Programmatic Advertising: "Switzerland has great potential".

Campaigns are becoming more efficient, flexible and dynamic. Maximilian Weigel, Managing Director at Yahoo Germany, spoke to about the advantages and future development of programmatic advertising.

(Image: zVg. Yahoo)

Werbewoche m&k: Maximilian Weigel, today we're talking about Yahoo's adtech platform. What can you say about it in principle?

Maximilian Weigel: With almost 900 million users per month, Yahoo is still the third most visited platform on the Internet today. In addition to the Consumer Business, we have also expanded our Adtech Business in recent years - where we offer both our customers and advertisers the opportunity to play out advertising campaigns "inventory-agnostically" via the emerging channels. This means that although we still have our strong consumer brands, we are agnostic in our campaign management on behalf of our customers.


Can you explain that in more detail?

We don't artificially try to push any campaigns onto our inventory, but take a holistic approach and try to ensure the best possible KPIs on behalf of the clients. We are completely agnostic when it comes to inventory and connected to almost all relevant inventory sources in the respective markets. Be it once directly on our supply side platform or by directly integrating our demand side platform on the SSPs that are common globally or locally. It's a very open approach. The linchpin is our omnichannel platform in the middle.


What are the concrete advantages of using your services?

We are able to fully manage our clients' comprehensive media mixes end-to-end. In doing so, customers can implement their advertising design themselves or we can do it completely for them. This means that the customer can set up his campaigns in our DSP and access various exchange platforms. He is independent of the inventory and also free to choose the format. This means that they can run classic display campaigns, video campaigns and native campaigns, or use emerging channels such as audio, connected TV or digital out-of-home. With the advantage that we can offer everything from a single source: Targeting and measurement also take place entirely within our company. So there is no need for external vendors to take additional measurements or validate various targeting criteria.


Which channels are preferred is also relevant to the advertiser's goals. Do you also offer advice on this?

This is one of our biggest advantages compared to our global competitors. We also receive feedback from direct and agency customers that we are very strong in consulting. Of course, if the customer has the know-how and his media marketing mix has already been defined, he can approach this completely autonomously from us in the testing process. But we can also take over the complete campaign handling and recommend to the customer, for example, that he perhaps also test other target groups - or use our platform, which also gives them various audience insights and works with look-alike modeling, among other things. We can draw on the 900 million monthly users I mentioned earlier, so we have a very large and solid data set.


900 million users worldwide ...what about the DACH market or Switzerland?

At Yahoo Germany, we decided several years ago to look at and approach Switzerland completely in isolation - not in the DACH mix. We are active individually in the respective markets below the DACH region. With Netgrowth, we are very well positioned locally in Switzerland. In Switzerland alone, we have 3.5 million active users a year.


But could it be that Switzerland is lagging behind a bit when it comes to programmatic advertising?

Talks with Netgrowth and our customers show me that Switzerland has caught up very quickly here and is actually in no way inferior to the European markets. For example, we are seeing increased interest in DOOH in the Swiss market in particular. Last year, we successfully implemented campaigns in Switzerland because we are also well connected with the local players in the Swiss market and can offer our advertisers a relevant reach there.


How does it actually work on the publisher side? Do they approach you or do you approach the publishers?

That's quite a differentiated approach. On the one hand, of course, we look at it from the perspective of the classic market KPIs, where the big sources of inventory are in the respective areas. In addition, we have our own supply team that manages our inventory of advertising inventory and handles the direct approach. In this way, we ensure that we also have appropriate reach behind the formats in all relevant core markets. One thing we've learned over the last few years is that if something is offered in too small and too fragmented a way, it doesn't scale - especially in emerging channels. That's why it's essential that even the big players are connected locally. As mentioned at the beginning, one option here is for our supply team to talk to the inventory owners - the ad owners in each market - and express interest in their inventory. We offer to make their inventory available on our SSP or connect their own SSP to our DSP.


At what size is the topic of programmatic advertising interesting for customers?

There is no barrier to entry. That's the beauty of programmatic supply and demand: you provide your inventory - either on our exchange, or you're already connected to an exchange and then let us connect our DSP.


How can advertisers who have never been involved with the topic get in touch with you?

My advice for onboarding inventory is to always talk to the supply team first. It's often the case that you put a lot of work and effort into your inventory, which also creates a certain expectation. So the quality requirements should be coordinated with us - or, for example, whether there are customer exclusions. Simply to know where we meet on both sides and what the best possible outcome will be. In Switzerland, it is best to contact our colleagues at Netgrowth. One advantage of our global structure is that we have specialists for each area who then accompany the first steps.


This all sounds very complicated.

In principle, we only talk about digital advertising. One peculiarity of our industry is that many anglicisms and proprietary terms are used. Basically, it's about transporting classic media into the digital world and setting up seamless campaigns there. Step by step, you can move from the old, classic world into the various channels of the new, programmatic world.


How do you see the future development?

The biggest challenges we will face in the coming months and years will be around identity and privacy - what happens to cookies. There will be a lot of movement on third-party data. Various platform operators will start to rebuild their first-party data trove. The following questions will have to be asked in the new world: How much do you need to invest? Do you even need first-party data? In this regard, we at Yahoo already have a very valuable treasure trove with our users. We will continue to do everything in our power to generate data transparently and in agreement with our users, and to deal with it in a trustworthy manner.


How do you see future developments in Switzerland?

We see a lot of potential in Switzerland - double-digit growth. We are aware of the special features of Switzerland and will therefore not try - as other large American companies like to do - to somehow adapt a German go-to-market strategy to the Swiss market. We operate here in a very individualized and localized way.

Maximilian Weigel has been Managing Director Germany at Yahoo since 2019. He began his career in 2012 at the Verizon Group and held various management roles. In previous years, Weigel worked for companies such as Ecircle, PeterPays and Interone Worldwide.

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