Programmatic Campaigns Yield More Good Than Harm

Efficient and laser focused.

When done right, these are two ways to characterize programmatic advertising. If you’re looking to run a successful campaign and reach your exact audience, programmatic advertising is a smart and highly recommended route to take.

There are a host of benefits that come with buying ads this way. At the forefront is the capability of efficiently targeting potential consumers. In contrast to traditional media buying, programmatically run campaigns allow you to buy your audience as opposed to a publisher or site that likely customers might consume. By going programmatic, you can reach more people who may purchase your product or have interest in your organization, while reducing wasted dollars and impressions.

Programmatic ad buying saves time as well. Thanks to automation, you no longer have to worry about the tedious aspects of a campaign such as RFPs, negotiations, invoicing from multiple vendors or wasting money with a spray-and-pray approach. Programmatic ad buying frees up time for you to focus on big picture considerations like your overall strategy. 



With the industry recognizing these advantages, the trajectory of programmatic advertising is trending up. This year alone, eMarketer forecasts that programmatic spending will reach approximately $33 billion. And by the end of 2017, 84% of the market will be controlled by automated ad buying. It’s pretty clear that programmatic advertising is here to stay and will continue to evolve as artificial intelligence, tech and data mature.

There’s no running away from the fact that there have been some concerns raised about brand safety and ad fraud and rightfully so. As ad tech and media become more efficient and innovative, so does the complexity and accountability to ensure that programmatic campaigns are run correctly. There are a host of responsibilities that brands should take on in order to protect themselves while stepping into the new age of advertising.

The protection process should begin with building and continuously maintaining a blacklist of low-quality sites. Taking notes on site-level impression delivery can help you find out whether your ads are being served at such places. Enlisting a strict vetting process with the help of human eyeballs and artificial intelligence can recognize whether a site’s content should be blacklisted before any of them touch your campaign.

Whitelisting is equally as important. You should select where you would like your ads to appear and leverage private marketplaces to target better controlled inventory. When considering both these options, it’s crucial to be mindful of scale. Knowing your target audience and potential inventory can be critical to the effectiveness of your ads.

Types of creative formats can significantly impact brand safety, too. For example, it’s best to target medium to large player sizes when running video. This reduces the chances that low-quality inventory is served, especially with banner. Larger video players may have higher CPMs and less inventory, but produce higher brand/message recall.

When it comes to ad-tech or demand-side platforms in programmatic campaigns, it’s best to keep in mind that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for brand safety. It’s best to pick DSPs aligned with pre-bid targeting that are Media Rating Council-accredited. Selecting the right buying platform lessens the chances that ads show up in unfavorable content categories. Each ad tech has their own strengths, and it’s important to choose based on exact campaign needs.

The last critical recommendation for running a protected programmatic campaign is partnering with brand safety providers that can wrap ad serving tags with their code. This allows for better monitoring and quality assurance as well as blocking of non-brand safe content. Companies like Integral Ad Science and DoubleVerify are suggested options to consider.

These partners can block invalid traffic generated by bots, which can save up to 15% of your media spend. Third-party providers can also track viewability to provide deeper quality metrics and they monitor for pixel stuffing, ad collisions, out of geo and more to provide in-depth insights for advanced optimizations.

Don’t just choose a couple of these strategies. Instead, implement them all. Running a protected campaign takes some extra work. But when you consider the overall benefits brought by programmatic advertising, that investment is well worth the effort.

2 comments about "Programmatic Campaigns Yield More Good Than Harm".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 11, 2017 at 12:37 p.m.

    Some good points but let's bear in mind that "programmatic" is nothing more than an automated media buying system, it's not advertising per se.

  2. John Grono from GAP Research, August 11, 2017 at 7:56 p.m.

    It's a new category ... Op-Ad.

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