Omnichannel Attribution: Guide to Campaign Measurement

Today’s consumer is bombarded with advertising messages from both traditional and digital media channels. The journey they are taking from their initial search for a solution to making a purchase is becoming more complex. According to digital marketing experts, 80 percent of consumers either start searching online and eventually make a purchase offline or start searching offline and purchase through online channels. Consequently, effective omnichannel engagement strategies are crucial to customer retention. Organizations that employ these strategies retain 89 percent of customers, while companies that do not only retain 33 percent.

Yet, with an omnichannel strategy, it’s more difficult for marketing managers and executives to determine which channel or advertising piece produced customer conversions. With all of the types of media and advertising customers see before they make a purchase, more than one channel has an influence. An omnichannel attribution model can help managers determine which advertising contributed to converting customers. Effective models can return data that reveals insights by campaigns, customer segments, and degrees of influence. However, an effective model will look different for each company and scenario. Here’s some tips on how to determine the best approach.

Factors to Consider

When designing an omnichannel attribution model, there are several questions you’ll need to ask and factors to keep in mind. The most important is the size of the organization. For instance, small companies may not always focus on more than one channel. Some campaigns or customer segments may be targeted with one media channel, while others are targeted with a larger scope. Medium to large companies, on the other hand, typically have the budgets to consistently use an omnichannel focus.

Small Organizations

If you’re a marketing manager or executive in a small company and you want to use a single channel, consider whether your sales cycle is short or long. While a short cycle typically concentrates on-demand generation, a longer cycle is more focused on conversions. Short cycles usually do best with a first-touch attribution model, while longer cycles are better served with a last-touch model. First-touch models credit the first point of advertising contact and last-touch models credit the last touchpoint. When using an omnichannel method, a small organization’s focus should shift from the length of the sales cycle to the growth strategy.

Medium to Large Organizations

Determining the optimal omnichannel attribution model for medium to large companies starts with asking whether there’s access to historical data. That data has to be both high-quality and in large enough quantities to be usable. Provided that type of data is unavailable, you should determine your growth strategy next. Without a defined growth strategy, a linear attribution model will be the best fit. Conservative growth strategies are best served by a time-decay model and aggressive growth fits with a position-based model. Firms that use an external vendor to collect, track, and manage historical data will find a data-driven omnichannel attribution model works well.

Types of Omnichannel Attribution Models

Data-Driven

A data-driven model is also called marketing mix modeling. This type of model works well for companies that have large amounts of historical data that can produce insights across a wide variety of digital and offline channels. Marketing mix modeling reveals how you can make your marketing budget more efficient by funneling more dollars into channels that have higher conversions. One of the advantages of this model is that it can also analyze sub-channels. Marketing mix modeling also incorporates factors external to the organization or campaign. For example, seasonal fluctuations in the weather or economic downturns can be used as inputs to determine temporary changes.

The con of using marketing mix modeling is that the data is often not uniform. As a result, your team will end up taking raw data from multiple sources and re-arranging it. Either you’ll need to restructure the data so that it’s apples to apples or make adjustments for differences. This can take your team extra time and additional help may be necessary. It is also more difficult for managers and executives to determine the non-financial performance of different media channels and make predictions for future campaigns.

Setting up a data-driven model works similarly to a weighted average formula. Let’s say your prospect’s first point of contact is an email, then a radio ad, followed by a call to a sales rep, then a store where a purchase is made. Depending upon the performance of each channel, you would assign a different percentage or weight to it. For example, the email was 30% effective, the radio ad was 20% effective, the call to the sales rep was 40% effective, and the trip to the store was 10% effective in converting the prospect.

Time-Decay, Position-Based, and Linear-Attribution

A time-decay model also assigns a percentage or weight indicating effectiveness to each channel. The difference is that the closer to conversion the channel is in the customer’s buying journey, the more weight it is given. This model can increase customer loyalty and incorporate all stages of the customer’s buying journey. However, this model tends to always place more value on channels that are nearest to conversion and less value on channels that are farthest away from conversion.

In a position-based model, equal emphasis is placed on the customer’s first and final exposure to advertising. Besides placing equal emphasis on the first and last channel the customer sees or interacts with, less weight or effectiveness is assigned to points of contact in the middle of the journey. Using the previous example from the data-driven model, you would assign 40% to the email and the store, along with 10% each to the radio ad and the sales rep. While this model helps managers focus on acquiring leads and converting them into customers, it discounts the other channels that could play a bigger role in converting prospects.

