Podcast: Nationwide’s Programmatic Story

Nationwide brought programmatic in-house early in 2018, going all in with Google’s demand-side platform. This week on the podcast, head of programmatic Jamie Byrum tells the inside story of how the decision was made and what he learned along the way.

According to Byrum, the process began with the ANA’s 2017 media transparency report. Leadership hadn’t yet decided to insource programmatic but wanted to learn more about the supply chain. For instance, he says, “We didn’t have a good idea of how much of our programmatic budget was fees versus working media.”

Nationwide worked with Jounce Media to validate the idea, and receiving the green light, moved quickly to put a plan into action. Then it tapped MightyHive to support its team during the transition.

Nationwide held a bake-off with DSPs, choosing DV360 for its close integration with Google Analytics and exclusive access to YouTube supply. There was also an appealing integration with Google Campaign Manager, lightening the load on Byrum’s staff of four.

“The Campaign Manager integration really minimizes the amount of time your team needs to tag and traffic new campaigns,” he says. “That’s been a huge time savings for us, so my team can spend more time on strategy, planning and optimization, less on operations.”

Nationwide’s programmatic investment continues to grow; the company will spend an estimated $20 million programmatically in 2019. The company fully outsourced 10 campaigns in 2017, then doubled that number to 25 in 2018, the year it brought programmatic in house. Now fully autonomous, this year it will do 50 campaigns.

“So I think we’re going to try to hire more people,” Byrum says.

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