By bsr - February 22nd, 2015

We're continuing our "Programmatic Pros" interview series this week with Rick Welch, the Programmatic Lead at Condé Nast.  Check out what he has to say about their approach to programmatic, the future of the technology, and how to make sure you're succeeding today.  

Conde_Nast_logoIncite: Why should companies be interested in programmatic? Why should they be investing in programmatic?

Rick Welch: Embracing programmatic provides the opportunity to reduce the tedious/inefficient aspects of the media buying/selling process.

Additionally, for buyers, an effective programmatic strategy allows for both more control & transparency (you can now see what you’re paying for).

What is your current approach to programmatic advertising? Do you manage your buying and planning in-house, or do you work with a partner?

Conde Nast makes (most of) our inventory available for programmatic executions. We leave it up to the client to determine which style of buying works best for them, but act as consultants whenever needed.

CN leverages a number of programmatic platforms as partners – we engage programmatically on a client-by-client basis and do not allow open deals which could result in arbitrage.

How has that approach changed in the past year to 18 months, and how do you see it evolving in the next year?

Our approach to the ad:tech/programmatic space has changed little in the past two years. We engage with tech partners on a need basis, and try to listen to our clients’ as much as possible to determine if we should alter our strategy.

Where does programmatic fit into your overall engagement strategy? Do you have a team dedicated to it, or is it something that touches all your teams?

Rick Welch, Programmatic Lead, Condé Nast Rick Welch, Programmatic Lead, Condé Nast

We have evolved from an organizational standpoint. Previously, we had a separate programmatic-focused team. Now, we have integrated these individuals within the greater sales and operations teams.
Do you see potential in programmatic that you haven’t tapped yet? Why haven’t you tapped it?

We see opportunities both in automated guaranteed and in audience-based (auction) buying. The delay in both categories is the adoption on the buy-side as well as the evolution of the technology.

If you could offer one piece of advice to a programmatic newcomer, what would it be?

This is far from an exact science – there are virtually no proven ‘best practices’.

Do not be afraid to test – and fail – and test again.
Leverage your network of peers to speed up your learning.

Imagine you’re able to predict the future. What will the new Programmatic be? What will take its place in the minds of advertisers?

1 - Connected (& programmatic) television (aka the merging of all video)
2 - More accurate attribution options across all mediums.

Hear more from Rick at the upcoming Programmatic Summit, taking place May 4th and 5th in New York.  Check out our event brochure for the the full line-up of speakers and comprehensive agenda. 

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