Credit to Keri-Lynn Wilson - IMG Artist wilson conducting

The Golden Triangle

Some time ago I wrote an article on the paradox around Performance OR Branding and how we get stuck in patterns based on thoughts that sort of fit into an organized scheme that makes us feel that we are in control.

The error of thinking, this OR that rather than this AND that.

I would like to explore further on certain, lets call it “bad habits” around unhealthy practices in Digital Media and ask why there is friction around important and relevant players in the Digital Media landscape rather than EMPOWER the best of the best.

I like to call this EMPOWERED space the “Golden Triangle”. Historically a term used when referred to the three border countries; Burma, Laos, and Thailand trading on Opium. Want to make it clear to the reader that Opium might be a crop that has an exponential growth when trading but is a product that is considered illegal.

I will replace the actors in the triangle with three important players in the digital media space that are:

- Advertisers
- Technology companies
- Agencies

The exponential asset in this “golden triangle” (in the southeast asia case its opium), I consider to be 1st party DATA and the principal cause of not yet finding the harmony of a coexistence between Advertisers, Technology companies and Agencies, is to me based on the issue around the ownership of this DATA.

The more relevant and “pure” the 1st party DATA is, the more we get out of it. If we break it down and do not work correctly on DATA then things will not get exponential.

I have in previous articles explained the importance on 1st party DATA and the power that it possess:

Marketing as we all know is key to any company’s success and an important element around marketing is how the product is PROMOTED (4 Ps; Product, Price, Place, Promotion).

In 1996 when I started to sell digital advertising spaces in an important search engine called Olé (later rebranded to Terra/Telefonica), digital promotions represented somewhat a 0,00 something % of the markets total media spending. Today it represent the majority (has outgrown TV!) and the programmatic space in Europe has grown to about 30% whereas all predictions says that Digital Media will be handled almost entirely on a programmatic basis. Imagine what a change and how important this will be for the Advertiser! (Advertiser, if you day dream reading my post, please WAKE UP and be conscious!!!)

Adform, one of the pioneer technological companies in Digital Advertising Serving has been one of the early promoters in addressing the importance to the Advertisers in being in control and taking ownership of their 1st party DATA.

If Advertisers owns their data, control Technology and get transparency in pricings when buying digital media there will be a healthy coexistence in the “Golden Triangle”. In fact it will create a situation where the relations will generate amazing results.

Agencies have traditionally been the experts in understanding the Brands and their needs to give the best adequate message to the market. Lets them work on the promotional part. They need to be the analysts to offer the advertisers great conclusions based on the campaign results and take things further. Also the agencies need to focus on creativity. The Digital Advertising space has never been more creative and programmatic media buying will only make things more efficient.

Technology is necessary to serve digital Ads. Its not easy to create a perfect technology solution to serve RichMedia, Video Ads, html5 or to offer advertisers the right tools to analyze the best attribution module to figure out the real value of different digital media channels. It’s also not easy to set up a Demand Side Platform to make sure that the right bid is placed on an ad. Programmatic Media requiere an advanced technology partner. 

NOTE : Will be a bit controversial but I will say it. Giant Technology/Media company has no interest to let the advertiser control its 1st party DATA. They want to take ownership of it so they can make more revenues for themselves.

The advertisers should get involved. They have worked on BI for ages and they know by heart their product. They should be the one that make sure that any Data Management platform is perfectly managed. At the end of the day if the DMP is well set up DATA will be stored, organized and made useful for the perfect targeting options when purchasing through a DSP. Media buying will turn into a perfect synchronized orchestra where the advertiser is the conductor.

The problem is when a perfect balance based on natural habits and talents gets disrupted. NOW, It’s the perfect time to empower these natural habits and talents in order to make the sum of the “Golden Triangle”; Advertisers AND Technology AND Agencies more efficient than ever. They key is on DATA ownership and the most natural thing is that it must belong to the Advertiser.

For more information on programmatic media and specific questions concerning need for any advertiser, agency or technology company please contact me at, or follow me : @folQ_DigitalAds



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