One of Australia’s top media buyers says the automation of television buying has now reached a key watershed and is set to grow rapidly in 2018, driven by the need to reduce volatility and achieve efficiencies in the purchasing process.
Speaking about the rollout of Nine’s automation platform, 9Galaxy, across the group’s agencies, Dentsu Aegis Group Investment Officer, Ashley Earnshaw, noted that Denstu Aegis was seeing real benefits for clients from automation.
“The automation of television in 2018 is going to accelerate,” said Earnshaw. “The benefit of automation for clients is firstly taking volatility out of the process. Clients want to have guaranteed delivery of schedules, know the pricing of those schedules, and also know what kind of audience reach they will achieve.
“We have been through a rigorous testing phase with 9Galaxy to give our clients confidence that the technology is able to deliver for them. There have certainly been benefits in efficiency of buying. Clients are able to get effective schedules that deliver on the quality they expect from television.
More broadly, Earnshaw said the biggest win from using 9Galaxy was the removal of volatility, giving marketers greater certainty over their TV buying by tailoring it to individual marketer needs, based on category or campaign.
“Our experience of 9Galaxy has been very positive,” he said. “We looked at the platform and tested it with a mixture of clients – some who have a very broad targeting and some who needed the technology to deal with several adherences.
“What we found is that 9Galaxy was able to deliver on its promises, particularly around the automation of television, with the delivery of fixed price within given parameters, and both the efficiency and the specific metrics we require for clients."
“We see the benefits of automated platforms like 9Galaxy for media buyers as taking the friction out of the buying process while delivering on efficiency and targeting, thus removing that volatility for our clients.”
Also, from an execution point of view, client confidence comes through, and we see from an invoicing point of view how the invoicing becomes more accurate, which is important. In terms of how media is paid for, that has been a positive experience as well.”
Nine’s Chief Sales Officer, Michael Stephenson, said the importance of efficiency and the removal of volatility for marketers has been a key driver behind the growth and take-up of 9Galaxy.
“The benefit of a fully automated trading system like 9Galaxy is in its design, which removes the volatility that currently exists in the buying and selling of linear television,” he said.
“It will fully automate the buying process between buyer and seller, and at the same time give a 100 per cent guarantee that the ratings you buy from us will be delivered.”
Stephenson said there has been a very strong client reaction since the launch of 9Galaxy at Nine’s Upfronts in October 2017, driven in part by the guaranteed delivery of Nine’s off-peak and multi-channel inventory.
“There are a number of benefits for advertisers,” said Stephenson. “Now when you buy 100 ratings points, we guarantee to deliver you 100 ratings points. There will be no makegoods or shortfalls on that inventory.
“More importantly, when a TV spot is booked it is touched on average around eight times by buyer and seller before the spot is broadcast, as agencies look to optimise their campaign to deliver their ultimate ratings outcome.
“9Galaxy avoids all this. Once the price is set and the number of ratings is agreed to, it is a far more efficient process that gives the advertiser certainty.”
Nine has also committed to integrating 9Galaxy with its data lake in 2018, opening the door to automation of buying across its broadcast video on demand (BVOD) products on 9Now.
Earnshaw believes this innovation is attractive to both agencies and marketers who are increasingly planning cross-platform in their campaigns.
“9Galaxy sets our clients up for a future of intent-based executing of television,” he said.
“We see 9Galaxy as not only providing that automation and execution, but also setting our clients up to be able to transact with intent-based targeting, looking at audiences in a different way, including a future with divergent screen activity as well.
“We are working with clients on the execution of cross-platform strategies and certainly we see the partnership with Nine on 9Galaxy as an integral part of this as it helps to deliver those cross-platform strategies into the future.”
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