The growth of programmatic buying is unstoppable. Experts project it will breach the $150 billion mark worldwide and become the primary driver of digital trading by the end of 2022. More and more brands are now clearly in touch with its revolutionary benefits.
First off, programmatic ads are scalable in terms of budget and reach. This means it’s a good form of advertising for businesses of all sizes. Secondly, the reach of programmatic ads is massive, with millions of websites and the ad spaces they sell. This is one advantage that other forms of advertising simply can’t match. And then there’s the transparency that allows marketers to get visibility over their campaigns. They can see exactly where their ads are, the people who are seeing their ads, and the overall effect on their ROI.
The efficiency of programmatic advertising is also painfully obvious. Marketers can make changes anytime and anywhere whenever they feel it’s necessary. Moreover, audience targeting can be detailed – another advantage that no other form of modern marketing has made possible. And, of course, programmatic ads give you real-time data that you can work on in real-time.
However, the multilevel benefits of programmatic buying are only part of a large ecosystem that is often easy to misunderstand and underestimate. If you want to leverage such benefits for your campaign, you need to make educated decisions from the get-go, starting with choosing a programmatic advertising partner. Here are good questions to ask as you scope for the right fit in your advertiser partnership:
Does my potential partner have the same goals?
It’s hard for a partnership to flourish if the parties are looking in different directions. So before choosing a partner, make sure they have a good appreciation of your needs and objectives. This is the first and most efficient way to scale your business through programmatic advertising.
Also remember that a successful campaign is not something you can buy off the shelf. Instead, it requires in-depth consultation with your potential partner to make sure your goals for the campaign are in perfect alignment.
Do my potential partner, and I agree on a common strategy?
The way you conduct your marketing is organic to your business, and the same should apply in your choice of a programmatic partner and channel. In most cases, platforms will give you similar access to tools and inventory. In devising your strategy, see whether or not you’ll need several partners instead of just one. Communication between you and your programmatic partner is crucial before you can craft a strategy that will meet or even surpass your performance targets.
Is creativity essential to my potential partner?
Speaking of strategy, countless campaigns are running everyday, and unless yours stands out, you will not make much of an impact on your target audience. How do you stand out? Be creative and choose a partner that believes in creativity. Don’t think it’s all a matter of putting your brand out there. Clear calls to action are integral to a successful campaign, and so is the ablility to create ads that make sense regardless of the platform or the place and time you expect people to view them. For this, you will need a partner that you can work with in real-time and is willing to keep your campaign evolving.
Is it wise to use multiple platforms?
The most obvious benefit of using multiple demand-side platforms (DSPs) is the myriad of opportunities they serve. You can take advantage of the strengths of every DSP and bank on them to raise your KPI. Simply put, the more DSPs and exchanges you use, the more customers and prospective customers you reach.
One such example of a DSP platform is StackAdapt.
How well do my potential partner and I understand DSP?
You don’t have to be technically well-versed about every technology you use, but you need to understand its core workings and how it affects your brand. If a potential partner seems unwilling to address your questions or doesn’t seem to even know their own technology, look somewhere else.
Take note that a huge part of understanding your DSP is knowing what specific approach it uses and what it can give you that the others can’t. Don’t settle for a mediocre DSP; take your business elsewhere if necessary. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for a demo or trial period. For example, GeoLink by InMarket offers demos for potential partners.
Do my potential partner, and I have the same standards for measuring success?
There is no question about the benefits of programmatic buying as a marketing tool. However, it would be best to be clear with your team about everything, especially your performance metrics. The more you and your potential partner agree on data and key performance indicators, from customer lifetime value to cost per acquisition and the rest, the more successful your campaign can be.
Is my potential partner experienced enough?
Anyone with little to no exposure to programmatic ad buying can get easily overwhelmed with jargon. In fact, new terms are showing up everyday. Bottomline is all of these terms and efforts should meet the goals and objectives of your campaign, and this is one aspect where choosing an experienced partner can truly make a positive difference.
Your potential partner should be able to communicate with you without explaining every term or vice versa. Of course, they must be knowledgeable enough to provide all the details of your campaign when you need them. Budget and reach are crucial to your visibility, but increasing them does not necessarily improve your results unless the campaign is well-optimized. An experienced partner with proven strategies will.
Is my potential partner motivated by quality or quantity?
When programmatic buying began as an industry, it was believed that bad or non-visible placements on sites only came with remnant inventory. On top of that, everyone was afraid of sham data and results. Nowadays, this is no longer an issue with a partner that proactively protects your brand environment.
You should be able to quickly shift budget at the first sign of questionable activity. That comes with receiving site lists and regular reports on your spend, clicks, impressions and other data. Needless to say, it is important to choose a partner that is mainly concerned with quality and can serve as a reliable and constant source of information valuable to your campaign.
Does my potential partner run campaigns on autopilot?
It’s no secret that advertising technologies work with AI. In fact, this software has become so intelligent it can optimize more than 50% of your campaigns without human intervention. If a potential partner is offering to run your campaign on autopilot, at least check if their fees are worth their results. Then again, you should probably stay away from such a dynamic.
An effective campaign always requires the human touch, especially in cases where it takes an actual expert to work with complex data and insights. Some potential partners will only place your ads, but there’s so much programmatic data out there. It’s crucial to have your campaign evaluated by professionals to ensure the best media performance. When considering a potential partner, ask them how often they optimize a campaign and provide reports, and how deep they optimize their partners’ campaigns.
When people encounter programmatic for the first time, they think it’s a robotic system that can be left alone and work to meet a campaign’s goals. Of course, they’re wrong. An excellent potential partner will sit down, gather insights and data, and use them to optimize your campaign. They should also be responsive enough to the changing needs of your business and the space it moves around in.
After all, each brand campaign has its own objectives. Whether you’re looking to increase brand awareness, engagement or sales, your partner should spend time developing a solution that is tailor-made for your unique needs within your budget.
The internet is its own big, wild world. How can you be sure that the right people see your ads or that they’re even seen by anyone at all? Increased visibility is what your programmatic partner can give you. More visibility means your conversion rates can increase by 60%, with users twice more likely to click on ads.
But that’s not even where the benefits of programmatic ad buying end. One of the most promising developments involves using programmatic ads on wearables. You could walk by a restaurant down the street and receive a customized ad on your loyalty card. Programmatic ads will make it easier for retailers to target such loyal patrons directly. It’s clear how programmatic advertising has enocuraged marketers to sharpen ther ad targeting skills, and that it is quite impossible to ignore if a brand were to get ahead of its competitors.
With programmatic advertising becoming the leader in digital trading, marketers should not let its vast opportunities escape them. By understanding the technology and working with a partner that passes the above criteria, you can achieve a highly targeted and successful campaign for any business in any industry.