Measurement Tactics For Optimizing Your Programmatic Buys

One of my clients recently told me that he’s spending a big portion of his budget on programmatic media buys, but isn’t seeing a lot of ROI. He then proceeded to ask, “What should I do differently?”

To answer his question, I used an analogy about day trading: You can’t blame the stock market or the trading platform if you’re losing money. Success depends on what you’re trading (stocks, gold, etc.), as well as having a clear strategy for achieving your investment objectives.

This same concept can be applied to programmatic media buying. While programmatic platforms can simplify the ad buying process, actual performance benefits and ROI depend on the marketer, the media and the objectives of their digital ad campaigns – and not just on the platform itself.

Here are four measurement tactics that every marketer who buys programmatic media should consider:

Select the Right Metrics: While programmatic media buying systems like demand side platforms (DSPs) and real-time bidding engines (RTBs) can help you plan, target and execute your digital media buys, they can’t optimize your campaigns for you unless you communicate what metric matters to your business. Then provide platforms with accurate measurements of the cross-channel impact of the media you buy based on that metric.



Marketers can accurately measure this impact using advanced, multi-touch metrics that not only factor in the last click, but all the known touchpoints in the customer journey, so that the right amount of conversion credit can be given to the right media. Programmatic media buying systems can then import these metrics at the impression level to understand which touchpoints are driving the best return toward your specific marketing and business goals.

Break Down the Channel Silos: Most consumers interact with, and are influenced by, multiple online and offline touchpoints before they reach the point of conversion. Yet programmatic vendors can only provide a siloed view of the performance based on the media that flows through their platform. In other words, they can’t account for the influence of exposures that occur elsewhere.

Multi-touch performance metrics break down these silos, empowering marketers and their programmatic partners with an understanding of the synergies between channels and tactics. Such insight enables programmatic platforms to optimize media buys in a holistic, coordinated way, despite the fact that they are still purchasing media in separate silos.

Fight Advertising Fraud & Non-Viewability: Click fraud and impression fraud, as well as non-viewability, are among the digital advertising industry’s most vexing problems. So how can you make sure you’re not comprising ROI by buying inventory that’s fraudulent, non-viewable or both? Rather than relying on traditional metrics like clicks and visits to measure effectiveness, marketers should focus more on optimizing media based on lower-funnel metrics like revenue or profit. This means that fraudulent media and non-viewable impressions will be automatically filtered out, since they can’t contribute to an advertiser’s bottom line.

Go Real-time: Real-time or near-real-time actionability is paramount to maximizing ROI for programmatic buying. Therefore, having a mechanism by which attributed, multi-touch performance metrics are sent automatically to programmatic execution platforms is essential. Not only does this approach ensure your media buys are based on the most accurate information, but it also accelerates media buying time to market and reduces the exposure to human error that comes with manual execution.

1 comment about "Measurement Tactics For Optimizing Your Programmatic Buys".
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  1. Noble Digital from Noble Digital, April 25, 2015 at 4:24 p.m.

    Non-fraudulant placements is Noble Digital's #1 priority and then everything else comes after that. Over time, we've compiled a list of sites and other trouble spots that have been identified as worthless sources of inventory.  Focusing on that first gave us a dramatic increase of engagement on our video campaigns.

    Simply put, digital videos are a lot more powerful when humans actually view it.  This is what turns the machinery on, allowing the rest of the funnel to ignite.

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