Interview with Mikel Lekaroz, expert in Programmatic Advertising and Data Management Platforms
Interview with Mikel Lekaroz
Who is Mikel Lekaroz?
Mikel Lekaroz is the General Director of Oz Digital and CEO of Adbibo, the 360 trading desk. Mikel has over 20 years of experience leading the main online advertising initiatives. As a professional, he is probably one of the most knowledgeable national gurus in RTB, Ad exchange, DPS, SSP and Data Management, DMP and Data Networks technologies, and paid social media.
What are Adbibo and OZ?
Founded in 2014 by Mikel Lekaroz with several other partners, Adbibo has dedicated itself to developing digital marketing technology, offering advertisers and agencies tools to automate and optimize their purchase of advertising on social media, mainly in video format.
Since its incorporation into the Italian group Next14 in 2018, the group’s programmatic purchasing and data solutions have been integrated to offer a 360 solution for purchasing digital advertising that is unique in the market.
OZ is one of the first programmatic solutions for inventory monetization for Premium publishers. Since 2011 he has worked with the leading media in Italy and Spain.
We asked Mikel Lekaroz
According to the latest data available by the IAB, more than 60% of inventory sales for digital advertising occur programmatically. Where is the limit? Do you think future growth will come from increasing that ratio or the increasing market, mainly because of the video?
I believe the process is unstoppable, so programmatic contracting will reach figures close to 100% quickly. A part of the investment will remain negotiated directly for technical reasons. Indeed, advertising investment in the video has increased significantly in recent years, one of the digital advertising growth drivers. Consequently, video is also one of the growth drivers of programmatic investment.
What are the main benefits of having a DMP (Data Management Platform) for a company? Do you think it is something that any company is interested in having, or which ones would be especially recommended?
Through a DMP, companies can access an incomparable source of information about their current and potential users, the latter through the data collected by browsing the web or in any of the company’s properties. This allows you to know your target audience and identify them when they browse the internet or generate twin or similar profiles to expand the size of the audience regardless of whether they have left their data through a form or a part of the data is inferred.
Before undertaking a DMP project, a company must critically consider the size of its audience and whether the data we will obtain is manageable and activable. A business with little traffic or audience should consider using 2nd party data solutions before trying to collect their 1st party data.
What data do you think is most vital to collect and work in the programmatic environment for advertisers?
We work with three types of data: sociodemographic, interest and intentions. Most advertisers are primarily interested in paying for the third party, although they can also take advantage of the first two. The most exciting data may be different depending on the type of product we want to promote and the moment in the conversion funnel.
In many cases, companies in the sector have sent a message that a company can easily activate all the data from its CRM in the programmatic environment. What is accurate, and what is a myth in it?
In principle, CRM data activation is perfectly compatible with the programmatic environment through a DMP. However, keep in mind that most DMPs require specific development to be able to ingest that data.
Digital television is consolidating at a remarkable rate. What opportunities does it offer for programmatic advertising? When do you estimate that we will have one-to-one advertising on our televisions in a general way?
It isn’t easy to guess, and the model of personalized advertising on television is still far away. To begin with, we need all or a large part of the television we consume to be digital; Although migrating consumption from linear television to on-demand television, TV Apps or OTTs is inevitable, it is still slow. Meanwhile, linear TV enjoys an inertia that advertisers continue to appreciate to maintain their investments in this medium.
The approval of the EU ePrivacy directive, also known as the EU cookie directive, threatens to constrain further the landscape left by the GDPR. What is your valuation? Will it mean the end of cookies as the primary digital identifier?
Until we know the privacy terms, we cannot estimate its consequences. I consider that the GDPR has been a good initiative and is contributing to the market’s regulation, guaranteeing user data’s privacy and transparency. For companies that are aware of and responsible for data processing, this regulation has helped them improve management and represents an opportunity.
It seems that the data is at odds with creativity. What role does creativity have in a future of 100% programmatic and data-driven digital advertising? Will Creative Management Platforms multiply or limit the space for advertising ingenuity?
This is one of the most argumentative points about the application of technology in the advertising industry, and, at the same time, it is one of the most interesting. At the moment, creativity is still human, and the creative genius idea is unlikely to be generated by a machine. However, the versions of Bach’s music made by machines using AI are outstanding. However, for some time now, machines have been responsible for magnificent adaptations of creative ideas through content management platforms with the well-known dynamic creative optimization (DCO) tools to different audiences, devices, moments, contexts, etc., providing a significant value to make advertising campaigns more effective and efficient.
DataCentric and Adbibo have collaborated in activating business profiles and B2B in programmatic advertising. What differential value proposition has been provided, and if you have had results from the campaigns?
DataCentric’s ability to compile data and Adbibo’s to activate it has allowed us to launch several highly segmented advertising campaigns that have given encouraging results in terms of KPIs such as engagement and awareness. Our purpose is to establish a closed product focused on the B2B environment, something scarce in the digital marketing industry.
Why do you think B2B Digital Marketing is underdeveloped compared to Consumer Marketing? Is there a trigger that can change this situation?
It is a particular niche in which it is difficult to identify users if not through the IP. The launch of the expected IPv6 may be one of those triggers.
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