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Country Manager Benelux | Research

Key Takeaways: ‘Lesson Learned In Digital’

This past week, I had the good fortune to join with a diverse mix of industry friends and colleagues in Amsterdam for our jointly-hosted event with ComScore, ‘Lessons Learned In Digital’.

There is no doubt that viewability within programmatic advertising is a hot topic

Key industry leaders, including our CSO Ben Crain, gave excellent presentations and panel discussions which address today’s digital evolving market. The liveliest discussion, as usual, was the panel. Participants included: Martin van den Hout (IAB), Justin Sande (SBS), Gerard Moussault (Cadreon), Bert Jan ten Kate (Massarius) and Enrico Verhulst (comScore).

  • The following are my reflections on that very exciting session.Programmatic introduces an entirely new set of challenges for buyers, sellers, and solution providers when it comes to viewability, verification, and audience analytics. Standards are still emerging.
  • The IAB-prescribed standards are a great start. They will not be perfect for everyone, but it is a great foundation on which to build.
  • One person argued that, in smaller markets such as the Netherlands, single standards may not be imperative given the small number of players and strength of individual relationships. While it is great to “talk it out” when there are discrepancies, that approach does not always scale when working regionally/globally across borders.
  • There continues to be debate about the relevance of viewability for ‘performance’ campaigns vs. so-called ‘branding’ campaigns. That is an understandable objection, however increasingly, performance buys will push brand metrics, brand metrics push performance. Therefore, is a single analytic baseline not critical for scale and growth of digital media?
  • All agree that standards such as these – particularly audience metrics and viewability – are critical as we look to scale spending on video and compete for ‘traditional’ advertising spend otherwise spent on TV.  TV measurement is imperfect at best, and precision in measurement is one of digital media’s strongest value propositions.
  • All agreed – including the audience – that technical integration can be a challenge, but most are ready for that challenge.  More importantly, the question, “but who pays for it?” came up time and again. Ultimately, the cost will be shared with all, but it remains to be seen how that figures into inventory pricing and deal negotiation just yet.

With a packed room of 100+ people, there is no doubt that viewability within programmatic advertising is a hot topic, and this event was the perfect setting for many in the Netherlands to debate its challenges and opportunities as standards progress.


As Country Manager, Angela is responsible for the Benelux market and together with her team she advises her publishers on their online advertising strategy, across all platforms and advertising formats.   Prior to joining Improve Digital, Angela started her career in 2007 serving as both a finance specialist for mergers and acquisitions and corporate restructuring deals at ING Bank. Over the years, she has built additional expertise in strategy and business development focussing on digital advertising and change in the digital media industry. Furthermore, she is an expert in the digital marketing technology landscape and is specialised in Programmatic Advertising, Pricing and Yield Management, Automated Trading.     Angela also serves as an active board member of the IAB taskforce for Programmatic Advertising, with a focus on education.