Read any of the latest industry headlines and one thing is clear: programmatic is here to stay.
Conversations about programmatic have shifted from whether or not it will fit into sales channels, to how buyers and sellers are effectively adopting it to maximize the value of their media investments. We are seeing more and more publishers laying the groundwork for success in programmatic, and early adopters seeing impressive gains from their efforts.
USA TODAY Sports started down the programmatic path in 2013, with video being a key part of the growth they have seen since then. We caught up with Chris Pirrone, GM of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties, to get his perspective on programmatic and advice for publishers who may still be experimenting or on the sidelines of the programmatic revolution.
Adap.tv: USA TODAY Sports made investments into programmatic last year. Can you explain the reasoning behind that?
Chris Pirrone: Given our fast-paced growth (40% year-over-year growth in cross-platform unique users and 120% growth in mobile users) and our audience size (41 million unique users a month, according to comScore), we wanted to invest in processes that helped automate some of the administrative work when partnering with brands and agencies. If we could leverage programmatic to increase efficiencies and reduce the workflow burden, plus allow brands to better capitalize on their knowledge and data, that alone was a win.
But, we also hope that programmatic creates time savings that we can invest in the strategic parts of our relationships; understanding our advertising partner’s objectives and key performance indicators, and figuring out how our sports assets could help these brands better accomplish their marketing goals.
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