Orange launched the Orange Ad Market in the UK and France in 2010 and after two years of development and establishing client relationships, it is now partnering with real-time advertising technology provider AppNexus [having previously worked with OpenX].
Stephanie Hospital, executive VP of Orange’s Audience & Advertising division, spoke to new media age about what it has learnt since launching the network, the need for further education among advertisers and the possibility of setting up a private exchange.
What have you learnt since launching the Orange Ad Market?
For us it is really important to be well positioned in this market. As an ad service and a media group we really wanted to be able to provide automated advertising services and we strongly believe we have the right partnership to do that now.
How does the exchange fit into Orange’s overall digital strategy?
Programmatic buying is becoming a key part of our digital media strategy… Advertising is a key area of business for Orange. It’s a way of funding and developing our digital services.
How much inventory do you make available through the network?
It is still fairly low. It is a one digit percentage that we make available through automatic bidding…I think this will steadily increase, but I don’t think we will ever be in a 100% automated market. There will always be a balance which will give more value to remnant inventory, while premium content and premium inventory will be sold by the publisher.
How has the exchange evolved since it was launched?
It’s important to see how much it has grown, but I still think we have a lot of education to do with customers. We want the big advertisers in the market to learn more about how to make the most of it.
How have buyer and sellers’ attitudes changed since launching the exchange?
There is still a lot of education to do in the market. The advertising market is becoming more and more complex with the advent of technology and this is why I see the picture of advertising in terms of marketing services. We have to bring to customers value added services and explain to them how to make the most of their advertising spend using that value stream.
Customers are at different stages of education. We have to show them that there is a lot of value in using the advertising exchange but that it is something you have to combine with the rest of your media mix, together with TV, mobile and customer operations. This is one part of a client’s global media communications plan.
Have advertisers’ opinions towards RTB changed?
Not really. It’s still at a very early stage as it has only been around for two or three years. I’m very keen to see what happens with the divide between performance marketing and the ad exchanges, how these will work together, and how all the technology will cope.
How many customers use the Orange Ad Market now?
We still have a limited number of customers on the network but that is because it is still very much in its infancy. [We are expecting it to grow in line with the increase in the size of the market].
What have been the major challenges over the past year?
It has been about understanding the dynamic of the market and educating customers. It’s a little bit more complex, but it is good because it opens up transparency and gives clients the opportunity to be more targeted because there is so much more choice.
Would you ever consider setting up a private ad exchange in order to encourage customers?
We are currently thinking about that, but the plan is not yet fully finalised.