For those of you who are unlikely to be unaware of it – the world celebrated Valentines Day this week. Balloons and flowers filled the store windows, couriers zipped through the streets with colorful baskets of surprises and there was a certain warmth in the air – even on a freezing New York City morning. Universally, it is the day to express your love and gratitude to the person or people in your life that matter. What makes this day all the more special is that there is only limited time we physically have to share – whether it is over a lifetime, a year or a 50-hour working week. That is why we have a whole day dedicated to reminding us to do it.
Professionally too, we need this reminder. There is a lot of noise in the ad tech industry about automation. Millions of trades take place daily without a single person talking to another person. Real time decisions are made by increasingly sophisticated technology with minimal errors and maximum efficiencies. Trading desks and self-service platforms have removed the need for human interaction. Or have they?
Advertising agencies and publishers can hardly be blamed for this shift towards technology-based decision making, given the sheer number of players in the digital space. The array of information they receive on a daily basis from multiple vendors is quite simply overwhelming. There are many look-alikes in our industry making it difficult to navigate the murky waters of whose pitch is worth the investment of that precious resource known as time.
So what differentiates all of these players? The same thing that always has. Relationships! In Digiday’s Confessions of a Young Media Planner they admit ‘A lot of it is about the relationships, and it’s often about the person not the company. We have vendors that we’ll keep going back to because we know them… After doing this job for a few years, you build relationships with the people rather than the vendors. It’s all the same reps; they just move around. If I know a rep at a network and they go somewhere else, I still trust that person to look after me.”
Relationships win. It is the individuals that make the difference. So be that individual or make sure that you hire that individual. Quality people create quality outcomes and their value cannot be underestimated. Never forget the personal touch or take your eye off the prize that is the relationship. At the risk of sounding sentimental, then again, is there a better month than February to do it? In the end, it’s the people that matter – spread the love.
Susie Moore, Sales Director for Adap.tv