The world’s largest independent media agency didn’t have a dedicated programmatic capability until 2013. Historically a big TV buyer, Horizon Media decided to build its own “desk” in a way that would distinguish it from holding companies: by focusing on transparent pricing of media and data.
It hired former Publicis digital executive Adam Heimlich as SVP of HX, which now employs about 30.
“We’ll go as deep as the client wants to on how much this costs, how this data company collects this data, how much we’re making and why,” Heimlich says in the latest episode of AdExchanger Talks.
Heimlich provides sharp observations on the smart and wasteful ways to buy media in 2017, ranging over themes that might seem dry coming from a less nimble thinker: controlled lift tests, the convergence of performance and branding mindsets, the rise of standards and common in-housing errors. (Many of these conversation points draw from his recent column, “How To Avoid Wasting Your Entire Digital Budget,” which makes good supplemental reading for this episode.)
On the theme of programmatic in-housing, he says, “I’ve observed clients try this with search. They’ve had a lot of trouble. Programmatic isn’t incrementally harder than search; it’s exponentially more complicated. Most people that try this aren’t going to succeed.”