Hearst CRO Welker Eyes ‘Paradigm Shift’ For Publishers In Programmatic

Kristine Welker, CRO, Hearst Digital MediaIn 2012 major publishers’ wariness of programmatic advertising began to thaw. As part of our 2013 predictions series, we  asked Kristine Welker, Hearst Digital Media’s Chief Revenue Officer, what she expects from coming next year. In essence, she sees the promise of brand dollars emerging more visibly as publishers help push the boundaries of exchange-based buying and the uses of data.

This past summer, Hearst Digital rolled out its first private exchange in collaboration with PubMatic. It was one of several signs that major, traditional publishers’ may be relenting in their aversion to programmatic buying, as they seek to balance the sometimes competing forces of direct sales and exchanges.

In an interview with AdExchanger at the time, Welker, discussed the strategy behind the Hearst Audience Exchange. It would focus on brand advertising to a greater extent, with unsold inventory to a lesser extent. With that balance in place, Welker said that Hearst Digital would not only prevent the feared cannibalization of its guaranteed sales, but it would look to do better than mere incremental revenue gains.

The experience has informed her thinking about what’s to come next year for publishers and programmatic in general.

“In the past, programmatic buying was mainly about automation and efficiency,” Welker tells AdExchanger. “In 2013, programmatic will represent more than just efficiency but the opportunity for data to enhance the value of audiences, becoming a very powerful tool for marketers and publishers. The new paradigm will harness audience data to make purchasing decisions more dynamic, informed and scalable across any network.”

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