Advertisers’ demands for more transparency and lower tech fees has given rise to self-service ad buying. Ken Tran, director of performance media at Ubisoft, spoke with eMarketer’s Ross Benes about how the video game company grew its programmatic operation and took more control over the way it purchases ad inventory.
Has your programmatic operation grown in recent years?
Yes, it has. We had two people on programmatic in 2016. Now we have about 18. It's considerable growth, considering how short the amount of time it has been.
How has your approach to programmatic ad buying changed as you’ve grown your team?
We essentially buy through demand-side platforms’ [DSPs] self-service capabilities. In-housing the tech stack involves moving away from a managed model to a self-service model.
Is reducing tech fees the main incentive to moving to self-service buying?
That’s part of it. It’s the ability to be more efficient and cost effective. But another key component is to enhance collaboration between [different company departments], especially between the marketing team and the media team.
Do you still work with an ad agency to buy inventory?
In some digital buys, we do rely on our agency partners. With endemic and direct buys that we are not able to self-service, we do work with an agency partner and leverage the buying power that they have.