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Demand for programmatic advertising is not consistent in India, says Google’s Guy Gibbs

LiveMint logoLiveMint 13-09-2017 Saumya Tewari

New Delhi: India is one of the most promising markets for programmatic advertising as an increasing number of ad budgets move towards digital, according to Guy Gibbs, director, Google’s ad serving arm Double Click Asia-Pacific (APAC). The 43-year-old media industry professional was in Gurugram recently to attend the firm’s first programmatic advertising workshop, ‘Think Summit’, for brands, publishers and agencies.

On the sidelines of the event, Gibbs talked about the current state of programmatic advertising in India, early adopters of the technology and the need for raising awareness among publishers and advertisers as demand remains low. Edited excerpts:

Can you simplify programmatic advertising?

Programmatic advertising is an automated process of digital media buying. It helps brands and agencies target consumers at the right time, right place with the right message. I believe Google Search was the first foundation programmatic buying technology. We have been using Ad Words for many years to target consumers. For instance, if somebody is looking for running shoes on Google search, ads from sports companies like Puma or Nike will appear along with the search results. We have brought a lot of technology of search into display when Google bought Double Click in 2007 which made display advertising more effective.

How big is programmatic buying in India compared to global markets?

It is on a learning curve. In the last two years, we have witnessed a good growth trajectory, but there is need for raising awareness. While advertisers and publishers have started leveraging programmatic, the demand is not consistent. Currently, 10-20 % of the display and video advertising budgets go into programmatic, while globally in markets such as the US, the UK and Australia this number stands between 40% and 60%.

What kind of brands in India are leveraging programmatic advertising?

We have seen adoption to programmatic from banking and financial services (BFSI) companies like Max Life Insurance, auto firms like Nissan and Ford, telecom companies and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) majors like Hindustan Unilever and Procter & Gamble.

How many ad agency partners do you currently work with in India?

We work with close to 1,000 agency partners in India, and engage with them across a variety of digital advertising topics. We have a relationship with most of the advertising agencies in India, including big conglomerates like Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN), GroupM and Interpublic Group (IPG). We are trying to find people in each of these agencies who understand technology and are willing to become the ambassadors of change. We are conducting workshops in the country with agencies and publishers to create awareness around the benefits of programmatic advertising.

Where does India stand globally for Google arm Double Click?

In the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, India stands as the second priority market. Globally, it is under the top 10 markets for us.

What is the target of Double Click for the India market?

We are aiming to drive programmatic buying numbers to 60% by 2020 in the country. The objective is to build up Double Click, understand what partner agencies and clients want from the ad tech world and help them leverage search, display, video and performance marketing across devices.

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