Header bidding is working brilliantly for Aller. Lots of buyers choose to buy programmatically, why should they be deprioritised just because of how we’re set up internally?
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Sassy Ferreira Berild is Head of Programmatic at Aller Media. We caught up with Sassy to get her thoughts on programmatic, and what’s next for publishers and advertising across the Nordics.

What is your view on programmatic, as we move towards the end of 2017?

The great promise of programmatic has always been that opportunity of showing the right ads to the right audience at the right time.

In other words, programmatic brings relevance – while also increasing revenue for publishers. At the same time, it should always respect the visitor – which is something that I believe, as we move further into this year, will become more of a standard.

How important are private marketplaces (PMPs) to your programmatic business at Aller?

Very. At present PMPs make up the majority of our programmatic revenues. And we hope to increase that even more.

Sitting at the top end of the market, we obviously don’t have an unlimited supply of inventory, so the control we retain through PMP trading is key. That is, control around inventory, brand relevance and quality, as well as eCPM of course – all are critical.

What about the ‘open marketplace’, what people often refer to as real-time bidding?

The open exchange still has an important role to play. Though for us it’s not so much a case of needing to sell excess inventory – it’s more of a lead generation tool.

We constantly look at bid reporting on the open market to identify new prospects and potential clients for direct and private marketplace deals. Sometimes that kind of insight gathering shows you advertisers you don’t currently work with – because they’re new in market – or just because there’s an affinity there you weren’t aware of.

Are you active with header bidding? And if so, how well is it working for you?

Header bidding is working brilliantly for Aller. Lots of buyers choose to buy programmatically, why should they be deprioritised just because of how we’re set up internally?

Header bidding puts everyone – regardless of how they chose to buy – on equal footing. It’s the flipside of the earlier relevance point – this time, it’s about selling the right inventory at the right time to the right buyer.

What’s next on the horizon? Where do you see big opportunities for programmatic and advertising in the Nordics?

Data, video and audio are obviously all important – especially instream for video and more outstream sales, plus ad opportunities around podcasting.

For the future, my hope is that programmatic becomes more creative. We’re all agreed that data is the future, but not so much around how it’s used. If we have all this information, why not use it creatively?

I think there’s a lot more we could be doing than just micro-targeting, which for better or worse has become synonymous with programmatic.

For instance, what about personalising the way we speak to a specific audience, instead of just the brand that reaches them?

Doing more around customisation is the order of the day – not just focusing on single KPIs, but multiple. We need to stay as agile as possible – after all, what is up to date today, is out of date tomorrow.