December 15, 2014
Programmatic buying is on a strong growth trajectory – with an average annual growth rate of 27% – and is set to reach $53 billion globally by 2018. While the US is leading the way – with 62% of its display-related ads purchased using this method – the UK is following suit with programmatic forecasted to account for almost half of digital display ads (47%) bought in 2014.
As brands continue to discover programmatic’s unprecedented efficiency, ability to reach targeted audiences across all devices, and potential to optimise KPIs in real-time, it is set to become the main engine in digital trading. To maximise the benefits and achieve a healthy ROI, brands need to choose a solid programmatic advertising partner that can provide the following:
Programmatic technology providers should have visibility and fraud detection measures in place to ensure ads only run within brand-safe environments. Quality should always take precedence over quantity.
Working with multiple DSP partners enables brands to capitalise on the individual strengths of each platform, providing a range of audiences, devices, and touchpoints to meet set KPIs. Budgets can be easily migrated across multiple platforms, ensuring marketers always have contingency measures if one DSP experiences technical difficulties or is not delivering against anticipated targets.
Programmatic is as much about creativity as scale and efficiency. A programmatic partner should leverage dynamic creative to target and engage audiences, and work with the brand to develop a strategy for its online identity.
The right partner will offer a consultancy-led solution that creates a custom-made programmatic strategy to meet the unique and specified marketing objectives of the brand within the agreed budget. The right partner will also provide performance insights to feed the brand’s CRM strategy and learnings for future campaigns.
Transparency is critical, and a programmatic partner should deliver consultation and feedback at every stage of the process. They should be accountable and approachable, and articulate clearly how campaigns are performing. Despite rumours to the contrary, programmatic is not a dark art and a strong partner should provide a basic understanding of the technology without jargon and acronyms.
Programmatic enables brands to optimise each campaign to unique goals, and a partner should work against KPIs such as cost per action, lifetime value, and order value. There should be a clear line of reporting between brand and partner, and detailed feedback on predetermined metrics should be regularly provided.
As programmatic becomes the front-runner in digital trading, marketers cannot afford to be left at the starting block. Understanding the technology and choosing a partner that delivers on these six criteria is fundamental to achieving a highly-targeted, fully-optimised, successful campaign.
Chris Dobson, executive chairman, The Exchange Lab