Now I know every service provider claims their top priority is to drive ROI for its client, and they probably mean it. But if that were really the case, why is so much great traffic ignored?
And to advertisers who may be reading this article, I ask you this: Why do so many of you relegate ROI calculation to junior employees who fiddle with spreadsheets? Shouldn’t you put ROI front and center, perhaps even outsource it to an expert media buyer who knows how and where to find overlooked gold nuggets that can flip your campaign into massive profitability?
If you think I’m suggesting that somewhere out there in the greater Web there are pockets of gold that most of the industry – and programmatic in particular – ignores, then you’re spot-on. That’s exactly what I’m saying.
I’m not trashing programmatic. Programmatic clearly works, and it delivers real value to a lot of advertisers. But there are plenty of nooks and crannies that mainstream programmatic can’t reach. And in our experience, those crevices are often filled with enough gold to turn a great many campaigns extremely profitable. Let me explain.
If you cozy up to the technology providers that source their own traffic through their own solutions, you’re sure to find lots and lots of prospects to target and convert. For example, in-text ads excel at highlighting keywords on a page. While you may say, OK, that sounds interesting but not exactly earth-shattering, the truth is, the technology consistently delivers highly relevant, search-equivalent conversions. How? It is super-good at getting ads and offers on the most relevant websites. Of course, you need to purchase inventory with extreme accuracy.
Now you may be wondering what I mean by “accuracy,” given programmatic uses sophisticated algorithms to buy accurately, and it’s automated. But let’s go back to what I said earlier – mainstream programmatic misses a lot of traffic streams generated by technology companies that source their own traffic; companies in the search, SEM, email, domain, in-text and many others in the display network space. These partners offer shockingly high-quality traffic, and if you’re concerned with campaign ROI, here is your opportunity to exceed expectations. But you can’t count on programmatic to do it.
Email is a great example. If you work with a lot of companies that have a true understanding of their customers, you’re in a strategic position to target those consumers with ads and offers that are highly relevant to them. But the channel falls outside of the realm of programmatic.
In fact, there are numerous marketing initiatives out there that offer outstanding traffic quality. The traffic is generated by really smart people who have spent decades building and optimizing their technology. They offer unparalleled insight into their audience, and help you reach and engage your target audience. Don’t ignore the alternative paths of great ROI.
Here’s another difference between programmatic and the alternative universe I’m talking about: programmatic focuses on buying consumers who meet campaign criteria based on cookie data. But in many cases content relevance outperforms cookie data because it does a better job at fighting banner blindness. If I’m reading about digital SLR cameras on a review site, I’m far more likely to notice and respond to an ad for a brand that’s received a high rating. Content relevance is all about presenting a message to the right consumers when they’re in the right frame of mind to respond to it.
Of course, all this is predicated on the assumption that you (or an agency you work with) have the insight and relationship with the tech providers that make up the alternative universe to mine for gold. I believe there’s room in the market for technology and partners to fill that niche.