Retail in Asia


INTERVIEW with Montblanc, on the use of programmatic for a luxury brand


In partnership with Programmatic Pioneers Summit, Retail in Asia had the pleasure to interview Maria von Scheel-Plessen, Global Head of Media & Advertising at Montblanc.

SEE ALSO : Interview with IKEA India: localizing the sustainability strategy

RiA: The programmatic boom has accelerated in Asia. How did it translate in your media plan over the last 5-6 years? What is the share of programmatic ads in your total ad spend?

Maria: The luxury sector has definitely seen this acceleration – the share of programmatic buys is constantly growing while still fairly small compared to other industries. At the moment we are at 10% share of the total ad spend.

RiA: What are the benefits and challenges of programmatic marketing campaigns for a luxury brand?

Maria: The benefit is the automation of ad serving with precise targeting while being very cost efficient. The downside for luxury brands is that the targeting often is not precise enough as we target a very premium audience which is able to cover high price points. At the same time, we have a limited whitelist due to brand safety measurements and the learning curve takes time for us due to limited reach.

RiA: Can you share an example of a successful campaign you have done recently?

Maria: Due to pandemic we changed our approach to media campaigns in a way that we are now running always-on and brand burst campaigns at the same time to have an ongoing aspirational plus conversion driven campaign live. This is being executed on social and display channels where the buy is programmatic. This helped us to test and learn which one is more effective in our 22 markets and new target audience especially from Gen Y and Z has been captured.

RiA: How can brands leverage the power of programmatic to get the best performance out of their media plan?

Maria: As described in my example above, testing different channels, audiences and whitelists with different objectives is a good usage for programmatic to get the most out of your plans. The valuable insights with price cap can only be beneficial for every media campaign to further adapt and optimise.

RiA: What is the role of agencies, brand marketers, tech partners and media owners and how will they continue to evolve especially in the APAC market?

Maria: The agency acts as a sparring partner from my point of view. We have very skilled in-house managers as a brand and that’s why we need someone who actively challenges and consults. The tech partners tend to come in to review the proposed plans by the media agency and we meet together for innovation and publisher days. I think that especially in APAC more and more topics will be in-housed as it is a region with a high digital share which can be managed by the brand itself. It is important to understand the technology behind programmatic and that is where the tech partners come in.

RiA: What are the major advertising trends that are shaping the programmatic landscape in 2021? What’s the future for programmatic marketing? 

Maria: I believe programmatic buying will increase as it becomes more and more known and we have seen strong use cases that led to unlocking new audiences and technical advancements. The brands will definitely push more for even higher standards e.g. viewability rates and the famous 100 percent in 3 sec rule. This push is needed in order to increase the premiumness of programmatic.

The next trend will be further CRM usage, geo-targeting for omnichannel understanding and VR environment implementations.

RiA: What will you be sharing at the Programmatic Pioneers Summit?

Maria: I will run the Opening Spotlight Presentation: Programmatic 2030 – Peering into the future: The trends that will shape the programmatic landscape and the role of the marketing & media executive.

SEE ALSO : A look into the democratization of luxury brands in China, will they lose their shine or buy into the aspiration of today’s youth?

RiA: What are you expecting in terms of takeaways and why is Programmatic Pioneers Summit a must-not-miss event?

Maria: I believe it is key to educate ourselves as advertisers and with all the new developments it can be tough to stay on top of the latest trends! This conference provides networking opportunities with highly knowledgeable experts from various backgrounds with whom I really enjoy talking to find solutions or brainstorm on new projects.

Join Maria’s Opening Spotlight Presentation: ‘Programmatic 2030 – Peering into the future: The trends that will shape the programmatic landscape and the role of the marketing & media executive’. Find out here how you can attend the much-anticipated Programmatic Pioneers Virtual Summit Asia (10th -11th November 2021, SGT)..