DMEXCO: Philips Calls Out External Partners

dmexco1You’ve got to hand it to electronic giant Philips’ global head of media, Sital Banerjee, for taking the bullet as the buzzkill on a panel at DMEXCO.

“Many times, I find (my marketers) to be more knowledgeable than some of our external partners,” he said, sharing a neon-lit stage with a handful of agency and ad tech execs in Cologne, Germany. Banerjee called for greater transparency within the brand’s partner community.

Banerjee spoke of Digital@Scale, a worldwide change management initiative at Philips to increase digital proficiency and sell-in across departments. According to Banerjee, “we’re pulling a lot of (digital) competencies in-house,” while ramping up on data talent from publishers and agencies.

“We’ve all gotten better at integrating search, analytics, CRM and online sales, but marketers [need to] thread all of them to deliver revenue at the end of the day,” he said. “We have 5,000 connected marketers who have an understanding of the ‘truths’ of the digital ecosystem.”

Though he did not say whether the initiative includes programmatic buying, Philips is one of three brands including MasterCard and Coca-Cola that formulate the World Federation of Advertisers’ programmatic task force. On the task force’s agenda is issuing guidelines for clearer ROI around media investments.

As brand marketers like P&G move more into performance-based models, Philips also voiced concerns about viewability and combating fraudulent ad impressions in the open exchanges.

“It feels a bit strange that we’re paying for agencies and the technologies, and then we have to pay for the audits, too, to [ensure we’re receiving] quality traffic,” Banerjee said.

But Banerjee’s co-panelists defended their constituencies’ efforts to root out fraudulent traffic in programmatic media buys. Rocket Fuel, for instance, is releasing an anti-fraud technology later this month that will make accountable every pixel on every page, according to President Richard Frankel.

“Technology can absolutely figure out where there’s been a bot and where there’s an impression and I think it’s the role of the media agency to talk about ‘trusted’ marketplaces,” argued Ruud Wanck, global COO of GroupM Interaction.  “That’s one of the main areas we’re investing in at this point.”

Although the panelists agreed that programmatic technologies drive efficiencies for organizations that use them, a marketer’s data and partner strategy fuel that decisioning.

“Today, TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab do not differentiate themselves based on how fast their platforms run,” argued Rishad Tobaccowala, chief strategy and innovation partner at VivaKi. “That’s not the point. This whole industry is so fixated on the plumbing that we’ve forgotten the poetry.”

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