Kareem Ameen, Associate Director of Programmatic Strategy at Cadreon

Ask The Experts: Buyers

September 5, 2018

Advertisers’ appetites for video advertising is growing rapidly as they look for more opportunities to engage with audiences through sight, sound and motion. Brands and agencies play an important role in this industry as they invest in video advertising through programmatic channels. eMarketer predicts that 77% of all U.S. digital video ad dollars will be transacted programmatically by next year. We sat down with Kareem Ameen, Associate Director of Programmatic Strategy at Cadreon, to talk about his team’s approach to effectively leveraging premium video for their client campaigns and how programmatic factors into the equation.

How does video factor into your buying strategy?

We always start with video as an upper-funnel tactic to cast a really wide net in terms of audience. Video has two key benefits. One clear benefit is that we can spread awareness and branding for our clients. The other is that we can collect data in terms of which users completed a video or clicked to perform an action so we can navigate them down the marketing funnel. Based on the various reactions from the audience, we can layer in CRM segments and analyze which demographics responded well to the messaging or creative then move to retargeting on display which is more cost effective in terms of cost per conversion. Video allows us to see which audiences are worth pursuing and targeting, setting the path for the rest of the campaign.

What excites you about advertising on connected TV?

Advertising on connected TV is really interesting because there is a lot of unexplored territory and with that comes opportunities that weren’t available on desktop or linear TV. The ability to optimize CRM data in real time based on data segments like IP addresses rather than cookies is going to be really powerful. We’re moving towards a level of granularity of viewing that we haven’t had before like determining if someone watched ESPN on Apple TV versus ESPN on PlayStation. I’m confident that the industry will be able to figure out really accurate targeting and measurement in the near term and we’ll be able to add CTV to device graphs when we’re looking at cross-device tracking.

How do you work with your ad tech partners to build a programmatic approach that works for you?

We work with all kinds of technology partners from DSPs to DMPs to SSPs and we’re always agnostic to the contenders in each category. It’s our job to recommend the best vendor for an individual client based on the KPIs they’re trying to reach. We know the strengths and drawbacks for each vendor. We look for supply-side partners that are transparent, fraud-free, and who have a good reputation. At the end of the day, we work with best-in-class tech partners who align with what our clients need. Working with an agency gives you more flexibility to be selective with your technology vendors. If a brand isn’t working with an agency, they might not have the resources in-house to understand the landscape of technology options available and have to run direct with a select few partners.

What is one misconception about advertising agencies do you want to dispel?

On the programmatic side specifically, there’s a constant feeling from clients that they’re being overcharged by their agencies. The worry is caused by a handful of bad actors who have been caught charging insane fees so we are as transparent as possible when it comes to showing clients where their money is going. At Cadreon, we break out every fee and margin for every client – what went to data, what went to media, etc. But clients are concerned when they see a long list of fees because they’re used to seeing bundled fees from their partners. As transparency becomes the norm and marketers become accustomed to seeing how campaign budgets are allocated, I think this worry will dissipate.

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