Inside KPEX: media agency experts weigh in

From the outset, the success of KPEX would largely depend on the willingness of media buyers to plug into the exchange and buy the inventory on behalf of their clients. And it didn’t take long for that to happen. Only a short few months after KPEX inventory became available, many major media strategists plugged in and started bidding. Here’s what a few think of the offering so far.     

Natalie Gallagher, head of programmatic solutions at [email protected]

What are your thoughts on KPEX?

We are seeing a larger and larger share of the digital advertising spend going offshore to the international giants of digital. We are excited to see these four New Zealand-owned companies working together to try and combat this. Ogilvy is fully supportive of KPEX and we hope to see them perform well and become a major entity in the coming months and years.  The most important thing is results against our client KPIs and the amount of money that we invest in KPEX will be always be based on performance.

What are the benefits of KPEX?

It is fantastic that we can buy digital inventory off the four premium New Zealand sites programmatically. We also have the ability to overlay data from multiple sources to make these buys work harder than if we were simply buying the four sites individually. Additionally, as our optimisation (both at our end and KPEX) is across the network our results should be very strong and we expect to see it compare favourably to the myriad other performance-based offerings we have at our disposal.

Are there any areas where KPEX could improve?

We are looking forward to KPEX expanding their short-form video offering in the next few months. We would also really like to see KPEX working with the four media owners to eventually add long form video advertising too.

Alysha Delany, MBM managing partner

What has it been like purchasing through KPEX thus far?

We aggregate KPEX inventory through our DSP, so we don’t really identify KPEX separately. We’ve treated it as another inventory source, rather than targeting it directly and in isolation or at the expense of other exchanges. Some of the deals are taking time to gain inventory and deliver, but it’s been relatively straightforward to date. We just add the deals that we want to access the auctions for.

What are some of the advantages of purchasing KPEX inventory?

I don’t really see KPEX separately. However, any inventory source that’s more likely to resonate with our client first-party data audiences is valuable as it’s these audiences we’re looking to reach. KPEX does a good job of this given it’s New Zealand inventory at scale.

There is a perception that KPEX inventory is more expensive. Is this true?

We don’t look at the price you pay for the inventory. It’s the effective cost per metric that it returns. To date some of the KPEX deals have been very cost efficient for clients, and others not so much. I wouldn’t make a blanket statement as it varies so much by client and creative.

Nick Boulstridge, head of digital at VivaKi New Zealand

Do you think this is an important move?

Yes. Having a market place that gives brands access to great Kiwi content that is under .co.nz URLs makes for highly relevant target audiences. New Zealand brands want to engage with local audiences so having access to some of the biggest publishers in New Zealand and their content in one market place is of great relevance.

Does KPEX have enough scale? 

KPEX is still in its infancy so as more publishers choose to join, the greater the offering and appeal to brands becomes.

What are some of the disadvantages of KPEX?

The main disadvantage currently is not being able to select specifically which of the media owners your ads will appear on. For example brand X may specifically only want to be on news site Y not on Z but in reality will also be across site Z. This becomes a moot point though as brands are looking to buy the audience and not the specific site.

Arnaud Calonne, commercial director at Acquireonline

What is your initial impression of KPEX?

It has been great, with results exceeding our expectations, even though we’re not able to target the inventory we buy on a publisher-per-publisher basis. At present, we have a total of 41 packages or targeting options available, utilising both display and video. CTRs and viewability rates for our campaigns have been above what we have seen via other premium exchanges.

Is it complicated to buy KPEX inventory?

Let’s say that it is not complicated for a specialist trader. At present, you cannot buy inventory on KPEX if you do not have access to a trading desk. Since AcquireOnline started buying inventory the support from KPEX and Rubicon has been fantastic. 

What do you think KPEX means for the future of the programmatic industry in New Zealand?

Since the launch of our Trading Desk in 2012, we have seen a steady rise year on year with the number of advertisers running programmatic campaigns. However, many agencies and advertisers are yet to use programmatic and I believe that the KPEX initiative is helping to get them on-board … KPEX is leading the way as a premium local marketplace and we’ll see more publishers joining in the next few months.

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