Always evolving: KPEX keeps an eye on the future

Programmatic fusion

Programmatic might have its genesis in the digital space, but it also offers utility to the more traditional side of advertising. 


Digital outdoor advertising has been sold programmatically in Australia for well over a year. Localised data on those commuting, shopping, working, exercising or socialising in a specific area is used to allow advertisers to target the audience they want. And with the massive explosion of digital screens across New Zealand, it’s only a matter of time before outdoor advertising is also traded programmatically over here.    


In early 2015, Time took the unconventional step of starting to sell print ads programmatically. And while the experiment raised more than a few eyebrows around the industry, it appears to be generating some decent results for the publisher—so decent, in fact, that it expanded its programmatic efforts at the end of last year. 


With television’s rapid shift into the digital space, it has always been seen as a natural partner for programmatic advertising. While change always takes time, some television companies in the United States are already selling their ads programmatically. And with TVNZ’s involvement in KPEX, it certainly seems that we’re heading in a similar direction here in New Zealand.  

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KPEX might’ve had a strong start but it is still in its infancy, and digital isn’t really a space where you can afford to rest on your laurels. It only takes a moment for a competitor to step in and usurp whatever advantage you might have. 

For this reason, Thompson is already focused on keeping the platform moving forward. 

Front of mind for him at the moment is the importance of providing KPEX advertisers with the best possible data. 

“It’s about ensuring that advertisers can reach their audience in a highly targeted way within our environment,” he says. “We see a massive opportunity in merging all the amazing data points we have within KPEX with an advertiser’s data. This will allow us to really compete on a data and targeting level.”

He says that in the future, a retailer, an energy provider or airline with a digital relationship with their customers will be able to introduce that information into KPEX, making it possible to serve more relevant ads.

Thompson is also working hard to get the best mobile and digital inventory into KPEX.  

“We’re doing a lot of work to ensure that what we offer in these areas is equivalent to what you have in display today.”

It’s also worth noting that Thompson doesn’t look at digital in a vacuum. He recognises it as only part of the overall advertising ecosystem. Because of this, he hopes to see KPEX playing a role across the broader industry in the future.       

“I’d like to see KPEX as the single largest trading point for New Zealand digital inventory and audiences,” Thompson says.  

“That’s where I want to see us going. And as we continue to see the digitisation of all channels, that opens up a huge number of opportunities for KPEX.”

Thompson predicts that in the near future many of the traditional channels will also be traded through the KPEX interface.   

“It’s not even long-term thinking. It’s medium-term thinking to enable KPEX to trade in what would be considered the traditional media landscape. It’s about enabling advertisers to combine outdoor, radio, print and TV activity alongside their digital activity to make sure they’re reaching their audience with maximum impact.”

What’s most fascinating about this is that we’re heading toward a system whereby an advertiser could roll out a campaign across digital, print, radio, TV and outdoor with a click of a button. And while this might trigger an Orwellian reflex in some, those running between clients to get campaigns signed off might welcome the added efficiency. 

  • This series of interviews is brought to you as part of a content partnership with KPEX.
  • Click here to see more KPEX news. ​

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