TechBytes with Nishant Khatri, VP Product Management, PubMatic

Nishant Khatri
Nishant Khatri

Nishant Khatri
VP Product Management at PubMatic

In a programmatic ecosystem, the rise of header-bidding and fraud control measures is unprecedented and attracts more eyeballs than any other ad tech solution. Owning your programmatic solutions offers incredible benefits. Last month, leading SSP for digital advertising, PubMatic, unveiled the PubMatic Cloud for Publishers and tech companies. This would enable PubMatic’s customers to achieve full transparency and achieve greater control over their programmatic monetization. Nishant Khatri, VP, Product Management, PubMatic discusses the company’s short and long-term product roadmap and few key takeaways from the recently published PubMatic Quarterly Mobile Index (QMI) Q1 2018.

Tell us about your role at PubMatic and the team and technology you handle.

I have been with PubMatic since 2015 and currently serve as VP of Product Management. I oversee the teams that focus on developing solutions for header bidding and wrappers, ad serving, quality (both ad and inventory quality), as well as mobile advertising.

What is the state of automation for Digital Advertising? What does your product roadmap for 2018-2020 look like?

Programmatic advertising is continuing to become the dominant force in digital advertising, with eMarketer estimating that four in five US digital display dollars will be spent on automated channels in 2017. Much of this growth is the result of brand ad budgets flowing to digital. The market shift has also resulted in the digital ad tech ecosystem moving towards a focus on transparency, quality, and publisher control. Additionally, we are seeing a move towards automation to further address these industry-wide concerns. In order to scale effectively, digital advertising will see a continued move towards automating critical processes to maintain compliance, improve analytics and more.

At PubMatic, we are continuing to address the changing market needs with products that help publishers and advertisers prepare for the automated and programmatic future. Our roadmap includes growth in existing technology, such as header bidding for more channels; investment in partnerships with MRC-accredited vendors to ensure ad and inventory quality; development of automated tools to improve our clients’ ease of use; and of course, innovating solutions for the future needs of digital advertising.

What are the key takeaways for advertisers from your recently published PubMatic Quarterly Mobile Index (QMI) Q1 2018?

Our most recent QMI shows that in-app and video monetization are the most important areas of opportunity for publishers and advertisers in the next 12-18 months, given that consumer interest and engagement is highest for those categories.

For in-app, our data showed quick growth in-app advertising last quarter. In reviewing PubMatic’s inventory, the US saw the largest growth with an increase of 90% YOY in Q1. The verticals that saw the most growth, up to triple-growth rates, were technology, news, and entertainment and leisure.

PubMatic expects video monetization to become more mobile-driven. Mobile video ad spend in Spain, Australia and the US, for instance, rose by double-digit rates in Q1 2018. However, given the growing number of mobile video viewers in markets like India, for example, we expect to see significant mobile video ad spend growth in more nascent markets soon.

How could marketing teams better utilize these findings to improve their customer conversions from mobile advertising?

The Q1 2018 QMI highlights the relevance mobile devices hold for marketers. In fact, mobile app impressions monetized through the PubMatic platform rose 84% YOY worldwide in Q1 2018, tripling the 28% YOY growth in mobile web volume.

Marketing teams should continue to focus on the mobile experience, particularly personalization, connectivity and protection of battery life when using the app. With the projected continued growth for mobile app use, a positive user experience will be vital to increased customer conversions.

Tell us about PubMatic Cloud?

PubMatic Cloud is a newly released customizable platform-as-a-service (PaaS) that provides publishers the benefits of a proprietary solution, out of the box. This platform was developed in response to the industry-wide trend we are seeing of publishers bringing programmatic technology in-house. In fact, AdWeek estimates 86% of brands plan to take some of their programmatic spend in-house in the coming months.

While this could result in more publisher control and auction transparency, it presents new risks of inefficient rev share models and taxing internal resources to maintain the technology. PubMatic Cloud offers publishers an alternative, quickly providing a fully-supported and DSP-integrated programmatic solution. It allows publishers full transparency, complete control of user experience and a more efficient infrastructure to improve monetization.

To what extent can digital advertising analytics further boost ad-driven sales?

Analytics is the backbone for marketing technology, especially when it comes to programmatic advertising. We believe analytics empower advertisers to make smarter decisions with real-time intelligence, visibility into campaign performance, and easy-to-use reporting that can improve return-on-ad spend (ROAS). PubMatic also makes detailed information available on the success of advertising tactics across ad formats, channels and screens. These real-time insights allow advertisers to optimize transactions and improve monetization.

How do you work with Data Science and AI/ML to improve your adtech platform?

We use data science and machine learning to develop complex algorithms to solve difficult non-linear problems. The focus is on real-time bidding related problems including recommendations for the best floor value for publishers, bid throttling, predicting traffic, and estimating unique users.

We use data science and machine learning techniques to look at large amounts of data to solve these problems. PubMatic collects the appropriate data, transforms it, researches algorithms, develops and studies prototypes and models, and then we produce solutions. There is always a trade-off to make between the research we do in developing algorithms and the production of the solutions. Finding this balance, and future-enabling our platform with these processes, allows us to provide quality experiences for our partners.

Thanks for chatting with us, Nishant.

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MTS
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