Brands can no longer enter into digital agreements that lack visibility into how much of their money goes toward working media that accomplishes their goals. I have written before that advertisers need to be proactive in pushing for transparency in programmatic buying. When advertisers start digging into transparency with their digital teams, they may not like the answers they get. Fortunately, those unsatisfied with the status quo and looking to take matters into their own hands have options.
In the classic "Saturday Night Live" skit "Shimmer Floor Wax," Chevy Chase stars as the ad man describing a product that can be used as floor wax or a dessert topping. Brand dollars are now coming online in a programmatic fashion through digital video advertising. Kellogg's mentioned getting serious back in 2011 and is now looking to programmatic mobile video (PMV) as its branding strategy. American Express mentioned wanting to spend close to 100% of its online budget on programmatic. Proctor & Gamble projects spending 70% to 75% of its U.S. digital media budget via programmatic by the end of …
"Transparency" is often touted in the digital advertising industry as a means of differentiation, designed to attract business in a very competitive market. The word has entered the ad-tech lexicon to assuage any fears advertisers have when considering adding RTB to their media plans, but what does "transparency" really mean to advertisers?
Hyper-local data is now available via programmatic media buying, and the implications are huge. Hyper-local targeting mainly uses a consumer's latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates (abbreviated as lat/long) to deliver a targeted ad, We've been doing this since Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492. It's flown under the radar with the ease of cookie data collection, but location-based targeting is coming back with innovative opportunities.
The Big Data (Internet) of Things movement can help clarify the measurement to help everyone make money and build programmatic for brand building and buying. Measurement needs to keep up with the needs of the cross-platform world and programmatic needs to advance with big data beyond bidding based on price, publisher-perceived quality and viewablity. CEOs, CMOs and product managers used to call in the researchers and data scientists only when the product or the marketing did not seem to be working. Now, the Chief Data Officer (CDO) is acting like a "data science" poet.
Just scanning language on the technology pages of leading programmatic vendors' sites such as Rubicon Project, Rocket Fuel or DataXu can provide us a clue. They proudly report statements along the lines of: "we utilize more than 50,000 algorithms in fractions of a second," or "our progressive optimization engine processes 6.4 billion impressions daily." That sounds like pretty impressive horsepower. But exactly what does this mean for brands marketers? Do they really need this much power on the back-end to make effective ad buys? And how does one continually harness the full scope of constantly advancing technology?
A few months back, the IAB and Winterberry Group made a splash when it released a report stating (among other things) that 85% of advertisers use programmatic strategies. By this light, one could assume that programmatic has reached prime time, with brands using it close to its full potential. Not so fast. Every day we work with marketers to launch their programmatic campaigns, and our experiences tell another story. Though programmatic clearly provides tangible insights, too many marketers are settling for mere reporting of campaign data. The two are hardly the same animals.
All the Cannes Lions party invites are out, the juries are formed, and all that is left now is to announce the winners! Something as subjective as judging creative can come out in the advertising world with just one winner, great runner-ups and not many complaints. However, after 20+ years of CTR measurement, the industry has not proven it can provide a fast, simple and easy brand score to help brand advertisers plan, buy and validate in real-time premium programmatic or RTB (real-time branding, not just bidding).
Madison Avenue can learn a lot from Wall Street about the business of automated buying and selling of digital advertising, or programmatic trading. The financial markets have been taking advantage of automated exchanges longer than advertisers and publishers have. The ad tech industry can benefit from taking a page out of the financial industry's.
Programmatic buying is quickly moving beyond advertising's minor leagues. What started as a way to automate access to the Web's vast supply of remnant inventory through real-time bidding is evolving into a force for innovation across numerous areas of the advertising landscape, including premium ads and direct buys. Here are three key ways that programmatic technologies are affecting - and will continue to revolutionize - the planning, buying, execution and refinement of marketing campaigns: