On the tools: programmatic specialists share their thoughts on KPEX

Brendan Greenwell, digital marketing adviser at Trustpower 

How has your experience with KPEX been so far? 

Surprising is probably the best word for it. We came in to KPEX assuming that a premium exchange would come with premium pricing and not much else. What we got was a competitively priced service with brand safe placements that we can rely on.

How does pricing on KPEX compare? 

Admittedly, it is a bit higher, but the quality of traffic is equally as high, when compared to other exchanges.

What drew you to the exchange? 

We were looking for that premium inventory. Anyone can go to Google and run some display advertising on nzherald.co.nz, but in trials we ran that compared quality of traffic from a site via a direct relationship, to that of a third party like Google, the direct relationship always came out on top when it came to quality of traffic, but always lost on ROI. The reason for this failure to deliver an ROI was the price of going direct. KPEX’s competitive pricing solved this problem.

What advantages does KPEX have over the alternatives out there?

It’s safe. You don’t need to constantly manage blacklists, because the traffic is coming from reliable sources. It’s also consistent, you can double your budget, or halve it and the traffic you get will still be good. Scale at a high quality is hard to find in NZ.

What KPEX developments are you looking forward to? 

Segmentation using KPEX data. This can be done by overlaying our own data, but anyone can do that. I feel the real gold is in KPEX first party data – user account info such as interests and types of articles viewed. If we could tap in to this with some targeted messaging, KPEX would have an untouchable point of difference.

Nick Boulstridge, head of digital at Vivaki 

How have you found KPEX since it started?

Being one of the first trading desks to test the platform AOD (Audience On Demand) has found that market place works really well for our clients. There were a few teething problems early on but it was very easy to work with KPEX to address these, normally around available inventory.

How has the performance of KPEX been for your clients?

Although the CPM level we see in some cases is higher than other marketplaces the overall CPA has been lower, meaning that its performance is good for our clients. Looking at the historical buys across our trading desk, AOD, it is our belief that this is due to engaging with highly relevant Kiwi audiences

How does KPEX compare on the data side? 

In terms of targeting we are able to currently utilise basic data points but were keen to explore how the four media owners can work together to provide one view of data for us to overlay in the buy layer to be more targeted. AOD has great experience in utilising data parties from both a 2nd and 3rd Party POV to ensure our client’s brands and products are being exposed to the right audience at the right time. Working closely with KPEX it is exciting to hear their plans for a DMP which will allow the platform to build this one view of the consumer, which we can then overlay in AOD as part of the buy.

What are some of the significant advantages of KPEX?

There are several significant advantages for brands to use the KPEX market place. The one that stands out most is that it is local. While it is great to have global publishers in the market, it is also important to be able to speak to customers on a local level. KPEX gives clients that local scale  alongside highly engaging local content allowing Kiwi brands to connect with a Kiwi audience.

What are some of the areas where it can improve?

Inventory for video is an area that can be improved, especially as more clients are hearing about the performance levels. This is being addressed and again is great to be able to have a local market place that can listen to concerns and be able to react quickly.

As a media guy, what are you hoping to see from KPEX in the future?

Kiwis love their local content and it would be great to be able to tap into this in the future through programmatic native placements providing an audience with bespoke relevant content provided by our client’s brands.

Any other thoughts? 

KPEX is still in its infancy and like any child is keen to learn. I personally think that the nimbleness to provide advertisers with what they need is great to see and I look forward to seeing KPEX grow in the market.

Adrian Pickstock, chief executive of the IAB NZ 

What are your thoughts about KPEX so far? Has it performed well? 

By all accounts KPEX has been well received in the market.  I’m not privy to KPEX’s revenue numbers but we have seen a significant growth of the programmatic sector since its launch last year.

What do you think attracts advertisers to KPEX?

The promise of brand security is probably the strongest pull for local advertisers as is the convenience of a single entry point to multiple local publishers.

What will it take to make sure that New Zealand remains competitive in this space? 

Delivering on their promises and adding more local, premium inventory to the mix.

How big do you think programmatic advertising can become?

According to the latest IAB revenue figures, programmatic advertising forms some  21 percent of display advertising.  As the practice becomes more ubiquitous and used across more platforms, I’d expect the bulk of display advertising in the future to be booked programmatically.

What about adblockers? 

As the media and industries come to grips with adblocking and implements the LEAN principles the IAB advocates, we expect the threat of adblocking to reduce significantly – irrespective of how the ad is booked.

What are some of the challenges facing the programmatic market? 

Ad fraud is probably the biggest challenge the market faces. A cohesive, collaborative effort from all advertising stake holders to work together is required to rid the industry of this scourge.

Alex Radford, general manager of digital at Dentsu Aegis 

How have you found KPEX since it started?

We have been really impressed with the quality of the inventory and the results that we have managed to garner for our clients. And for a team of two they have been incredibly proactive and agile. 

Has it performed well for your clients?

Genuinely very good. At AMNET, the Dentsu Aegis Network Trading desk, we work across a number of client types and from DR to brand we have seen consistently low CPMs, above average visibility stats and most importantly great business results.

How does it compare to other exchanges?

The big difference between KPEX and the other exchanges that we can tap into is the quality of the inventory, and the fusing of data and inventory to build custom audience segments for our clients.

There’s a perception that it’s more expensive. Is this true?

Categorically no. Despite the obvious point of you get what you pay for when you buy in an open exchange, what we have seen is that despite being a premium ad exchange we are not seeing the premium prices that you may expect. In fact, in many buys we have seen KPEX priced lower than a white list open buy.

What are the advantages of KPEX?

Brand safe, premium environments with access to the best data in New Zealand.

What are the disadvantages?

Can’t really think of any, other than as the demand grows and supply falls, the price of buying could increase significantly.

Any other thoughts?

In the programmatic world, the only thing that matters is the results. So my advice is ask your agency to test KPEX inventory against open exchange buys and let the numbers do the talking.

  • 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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