When it comes to buying online ads, the rise of programmatic advertising is letting small agencies compete with the big boys like never before.
Once upon a time media buying was all about scale. Agencies aggregated their clients’ dollars and used the resulting spending power to negotiate bulk discounts and preferential treatment from media sellers. It’s a model that persists in “traditional” media like TV and print.
But advertising technology is changing that dynamic when it comes to digital, smaller media buying operations say. Scale itself is no longer a differentiator, and thanks to automated trading and exchanges, virtually any agency can access the same pools of inventory as the biggest media buyers in the world. The playing field has been leveled.
Speaking at the Digiday Exchange Summit in Austin last week, R/GA’s vp of media & connections, Tony Effik, spoke about the issue at length. Known mostly for its creative and technology capabilities, his agency has spotted an opportunity in what he calls “creative” technology-driven media buying.
R/GA has a potential advantage over big media operations, he said, because it can be more nimble and creative in the way it approaches buying on behalf of its clients. In fact, working with smaller budgets actually allows it to be less wasteful than its larger competitors.
“Big agencies waste more media budget than anyone else,” Effik said, adding that smaller media teams are the ones rolling up their sleeves and really getting into the data.
We’ve long know that Netflix is ambitious, striving to make its own original content when it can. But now the company had made its intentions clear: it isn’t just keeping up with the big boy cable networks—it plans to beat them at their own game.
In a long and thoughtful profile of Netflix in GQ, the streaming company’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos speaks out about what the future holds for the firm. He suggests Netflix must be making at least five new shows a year in order to outdo the big boys:
“The goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us.”
With $300 million in his back pocket to spend on original programming—which has already allowed projects like House of Cards, Hemlock Grove, and a new season of Arrested Development to come to fruition—he certainly has the means. All that remains to be proven is the consistency and quality of its programming—and whether or not it can win over enough cable customers. [GQ]
Dollar stores are booming in a struggling economy, and one of the big boys of the industry is doing so well it’s planning another period of explosive growth, reports Gail Hoffer and Drug Store News.
It will open 625 stores and hire around 6,000 employees over the course of 2012. The discount chain already has about 9,800 stores spread across 38 states, and some of the new stores will be in previously unoccupied states California and Massachusetts.
Dollar General has adopted an aggressive growth strategy since the start of the recession. This marks the third straight year it has opened hundreds of new locations, and the chain has created more than 21,000 jobs since 2009.
It’s not all about the economy though. Dollar General had to be smart in its expansion strategy too — after all, Walmart is its biggest competitor, and the world’s largest retailer has had similar success recently.
It thrives on hitting markets that Walmart hasn’t taken over, such as small towns that can’t support one of Walmart’s massive big box stores. It also competes with the other big dollar store chains, like Family Dollar. The hybrid concept — somewhere between a giant discounter and a small dollar store — has worked admirably.
Plus, while dollar store marketing plays a significant role in getting people through its doors, Dollar General is actually also a clear leader in price over both Walmart and its dollar store compatriots.
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Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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