Investment


Naturally, this change to the advertising landscape is already having implications across the wider industry. Sir Martin Sorrell, formerly of WPP, believes that brands moving in-house will be a “short lived trend” brought on by a reaction to “serious economic conditions”.

However, this may not necessarily be the case. In addition to the benefits listed above, the significant investment required to move Programmatic in-house means that brands are likely to look to this as a longer-term solution.This not only involves investment in a DMP and the right technology but, more crucially, in building the right team. Without this team, any in-house venture is unlikely to succeed, regardless of technological investment.

On Your Doorstep


The good news is that this provides several new opportunities for Digital Analytics professionals. With 39% of Marketing Executives believing that a skills shortage is responsible for holding back Programmatic growth, there is a huge demand for the right talent, both permanent and contract.

And, with this skills shortage, there is opportunity for Web and Marketing Analysts to expand their skillsets and move into the position of Media or Audience Analyst. By upskilling in media trading platforms such as AppNexus and DoubleClick, digital analysts can further enhance their expertise. When combined with the ability to visualise using Python or R they find themselves well positioned for some of the most in-demand roles around.

If you’re looking for the opportunity to play an instrumental role in growing an in-house team, we may have a role for you. Take a look at our latest jobs, or get in touch by calling us on +44 20 8408 6070 or emailing info@harnham.com.

This article was originally written for London MeasureCamp in September 2018. 



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