“This is a complicated ecosystem”
In this chat, Garza speaks about how it takes more than traditional marketing to level up in the digital game.
Amidst all of the bustle and confusion around programmatic advertising in the industry, we caught up with Oscar Garza, global head of media activation for Essence, GroupM’s data and measurement-driven arm, to understand what marketers in India need to be wary of before stepping up their digital game. “AI does what humans can’t on such a large scale and at a high pace. Primary uses in advertising is determining the impact of media exposure. Essence currently ingests over four terabytes of data a day. That’s the biggest opportunity in advertising. We can use it for adjustment in targeting or to determine the impact on the outcome,” Garza says. Excerpts:
Garza points out that technologically, there’s nothing that’s holding India back from participation in AI/ML in advertising, but then it’s largely a traditional market. “Advertisers spend a lot of money on television and the granular information required for machine learning doesn’t exist for traditional channels.
Garza then opens up about the way marketers need to equip themselves for a better understanding of digital advertising, to deal with ad fraud and to match the ROI game. “Most people we encounter in marketing positions have come out of business schools and have an MBA and that’s fantastic. But for the world of digital marketing, artificial intelligence - machine learning, you also have to understand computer science to some degree, advanced statistical methods for understanding the math, telecommunications, database management, and understanding how the internet works,” he explains.
“For determining the ROI, it’s not sufficient to put a tracking pixel on a website since understanding the interaction with the media that led to a sale is a complex process. It’s important to understand how an impression flows throw multiple systems and back to the advertiser. If one can associate a sale with an impression or the series of impressions that led to it, it creates the opportunity of a statistical analysis. If advertisers don’t understand all of this, they are going to fall victim to fraud,” Garza adds.
What about programmatic in-housing and the mix to building a digital media planning and buying scene in-house?
“Agencies should be selling their service as advice; in our case, it is media buying, which might not be a field of expertise for a brand and it needs some help with it. The brand, before in-housing, has to understand the full range of services that it has to provide for itself. One of the biggest mistakes I have done in the past is firing agencies and going in alone. For now, I would suggest a hybrid relationship between the brand and the agency,” Garza says.
“I had been buying programmatic for nine years. I took the job here to run programmatic and it’s the first job that has ‘programmatic’ in the title. Now, we recognise it, it is popular enough and a significant part of the industry.”