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Q&A: Christopher Murphy, VP Media Investment, Accuen on Programmatic & Private Marketplaces

May 27, 2014 | By Danielle Block, Director, Agency & Advertiser Relations - DCN
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This Q&A is part of OPA’s “Three on Three” series where we ask three industry executives the same three questions on a topic to uncover actionable insights… If you want to learn more, keep an eye out on our site for more interviews. Today’s Three on Three interview is with  Christopher Murphy, VP Media Investment at Accuen, on Premium Programmatic.

Chris Murphy HeadshotQ: Are you shifting budget to programmatic?

A: Clients shift budgets to programmatic when there is a clear opportunity for media efficiency, efficacy and savings. Bigger shifts come from clients leaning in to audience data and analytics on both direct and programmatic campaigns, identifying key differences between partners and tactics. Ultimately, we see programmatic adoption as the path to drive results for clients and to limit the amount of guessing in media buying.

Q: Do you use programmatic for upper funnel programs? Do you think you could/would in a private marketplace?

A: Programmatic is simply a path, not a strategy in itself. It’s only limited by the creativity and strategy of those using it. All successful upper funnel programs, whether programmatic or not, are driven by great planning and execution based on core marketing fundamentals. Our clients definitely use programmatic for upper funnel programs, and sometimes it’s through private marketplaces. Early adopters to private marketplaces included retail and CPG brands had broad audience requirements and were open to testing around their KPIs. They were interested in leveraging efficiencies of programmatic, but wanted to guarantee certain contexts. Now seeing interest from clients in a broad range of verticals, including financial services, B2B and travel and hospitality brands.

Q: Who sets up private marketplace relationships? What are important considerations when selecting partners for private marketplaces and what have you learned through the process?

A: OMD and PHD media teams negotiate private marketplace relationships, often in conjunction with Accuen team members to help facilitate the technical aspects of the deal. In general, private marketplaces aren’t viewed as a separate tactic or channel, but are seen as a way to integrate more deeply with publishers and deliver greater results from those programs. For publishers without an Omnicom Media Group contact, we recommend going through an ad exchange or SSP for an introduction.

When we partner with publishers, there are a couple of key standards we look for: first, excellent customer service is table stakes; second, publishers need to ensure that what’s promised is delivered as expected; and last, flexibility across sales channel management, deal economics, and inventory packaging. We want to partner with publishers who offer up ideas rather than a standard sales deck or an ad package in a UI. Highlight site engagement, audience composition, and their unique assets using a mix of qualitative and quantitative factors. For instance, don’t just repeat traditional volume and scale rankings.


Christopher is the VP of Marketing & Media Investment for Accuen, overseeing brand positioning, product marketing, PR and communications as well as exploring programmatic partnerships with leading ad technology, data, and media companies. Prior to Accuen, Christopher was Sr. Director of Platform Products at Glam Media and spent 5 years at Right Media/Yahoo! At Glam Media, he led the marketplace channel, working with advertisers and partners to pioneer RTB and private exchange relationships. While at Right Media/Yahoo!, Christopher covered numerous roles including publisher business development, professional services, and network operations.


Note: This Q&A is part of OPA’s “Three on Three” series where we ask three industry executives the same three questions on a topic to uncover actionable insights.

Also in this series:

Q&A: Bruce Kiernan Partner, Senior Director Digital, MEC on Programmatic & Private Marketplaces

Q&A: Wade Rifkin, VP, Programmatic, DigitasLBi on Programmatic & Private Marketplaces

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