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RN’B LAB NEWSLETTER #5 - RESEARCH TEAMS

03 décembre 2017
Advertising and the « rise of the machines »

The advertising industry is undergoing a profound mutation, probably the most important one since the advent of the Internet, and the advent of digital advertising. Vincent Balusseau, Associate Professor at Audencia Business School, and Jean Allary, Partner at French digital agency Artefact, co-edited a book whose objective is to help students and practitioners make sense of this revolution.

The advertising industry, dubbed « Adland », is undergoing a profound mutation, probably the most important one since the advent of the Internet, and the advent of digital advertising.

Thanks to « advertising technologies », large parts of media-buying, campaign management and even creative processes are now assisted by, even sometimes managed by, specialized softwares and algorithms. Once a fairly manual process that involved face to face negotiations at the publisher or ad network level - and a good amount of inefficiencies -, media-buying is increasingly handled by machines. The majority of display advertising (the banner or video ads you see on desktops or on mobiles) is now bought « programmatically », through the use of software, on the demand side, that bid, in real-time, on available ad inventory, either on open or private advertizing marketplaces.

Beyond automation and its associated benefits, programmatic advertising offers another key promise: programmatically-delivered ads are supposed to cater to the needs and profiles of individual consumers, thanks to the vast amounts of data collected on every one of them, as they browse the Internet or their favorite social networks. An automobile manufacturer can now target potential SUV intenders, in a certain age bracket, living in large cities, at particular times of the day, and show them interactive banner ads featuring its latest model at whatever sites or apps they are on. Better yet, the same manufacturer can follow the same consumers on every site visited, and show them a sequence of ads to fuel their interest - even as they switch devices. Real-time campaign performance data allows for ongoing optimization, and the appropriate tweaks in targeted audience, levels of bids, or creatives. Some ad tech solutions claim proprietary machine-learning algorithms that help advertizers truly optimize bids in real-time, by factoring in thousands of variables. Madmen are being replaced by « Mathmen », as AI takes over.

At the same time, however, multiple issues compounded by automation tarnish the picture: rampant ad-fraud, lack of transparency by key players in the media-supply chain, ad viewability and brand safety concerns, plague an ad tech ecosystem still largely in flux. Programmatic is a wide-ranging transition for the industry, but it is not going smoothly.

Vincent Balusseau, Associate Professor at Audencia Business School, and Jean Allary, Partner at French digital agency Artefact, co-edited a book whose objective is to help students and practitioners make sense of this revolution. A best-in-class team of experts, working in consultancies, at the biggest media agencies or on the client-side (from Axa to Samsung), explain the basics in very accessible terms, and deliver more advanced best practices on how to manage programmatic campaigns while making the most of the  different components of the ad tech stack. Other Audencia faculty are also involved. Caroline Lancelot-Miltgen, Professor at Audencia Business School and an expert on data privacy, adresses consumer reactions to personalized advertising, in a changing regulatory context (GDPR and e-Privacy). Koen de Bock, Associate Professor at Audencia Business School and data analytics expert, alongside Laurent Flores (Paris-2), offers an in depth introduction to data sciences techniques applied to digital advertising.

Allary, A. & Balusseau, V. (Eds) La publicité à l’heure de la data : l’ad tech et le programmatique expliqués par des experts , Dunod,  2018


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