Lenovo digital head calls on agencies to step up and educate, not clip the ticket

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 19 June 2017
Danielle Uskovic

Agencies need to be more transparent and deliver on the promise of helping brands grow, says Lenovo Asia Pacific head of digital and social, Danielle Uskovic.

Speaking to AdNews, Uskovic took aim at the agencies saying they “must step up and educate their clients not just clip the ticket”.

It’s well known and widely reported that some media agencies are known for ‘clipping the ticket’ when invoicing clients, simply adding on huge markups ‘for ad tech services’, she says. This in turn sees the ad tech sector tarnished, as marketers are told those costs stem from the vendors themselves, when in some instances extra fees are added on by agencies.

Uskovic is speaking at the Melbourne AdNews Media + Marketing Summiton 2 August. Tickets are on sale now.

Looking at what ad tech providers, brands and agencies can do differently to make programmatic trading a better sector, Uskovic says it has to be “win-win-win for all involved”.

“Ad tech providers need to be independent and keep pushing for transparency and good quality safe and viewable inventory,” she begins. 

“Brands need to know where their money is being spent [not just let agencies dictate it] and ensure their agencies are stepping up to keep them across the latest in tech. Agencies also need to be more transparent and deliver on the promise of helping brands grow through their marketing efforts.”

Transparency, walled gardens, cost, lack of trained staff and distrust of agencies are all major concerns within the innovative and booming programmatic field, but so too is the undesirable reputation the space is being tarnished with.

The AdNews Live! Tackling Transparency half-day forum is on 27 June. Tickets are on sale now.

Uskovic says her biggest concern around programmatic is also the negative press it is receiving.

“Academics and ad execs and those with ulterior motives are painting a morbid picture,” Uskovic says.

“The biggest issue with this is that marketers on the client side aren’t knowledgeable enough to understand that technology is fundamental to your success in digital media. 

“There are many issues in the digital world, I’m not doubting that for a second, but at the end of the day as a marketer I want my message to be fully seen by a real person, on premium sites. With the right technology in place I can do that.”

Lenovo was one of the first companies to jump on board with programmatic video and has been a long term partner with TubeMogul (now known as the Adobe Advertising Cloud). 

Uskovic says for her, having a fully independent end to end solution is vital to Lenovo's success.

“Video and social are the key ways to reaching Lenovo’s target customer. You can no longer treat performance and branding separately so having the two technologies come together [in the Adobe TubeMogul aquisition) is going to be instrumental to Lenovo’s future success,” she says.

Uskovic added that the more ad buying can be automated the better.

“Having a single view of all campaigns across all segments and programs is essential. This is exciting to finally be able to integrate all programs,” she adds.

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