There are lots of programmatic buying platforms to choose from, each with distinct use cases.
There’s a potential of using over 10 UIs to buy programmatic media. Are media buyers becoming bogged down with too many tools? Are they in danger of UI fatigue? Yes and no.
Today’s media buyers are more hands-on. They traffic ads, review site analytics, and buy media programmatically. They have even taken on viewability and fraud monitoring platforms. Using multiple UIs isn’t as daunting as it used to be. But they are also beginning to assess operational trade-offs. For instance, even though two DSPs may have unique cookie sets and bidding algorithms for banner impressions, will they provide enough uplift to warrant the time to learn and manage both DSPs? How about format-specific DSPs?
Publishers and ad vendors are beginning to understand this. The first questions they are (or should be) asking advertisers is, “What is your programmatic tech stack?” Plugging into an advertiser’s tech stack will increase their chances of making it on a media plan. Vendors looking to become a new part of an existing tech stack will need to prove their added value to warrant the labor and expense of learning a new tool. Programmatic buyers are becoming more critical of what they place in their toolbox in order to remain more nimble.
The ad tech space will also continue to evolve. Yahoo’s purchase of Brightroll and Rubicon Project’s purchase of iSocket and Shiny Ads are just the beginning of horizontal acquisitions that will create more holistic programmatic buying solutions. Standard DSPs have built out PMP libraries to reduce the need of working with SSP UIs and are developing better user experiences to support other formats.
One huge consolidation opportunity in the ad tech space is a universal programmatic management platform. The best success case is in paid search with campaign management tools like Marin and Kenshoo. All advertisers with robust search accounts use these platforms to consolidate bidding across Google, Yahoo, Bing, and even Facebook. A universal programmatic management platform could also be a central UI to monitor and control global frequency capping and unique reach, two metrics that are becoming more important as advertisers add to their programmatic buying tech stack. Consolidating to a single buying platform would solve the efficiency problems associated with managing too many UIs.