Display Ads with Hélène Parker (Chief Programmatic Sensei) | EP172 PPCChat Roundup Podcast

Updated: Apr 26

The topic that we're talking about, is display advertising. It's led by Julie Bacchini.


And for the first time ever in this podcast's history, I have a special guest with me today. We've got the lovely Hélène Parker, who's the host of the Programmatic Digest. As you can tell, she's a programmatic genius and she's one of those amazing, lovely, Twitter friends that I've made and now we've connected and it's like, yeah, the sky's the limit.

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Hélène: Thank you so much for having me. I'm super excited to be here today. I am Hélène Parker, I am the host of the Programmatic Digest podcast, and I am also the founder and chief programmatic sensei of Hélène Parker consulting, which is simply a consulting firm that I started a couple of years ago, where I offer customizable training for digital marketers, digital agencies and brands in programmatic media.


So basically, I work with agencies that are trying to start offering programmatic media as a service and I work and customize the training for them based on their skill set, current skill set and their team's dynamic. And so I've worked in the programmatic industry for about close to eight to 10 years I don't know, give or take. And I started as a buyer, which is also known as a trader and then moved on to being a planner and then senior strategist. And then of course, in a leading position where I was a director running the programmatic department for this agency that I was working for leading a team of five plus a few analysts, and then realized, like I said, a couple of years ago that I just wanted to do what in my heart makes me happy.


What makes my heart happy is training development, educating as much as possible, sharing knowledge and highlighting diversity on the way, which is how the programmatic digest podcast was actually born. Just highlighting industry trends in the program well, and in the digital paid media realm.


So it's that easy? It's interview-based we cover one topic of the industry and we just explain & share our views as professionals and experts.


Me: So let's get into what we're going to talk about. If you're not aware there was an update that happened, not too long ago.


And the headline of the article goes - Display Campaigns Made Easy. Now I pull a little bit of a string on that title because when Google uses a word like smart, you know, I've never felt smart before. So I don't know what they mean by easy.


Skimming the article I think it's to do with choosing what automation that you want to use on your display campaigns if I read that correctly. So I've not really ever been a fan of, to be honest, GDN or Display campaigns. I see you shaking your head. Yeah. Likewise?


Hélène: I think one of the questions is, is about my thoughts on Google display advertising in general. So I'm happy to address it now.


The reality is that, Google's updates are not short of surprises and that it's not really a good surprise, you know? When somebody surprises you and you haven't seen them in a long time, you're super excited and you want to hug them. Both surprises are the opposite. It's not, it's not welcome at all.


Now I have to play devil's advocate too. When it comes to GDN with the fact that there are trying to equip the brand, the one men brand the smaller to medium-sized brands and marketer in a way that they could automate some of this buying. That's where we're going to talk about GDN and optimization.


I mean, the automatic optimization that they're having available to us. So I understand why they are trying to offer that option, that auto-optimization option as somebody that's worked in GDN and work on programmatic platforms, I do not recommend some of those updates. That's very interesting because it's just very, "I'm not sure how".


Politely and diplomatically say, it just doesn't always work the way you want it to work. And, now I'm getting deep into details, but Google is an ad network. And the positive thing about ad networks is the fact that inventory is maybe more cost-efficient. The downfall is the fact that inventory costs iares too efficient to be good.


What are you paying for? Some of those CPMs are as low as 30, 20 15 cents. It's very interesting. So an ad network defined from the programmatic blends is basically a middleman between a network of the main and then the brand versus working for an ad exchange would be, some like, the ad exchange is the tunnel that brings the sell-side and the buy-side together, do GDN data in GDN inventory.


Versus if you're working outside of a Google discipline at work points, since you'll have access to Google display network, and then other exchanges that allow you to be competitive in your buy. So that's like a number one reason why as programmatic folks we don't recognize GDN as a programmatic tactic, or we don't always recommend GDN as a programmatic tactic, but again, I've worked with clients and I've worked with brands that could not afford to invest in the programmatic technology that we have access to.


And they're comfortable in GDN. And again, Google makes it very efficient in terms of reporting. It's all under one platform, you have to display and search in one platform. You can easily make changes between search hand and you know, display. So I understand why the things still, and also understand why Google is making all of those optimization updates for that market or for that brand that just can not afford you and me, or just don't have the time and the energy to dig into that skillset.


Cause it's a lot, it's a lot.


Listen to this podcast episode on Display ads and Updates:

We then go into answering Julie's questions and what we covered are:


Q1 Are you currently running any display campaigns on Google Ads? If so, which kind? If not, why not?


Q2 On its surface, it sounds like what we have asked for, well forever - automation available, but options for advanced advertisers... But, I am not sure if that is how it will really be? Optimized targeting seems to be on by default too, which is not awesome.


Q3 These new campaigns will also include “optimized targeting” which is on by default - thoughts?


Q4 What are your thoughts on Google display advertising in general?


Q5 Have brand safety concerns increased, decreased or stayed about the same for you in the past 12 months?


Q6 Are you using other networks for your display advertising if not Google? How do you like them? And why did you choose them?


Q7 What is your biggest challenge or frustration in the display right now?


For any feedback about the podcast, or maybe you want to give a correction about anything that has been shared, get in touch with me on Twitter, my DMs are open on the handle, @themarketinganu, or on LinkedIn.


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