AKQA Considering Media Buying Platforms and Internal Options Says GM Symonds

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AKQA and Ad ExchangesScott Symonds is General Manager of AKQA Media, Search & Analytics.

AdExchanger.com: Are ad exchanges a part of digital media buying strategy at AKQA? Do you have plans for a media buying platform either in-house or outsourced?

SS: We are not using ad exchanges currently but would like to as we build our performance media capability more broadly beyond Search marketing. We are very interested in exchanges and optimization companies/technologies that optimize exchange inventory and performance like Turn and MediaMath. We do not yet know if we would like to build a strategic relationship with an existing media buying platform for exchanges, build an extension of our SearchRev too from Search to Exchange Media, or some combination of the two.

Many companies are busy bringing targeting technology to unlock the data trove of social media. Some of this data is and will be available in data exchanges. Are you using data exchanges today? Or is it all about using proprietary, in-house data?

We are interested in using data exchanges. We have met with BlueKai and are generally interested in the category as well.

Do clients accept the view-through conversion? How is attribution evolving at AKQA and, in particular, with display advertising attribution?

Unfortunately some clients do not want to accept 'view through' action attribution. We try and counsel clients to figure out what view-through contribution is right for them. What is their brands general awareness? How much offline advertising do they have? What is the ratio of display advertising vs. Search? What window of time would they feel comfortable with? Will they look at a multi-attribute life-cycle perspective on attribution, etc? The evolution for AKQA right now is to have this discussion and make the conversation and attribution more sophisticated each time.

What recommendations would you make to online publishers to increase yield/revenues?

Not an expert here. Less clutter. Good placement of ads within content. Use available optimization tools to match ads and content. Look at meta-servers like Pubmatic and Rubicon Projecct to understand trends and valuations better.

How would you characterize the changing ad agency model? Does it need to be more entrepreneurial? Can an ad agency be a technology company - or will it need to be?

Agencies need to be technology literate, but not necessarily technology companies exactly. Agencies that are not faster thinking and moving will have trouble adapting to the fast evolving marketing landscape given the evolution and integration of technology, social media, mobile, search, exchanges, etc.

What will be the impact of real-time bidding (RTB)? Is this something that AKQA can leverage for its clients?

Real-time bidding and impression level buying should mean that performance buys gain efficiency and scale and brand-based buys potentially get more targeted and more effective. AKQA, and all agencies, will at least have to evaluate the opportunity and figure out how and when to apply it for clients.

Follow Scott Symonds (@scottsymondsakq), AKQA (@AKQA) and AdExchanger.com (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

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