An eye on the fu­ture

Tech com­pa­nies that stand still get left be­hind. And while KPEX only kicked off late last year, chief ex­ec­u­tive Dun­can Arthur is al­ready look­ing into how the of­fer­ing can evolve.

New Zealand Marketing - - In Association With Kpex -

KPEX’S Dun­can Arthur speaks quickly, his voice seem­ingly hur­ry­ing onto the next topic, some­times even be­fore be­ing prompted by a ques­tion. There’s a sense that he’s con­stantly look­ing at what KPEX could be­come as the pro­gram­matic in­dus­try ma­tures. “The next ob­vi­ous move is for KPEX to build data-en­hanced so­lu­tions,” says Arthur. “Buy­ers want to know they’re hit­ting the right au­di­ence at the right time with the right mes­sage. And by lever­ag­ing data from our pub­lish­ers, and po­ten­tially be­yond, we will be able to of­fer very pre­cise tar­get­ing. Watch this space, we have some­thing in the works al­ready and we ex­pect to be­gin tri­als over the next cou­ple of months.”

He says KPEX is al­ready plan­ning to in­tro­duce new func­tion­al­ity that will en­able any busi­ness—re­gard­less of its size—to pur­chase in­ven­tory via the ex­change.

“I think ac­ces­si­bil­ity is im­por­tant. We want as much liq­uid­ity in the mar­ket as pos­si­ble, so the more the mer­rier. Right now you’ve got all the ma­jor agency groups geared up to rep­re­sent the big brands—and that’s great, be­cause they can switch on and start trad­ing straight away—but pro­gram­matic is a great lev­eller and se­cur­ing pre­mium in­ven­tory is no longer just the pre­serve of the big­gest me­dia buy­ers in town. I mean you have a re­ally buoy­ant SME mar­ket in New Zealand—and e-com­merce com­pa­nies too—who are used to just rolling up their sleeves and do­ing things for them­selves. We want to en­cour­age that. We want to be as easy to buy as pos­si­ble. You don’t need mil­lion dol­lar ad bud­gets to work with us.”

This democrati­sa­tion of ad buy­ing has al­ready been adopted by the likes of Google and Face­book, which al­low busi­nesses of any size to tar­get po­ten­tial cus­tomers with com­mer­cial mes­sag­ing.

“Google has done an amaz­ing job over the years of set­ting up tools to do their key­word buy­ing,” says Arthur. “It’s ge­nius, and we want to make it the same at KPEX. So you come in, cre­ate your ad and trade with us.”

The Ru­bi­con tech­nol­ogy be­hind KPEX is al­ready ca­pa­ble of fa­cil­i­tat­ing this, and Arthur says this ser­vice has al­ready been tested in the in­ter­na­tional mar­kets and that it’s only a mat­ter of time be­fore it be­comes avail­able lo­cally.

“As soon as we’re com­fort­able it’s ro­bust, we will switch it on,” he says. “We’re al­ready speak­ing to some re­ally in­ter­est­ing po­ten­tial buy­ers in this space.”

On the topic of in­ven­tory, Arthur looks a lit­tle fur­ther down the line and says he fore­sees KPEX be­ing used to sell more than web in­ven­tory.

“It’s a bit mind-bog­gling, but you start to think about dig­i­tal out-of-home, TV and even be­yond.”

And this isn’t even much of stretch. The rapid growth of pro­gram­matic has al­ready seen com­pa­nies like Tubemogul ex­tend their ser­vices into the Aus­tralian out­door mar­ket, and there’s no rea­son why KPEX couldn’t do the same on this side of the ditch.

Also, TVNZ sales di­rec­tor Jeremy O’brien, one of the KPEX found­ing part­ners, is a pro­po­nent of chang­ing the way TV is sold.

“I don’t know if TV will go pro­gram­matic, but I think the way we trade TV should look a whole lot more like on­line is cur­rently,” O’brien told NZ Mar­ket­ing last Septem­ber. “Cost per thou­sand im­pres­sions is a big op­por­tu­nity for us, be­cause what it means is that we can have a re­ally trans­par­ent con­ver­sa­tion around the rel­a­tive cost ef­fec­tive­ness of tele­vi­sion when com­pared to other me­dia. At the mo­ment, that gets di­luted, be­cause peo­ple have to work out how to com­pare their cost per tar­get au­di­ence to cost per thou­sand im­pres­sions. And it just makes it murky and hard to make com­par­isons.”

And with tra­di­tional chan­nels in­creas­ingly com­pet­ing in the on­line space, the de­mand for ac­cu­rate mea­sure­ment and ef­fi­cient sell­ing of ads grows ev­ery quar­ter, cre­at­ing a big op­por­tu­nity for a lo­cal ex­change like KPEX, which could, po­ten­tially, serve as a sin­gle pot for in­ven­tory across vir­tu­ally all avail­able chan­nels.

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