The Robot and the Media Trader.


Sitting down with Skylads CTO Michel Ying, we got to talk about Real-Time Bidding (RTB), automation systems and the media trader’s life.


Q: There’s been a lot of buzz about the RTB market.

Michel: The RTB market is still very young but there is a lot of advertising business frenzy going. Advertisers keep hearing about programmatic buying and RTB, they hear about its classic moto “right message to the right person at the right time” and they want to try it. It’s opportunities both in audience reach and return of investment intrigue brands and they are starting increasingly to prefer it instead of the traditional advertising methods. Business is flowing. This is not just a trend anymore, it’s a fact. Media Traders are now operating on significantly more campaigns compared to even just 2 years ago. In my view performance optimization is developing to be the key issue for the upcoming years in the market.

Q: Still, media traders are still a bit hesitant on the benefits of technologies and Artificial Intelligence. Why do you think this is?

Michel: Media Traders don’t want to be replaced, and we don’t want that ourselves. Most of the people in Skylads team, me including, have been media traders and we know for a fact what is like to be the person behind the campaigns. Technological advances can serve the media traders without taking out their center role. Thanks to Machine Learning, for example, there are a lot of time-consuming elements that can be removed.

Q: Give us an example.

Michel: Take reporting every day for instance. A trader needs to log in the DSP interface every day, download report on a campaign, format it, etc. 1 report takes 30 to 50 minutes. As I said earlier business is flowing, so the same trader actually manages 90 campaigns, which means 90 times per day he needs to do all that. And the amount of time spent just for the reporting, could’ve been used for strategies analysis, bid optimization and so on. Remove all time-consuming elements - this was the idea in the beginning of Skylads.

Q: So saving time, what else?

Michel: Well, the most obvious one - Artificial Intelligence Engines, the robots, they are faster than humans. They perform billions of calculations in manner of seconds, tracking, monitoring, making decisions at impossibly complex scale. The robots we want to create are not to replace media traders but to be of great help to them. Imagine a pilot in his cockpit. Instead of calculating all the time the weight of the wings, the latitude, the wind speed, and all other important metrics, he has tools to do that for him: to keep track and inform him when there is something behaving in an abnormal way. So the pilot can focus better on flying his plane and reaching his destination. This is what we want to create for media traders.

Q: There was a study published recently that the most technical advancement has been seen actually in the advertising industry.

Michel: New tech is coming up every day to give media trader's advantage over their competitors. Basic problematic you can hear from everyone is that data is coming from all these different sources and traders have to find way for to make it communicate. This is what we have built in the face of Skott 360 - automation system helping traders manage their campaigns in a simpler, unified, more effective way.

Q: What about your vision of the tech landscape in RTB? Is there something you dream of developing that could be possible in the coming years?

Michel: The same image of the pilot assisted by his tools I mentioned earlier. What we are planning to keep doing in Skylads is developing powerful and smart technologies to always be of great help to media traders and bring value to our clients.