​Over the past 12 months there has been a crazy increase in the demand for programmatic specialists across all the advertising agencies we recruit into. Both large global agencies and smaller independent agencies alike are developing offerings in this area … and this is only the start.

This gives a real opportunity for people with skills in this area to join a recognised company and be part of an exciting future. Also career wise, it’s a great step to take…

But what can an agency really offer? And why would you make a move into programmatic into an agency?

We interviewed one of GroupM’s most recent recruits who moved from a smaller ad network over to GroupM to get an insight into what it’s all about.

Could you give an overview of what your role at GroupM entails. What do you do?

I work in a brand new team in the programmatic environment. We provide our expertise in digital advertising to clients wanting to run their campaigns across the online world. My role is to work in collaboration with our Agency partners in order to set up, manage and optimise these campaigns so as our clients get the best ROI and achieve their KPI goals in a transparent model.

What first interested you about working in programmatic?

Programmatic to me was the solution many in the industry were looking for. It moves away from the manual process of IOs and direct buys. It actually provides more relevant and efficient campaign delivery, performance and optimisation due to the ease of set up and targeting. It also requires a lot of human expertise to optimise across portfolios of supply and demand, and GroupM provides an exciting and cutting edge environment for me to provide value and develop my skills in this area.

What is the best/most interesting thing about working in programmatic?

The main attraction of working in the programmatic space is the ability to do things in real time. For example, making decisions on ad slots at that moment in time depending on certain targeting requirements you may have such as if the user has seen the ad before or even if they've shown previous interest in the product. The shift we are seeing in the industry towards programmatic as well as seeing it's exponential growth just makes working in this space all the more exciting.

What is the most challenging thing?

Programmatic is still quite young and so has a few challenges. The most exciting challenge is educating both Agencies and Advertisers about the benefits of Programmatic, and enabling them to be able to talk confidently about the benefits, as well as the challenges in a positive way. Both transparency and fraudulent issues are apparent across most types of media buying within digital advertising – another challenge is that programmatic acts as a spotlight on these issues due to the nature of analysing each impression during the decision process; which makes potential adopters of programmatic quite wary. As an industry we are doing a lot to intelligently deal with this and I think the advance in technology within this space will soon provide brands the capability to minimise the impression wastage that occurs.

What attracted to you to GroupM and what do you like most about working for them?

I believe GroupM is the biggest player in the advertising industry so to have the chance to be a part of the team, see how they work and gain invaluable experience is an honour. They're miles ahead of the game and what I like most about them is the detailed planning and processes that are put in place to ensure tasks are done at the highest level. They know what they want to achieve and have clear goals which makes our jobs as employees easier.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get into programmatic?

For someone looking to get into programmatic, they'll need to learn how it all works. Getting to understand what can be targeted and how this can be done is key to developing in this space. I would suggest reading articles about it's ongoing growth and get really familiar with it.