Uber has faced a lot of change in the last year. But one that has nothing to do with its controversial founder or issues with diversity is its move to bring media buying in-house.
Uber claims to be running most of its media buying in-house, including buying, strategy, optimization and having an ad tech team. That’s a big change from three years ago when Bennett Rosenblatt, Uber’s programmatic display lead, joined Uber almost three years ago from MediaMath, he said at Advertising Week New York on Tuesday.
For Uber, the decision wasn’t about saving money but rather a desire for ownership and a transition in how they were advertising. As Uber grew its ads became less about mass reach and acquiring app installs and more about personalization and reengagement of the now thriving ride-hailing community. Uber needed to convince people to use its services over any other transportation options.
Uber’s decision to move away from agencies and embrace in-house buying is another sign of the overall trend of marketers, particularly those without established marketing systems, opting for more control that comes with bringing operations in-house. While it’s a 10-year-old company, the marketing team is only about four years old, Rosenblatt said, and it’s growing. Uber also hasn’t had the best experience in the agency world. In September 2017, Uber filed a suit against Fetch, alleging the Dentsu-owned mobile ad agency misrepresented how effective its media buys were and purchasing nonexistent and fraudulent ads for Uber.
Part of Uber’s transition involved working more with MediaMath, a programmatic marketing tech company.Anna Grodecka-Grad, MediaMath’s global head of professional service, was on stage with Rosenblatt to ask him about the process and the reasoning.