Apr 1, 2023
We spoke with Antoine Saglier, CEO of ZBO Media, a pioneering French agency in programmatic media buying, member of the Le Figaro / CCM Benchmark group (Le Figaro is the oldest national newspaper in France and one of three French newspapers of record ). A historical client of Adloox, the agency enjoys a leading position on the national market, as well as on the consulting side, by supporting brands upstream of their digital activation and in the definition of their strategy. It is therefore a key contact to discuss the current and future challenges of the industry.
1. Can you tell us about your background and experiences that led you to lead ZBO Media?
I started in the world of advertising, first in a communication agency, then I joined Netbooster (bought by Artefact) where I stayed for nine years. My first role was system administrator, notably managing the infrastructures of the first search & SEO tracking platforms, then as Technical Director in charge of designing new products. I then joined Performics (Publicis Group) - in the same position - to develop marketing behavior study products, to enhance the different levers activated, by demonstrating for example the impact of display in the conversion funnel. Then, I moved to Weborama, where I participated in the launch of the DMP and where I managed the Ad Server part, as Product Director.
2. What is your role at ZBO Media?
I joined the General Management of ZBO to manage the Trading Desk and support our customers on display and video activation, while taking strong strategic decisions to enable ZBO to pass new milestones, win new customers, and expand to new markets. At the time, we had our own DSP, then the market changed a lot (cookieless, GDPR, etc.), which prompted us to switch to the major DSPs on the market. Since then, the agency has developed a lot, with different business units: social media, search/SEA, 360° media buying advice, and, of course, activation on all programmatic levers: CTV, DOOH, audio , etc.
3. Can you give us your current vision of the industry and the challenges you face as an agency?
We are living in strange times: the industry continues to evolve, with ever more formats and advertising media that can be activated in programmatic. On the other hand, the rather uncertain economic situation is pushing advertisers to review their strategies.
The latter are obviously still as concerned about performance - rightly so, while expecting much more quality than before. Clearly, it's no longer about building volume, but about focusing on targeted audiences, rather than buying impressions at scale. Brands want to reach consumers in a more personalized and relevant way, using much better qualified data. More creative and interactive advertising formats as well as the quality of placements are becoming key indicators in establishing our advertising plans.
If I had to describe our customers and their current expectations, I would divide them into two groups: on the one hand the DNVBs (Digital Native Vertical Brands, brands and companies 100% digitized from their creation), who want traffic at a lower cost, and on the other hand advertisers who want to emerge by looking for premium, with quality placements bought in deals rather than through open auction, with a top 30 of selected publishers. It is with this key category that we put a lot of effort into refine targeting and the advertising context.
4. Speaking of customers, can you give us an overview of your activities?
For more than 14 years, in France and abroad, particularly in the Italian market, we have put our expertise at the service of the most beautiful brands, large and medium-sized, in luxury, beauty, banking/insurance, automotive, tourism…
Our membership of the CCM Benchmark/Figaro Group allows us to work closely with the Media.Figaro advertising agency, which entrusts us with its audience extension operations for its prestigious clients, advertisers and agencies.
On the technical part, we work with all the references of the industry in an agnostic way depending on the typologies of campaign (branding, performance, YouTube, drive to store, etc): Xandr (Microsoft), DV360 (Google), Hawk as well as The Trade Desk.
Being able to offer a wide range of solutions by adapting strategies to each client and each campaign, combined with our strong consulting, is what makes us different.
5. Adloox supports you on all brand safety and measurement issues. What can you tell us about the partnership?
ZBO and Adloox, it's a long story! The tool has been integrated with us for almost 10 years, since our former DSP and today with the majors DSPs. Adloox is used for visibility measurement and fraudulent traffic filtering.
Advertisers obviously seek to avoid unsafe or non-compliant distribution contexts, which is unfortunately increasingly the case at a time when budgets are tightening, or for brands with very high standards. This prerequisite of excellence essentially concerns luxury brands, Adloox allows us to avoid issues related to brand safety for these customers. The various filters (firewall/prebid, contextual control) are key features to our operations.
We realize that the needs for brand safety and standardized measurement are becoming more and more vital. On certain levers, in particular social media, it is still complicated, if not impossible, to be able to know the rate of non-human traffic, the real visibility or even to realize the level of “accidental” clicks. Programmatic, coupled with Adloox, gives us this enormous advantage of being able to measure on a large scale, with a unique level of depth and granularity, and with much more transparency.
We are enthusiastic for the future, and await the next features of Adloox, in particular with regard to attention measurement (editor's note: available Q2 2023 for all of our customers). We carry out some tests with more or less convincing solutions, but whatever happens, we know that the clicks/sessions ratio will be significantly better with high visibility and significant attention. This topic is often evoked by large agencies and important advertisers; we want to be able to measure all possible parameters. Our customers want proof that they are buying from quality locations. A mix of existing and accredited metrics seems to us more relevant in terms of adoption than panel solutions, but everything remains to be done.
What advertisers want in priority are clean and visible inventories, which they must necessarily pay more for. It is our mission to bring this quality, and Adloox helps us in this.