Programmatic lessons from the first real-life event in a long time

Dawn Chan
Mar 10, 2022

Learnings from Ashton’s Programmatic Summits in Melbourne and Sydney

I walked into the room filled with hundreds of industry professionals, nervous and excited to be attending a live, in-person event after 2 years of restrictions. Ashton’s Programmatic Summits did not disappoint, across 2 venues – Melbourne and Sydney – making all the work around Covid-travel worth it.


Programmatic Summit in Sydney


From the fantastic opening keynote by Rachel Mervis at Kimberly-Clark, to the very last session, it is clear that the Aussie programmatic scene is thriving. Everyone was curious, open to new ideas and connections, and never stopped innovating, experimenting, and learning even during the pandemic. I think Rachel would have said that despite being physically apart and constrained in so many ways, our thoughts on programmatic growth were “N-Sync” (get the deck from the event organizers to understand this reference – I promise it’s worth it).


Programmatic Summit in Sydney


This mirrored my own thoughts on entering the Ad tech world not too long ago. Coming from a background of a more ‘traditional’ media career, I was fearful of being left behind in the world of ‘programmatic’ – a common term that was also mysterious and arcane. But a strong virtual onboarding program at Zemanta – an Outbrain Company easily exposed the logic of why programmatic advertising is here to stay and how the tech is created to serve us into the future. One of the esteemed speakers even quoted French art critic Charles Du Bos, and succinctly  said it is most important ”… to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.”

This is true of Zemanta every day. Our engineers work hard to understand the needs of our users, sacrificing their earlier creations to keep improving and become better. Event speakers and attendees were clear in signaling that 2022 is the turning point of not just the pandemic, but the establishment of digitization and automation of advertising for a brighter future.


Programmatic Summit in Melbourne


And what a future it is! Automation, Artificial Intelligence, consumer control and ownership of data and privacy, mass adoption of programmatic technology opening inventory into ever more channels – out-of-home, audio. Sophisticated understanding and application of header bidding, first-price auctions, and many more! An inspiring and exciting world of possibilities.

Yet at the same time, the takeaway from these summits was grounded in the realities of advertising:

  • Brands want ATTENTION.
  • Agencies need to have AGILITY.
  • Audiences need to be ADDRESSABLE.


Programmatic Summit in Melbourne


That’s when I realized I am in the right place with Zemanta – a platform to apply intelligence and prove ROAS just as our customers want. Zemanta’s tools help fulfill the business bottom line for agencies and brands while utilizing our unique click-focused algorithms to identify engaged audiences. The last keynote speaker, Janet Shi of Amazon Web Services, put it this way: “Use programmatic to expand your universe.” You betcha I will.

Written by

Dawn Chan
APAC Director at Zemanta ∙ "I ensure clients get the solutions and service they deserve in exchange for their trust. In every interaction, I strive to add value."

Let us help you deliver excellent marketing and high ROI time and again.

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