Masters of Media Interview- Zac Selby- Dentsu

03/01 By IAS Team

In this exclusive “Masters of Media” series, Integral Ad Science (IAS) speaks to the Movers and Shakers of the Australia and New Zealand advertising industry, on all matters digital.

Zac Selby is the Programmatic Solutions Director at Dentsu. With experience ranging from Partnership/Affiliate Marketing to Programmatic, Zac is a digital expert with a deep understanding of the digital industry in ANZ.

Integral Ad Science (IAS): Please tell us about your digital advertising journey and your current role

Zac: The bulk of my career to date has been spent within the Partnerships/Affiliate Marketing space and more recently, I’ve circled back to the Programmatic side. I thoroughly enjoy working across both these products, as they both utilise an array of publisher capabilities underpinned by a technology platform to deliver a custom solution outside of the walled gardens.

My current role looks at the creation & expansion of solutions within Dentsu, including the Programmatic, Outcome Based Buying & Data and Technology product pillars.

IAS: How is the advertising landscape in ANZ evolving?

Zac: With the effects of COVID, ANZ experienced a large digital shift in 2020, both in terms of consumption and marketing investment. Advertisers will likely to continue to invest more heavily in digital mediums due to recognising the power of defined audience targeting, the flexibility to adapt investment levels and the overall efficiency that digital channels provide. 

IAS: Programmatic started out focused on selling cheap, remnant inventory. How has this perception changed today?

Zac: That perception is quickly evaporating as viewability and engagement metrics are put at the forefront, helping advertisers gain confidence that their message has been served in a quality and viewable environment.

More so, the traditional formats that advertisers already recognise as powerful, such as TV, Audio & OOH, can now be purchased programmatically – helping to shatter the illusion that a programmatic is just a lowbrow banner buy.

Overall, I believe we’ll see a complete 180 shift in this perception; as more premium inventory is programmatically available than ever before and digital media investments are held highly accountable in line with the aforementioned metrics.

IAS: What are the most common targeting strategies that programmatic buyers use to reach their audience, efficiently?

Zac: Tactics differ largely based on the campaigns objectives and an advertisers digital maturity. Despite this, an ideal path is generally to construct a custom audience namely based on 1st party, CRM, intent, contextual and location based data sets. Then by taking this custom audience and overlaying it on premium, contextually relevant inventory; advertisers can serve the right message, to the right person at the right time, in a brand safe, quality environment. 

IAS: What are some of the best practices when it comes to deploying programmatic campaigns?

Zac: Before anything else, time and preparation are the keys to success here – so plan your work and work your plan.

IAS: How important is operational efficiency to your clients? 

Zac: Highly important; operational efficiency leads to more time, more time leads to more optimisations, more optimisations leads to stronger outcomes and stronger outcomes lead to an increase on their bottom line. 

IAS: Programmatic will help scale CTV and DOOH, any comments on that?

Zac: I completely agree – the reason why is that the core benefits of CTV and DOOH are intrinsically linked with Programmatic buying – and therefore it will scale as:

  • Programmatic provides platforms to access and trade this inventory in a timely, cost efficient and targeted manner.
  • Wastage will be heavily reduced with wise audience targeting led solutions.
  • Direct investments will be enhanced with the ability to deliver on incremental reach strategies and by applying captured learnings from the programmatic buy.
  • The flexibility to pivot spend while a campaign is live, due either to unforeseen events or enhancing the performance of investments in real time.

IAS: What are the key programmatic trends for 2021?

Zac:  Key programmatic trends for 2021 will include:

  • Cookie-less led solutions.
  • Supply path visibility.
  • Programmatic audio expansion, namely podcasting.
  • Personalisation at scale via sequential messaging and dynamic creative solutions.
  • Data compliance and management.
  • Harnessing the growth of CTV and OTT devices.
  • Embracing the emergence of gaming and VR.

IAS: What’s your favourite book/podcast/movie and why?

Zac: Book: Man’s Search For Meaning – A compelling story from WWII that speaks to inner freedom. 

Podcast: Bad Friends – a great way to switch off and have a laugh.

Movie: Gladiator – do I need a reason?

IAS: What is your advice to the fresh talent in the industry?

Zac: Don’t compare yourself to others, compare yourself to who you were yesterday and strive for continuous incremental improvements.