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  • Writer's pictureTPA Digital

The Programmatic Advisory rebrands to TPA Digital - A Q&A with our CEO and Head of UK

As originally posted on Exchangewire -

On the 26th of January 2022, The Programmatic Advisory announced that they were dropping the term 'programmatic' from their name, and have updated their brand to be TPA Digital.

This blog outlines a Q&A session with our CEO, Wayne Blodwell, and Head of UK, Dan Larden, regarding a little bit more about what this brand update is all about.

What were the main drivers behind the decision to drop the term “programmatic” from TPA Digital?

Wayne - It was really simple actually - the name didn’t accurately reflect what we did anymore. When we first started we were pulled in to help advertisers solve very specific programmatic use cases and as time evolved we kept hearing “are you able to do that in TV or in Social etc?” and the answer was nearly always yes.

I think it almost goes without saying that advertisers are expected to make more decisions themselves (rather than outsourcing to an agency) than ever before, but in many cases they aren’t equipped to make them strategically or diligently.

TPA Digital continues to be built on specialisms and not cookie-cutter products or services, and that means we are able to deliver on our mission to empower advertisers with impartial advice - we don’t make the decisions our clients do.

It’s also worth noting that this name change is an update rather than any pivot, and we’re excited to continue delivering game-changing results for advertisers whilst expanding our scope.

Similarly, what drove the decision to rebrand your education services to TPA Academy? What key training needs should marketers seek to fulfil in the evolving digital marketing industry?

Dan - Although we're updating the name, the mission of our online learning portal will remain the same - "Simplifying the programmatic ecosystem to educate and inspire". 1,500 people from brands, publishers and agencies have signed up to our programmatic fundamentals courses so that is as good a sign as any that there is still a huge demand for impartial training and education on what programmatic is and how it works.

This year we're focusing on adding foundational courses on Identity and SPO - key topics that brands are asking us questions about and that we expect will be a big focus for us this year.

How are brands applying programmatic to broader digital services, and vice versa?

Dan - Programmatic advertising completely changed the advertising landscape - not all of it was good, but the principles it has instilled in the next generation of digital media practitioners is very evident in our conversations with brands. Better Marketing decisions based on data, innovative targeting and creative tactics, more scientific measurement of media investment, instilling a test and learn philosophy - these things are here to stay and we will continue to drive these principles forward across all digital channels with our clients.

What is the future of programmatic as a buying method? How will it evolve following the deprecation of third-party cookies?

Wayne - It continues to become the predominant method of buying and selling advertising. Any ad that is bought and sold via technology, is programmatic in our view. We know typically people categorise it as buying over OpenRTB or via an Open DSP, but this is legacy thinking. Programmatic has always been about the technology revolution in advertising - in the dictionary, it literally means ‘done according to a plan’, just sadly, somewhere along the line, people have confused that with incompliant data practices, murky supply chains and ad fraud - these are products from the misuse of technology, not the technologies fault in and of itself.

It’s kind of funny that the term ‘programmatic’ can irritate people - the amount of meeting time and panel time dedicated to defining it must be through the roof, but the reality is, it’s the way the majority of ads should be bought and sold and as such it’s why we’re seeing new and emerging creators and advertisers starting with a programmatic first mindset - those that harness it the best stand to do great things.

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