Unlike the other models, linear-attribution assigns the same percentage of weight to all of the channels. This is the easiest model to work with and does not overlook any of the media channels. However, the model fails to take into account that different channels can exert various degrees of influence on prospects.

Tracking Channel Performance

Without the ability to track the performance of each channel with a unique ID or actions, assigning weights or percentages to different channels can be misleading and ineffective. Generally speaking, there are three different overarching methods to track channel performance. Those methods include using rules, paths, or multiple dimensions.

Using rules means that you first determine which actions to consider. For example, will unique last clicks be used to track channel performance? Or will calls into a service center be used? When paths are utilized, you look at the entire customer journey from the first contact to conversion. The same path or means to conversion is used to track performance across all channels. The multiple dimensions approach uses a unique ID for each prospect or customer as he or she goes through the channels to conversion. Although the path-based method can become less accurate when you attempt to apply it to specifics like keyword phrases, the multiple dimensions approach’s data can become limited to the channels converted prospects encounter.

Digilant’s Approach to Omnichannel Attribution

If all of this sounds overwhelming, know that omnichannel advertising experts like Digilant can help you build an effective strategy and model. Combining digital and offline advertising to convert prospects and grow your business can be challenging, even for the largest firms with the best resources. Digilant takes the guesswork out of the process and shortens the learning curve with data-driven approaches. We can offer full-service and self-service options, and over 500 clients trust us to aid in their omnichannel strategies.

Don’t put the fate of your omnichannel strategy at risk. Contact us for more information today.

Targeted digital advertising campaign focused on specific goals help brands reach shoppers at home

Targeted digital advertising campaign focused on specific goals help brands reach shoppers at home

By Elizabeth Crawfod

via Food Navigator

As consumers continue to gravitate to ecommerce for groceries and limit trips to retail stores, CPG companies will need to shift more of their advertising dollars to digital from traditional. Read about specific marketing tactics and sales strategies brands can use to ensure a strong ROI when making this switch. 

“I know this sounds really basic, but companies need ot take time to think of a strategic plan when it comes to digital. There are a lot of companies out the right now that are quickly shifting dollars to digital and taking a ‘let’s see what happens’ approach… a better approach is to first identify concrete objects and measurement of success that can be attributed to digital, and then identify the best channels and tactics to achieve those goals.”

Mike Addonizio, Digilant VP of Paid Media

Read the full piece here.

How Retailers Can Engage Omnichannel Shoppers in 2021

How Retailers Can Engage Omnichannel Shoppers in 2021

By Mike Addinizio | VP of Paid Media, Digilant

via Total Retail

Marketers and retailers who have long relied on historical consumer behavior data and trends to guide their omnichannel planning and campaigns are facing a new reality in 2021. The pandemic has not only changed the way consumers shop and purchase products, but also how they choose to engage with brands overall.

The biggest change has been the acceleration of all things digital across every audience segment, as even older consumers have been forced to learn and grow comfortable with new devices, tools and platforms.

As a result, retailers need to be increasingly nimble in 2021, even as their marketing mix undergoes a transformation to reflect a new consumer mindset. A marketing plan put in place in January will have to be checked and stress-tested to ensure it’s still the right solution for March.

Read the full piece here.

Evaluating the Success of an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy

If you’ve invested in an omnichannel marketing strategy, after a bit of time working with this marketing strategy, you may start to wonder, “what’s next?” or “how will I measure the success” of these campaigns. These are very reasonable questions to ask yourself as you need answers to help support the investment that your team has decided to make on behalf of your brand. 

Keep reading to learn more about how to evaluate the success of your omnichannel marketing strategy

Understand the time commitment

As with any new advertising initiative, change and results take time. Chances are your brand won’t go viral overnight, but rather a successful omnichannel marketing strategy will use continued evolution to acquire better and better touchpoints among consumers. An omnichannel marketing strategy will drive both positive brand awareness and the more specific KPIs you desire. 

So rather than deeming an omnichannel marketing strategy a success or a failure overnight, clearly outline your short and long-term goals. With every campaign, evaluate if your short term goals are being met and have remained on track. All of these short term goals will support fulfilling your long term goal. Continually focusing on your long term goals will make them seem unattainable. Instead, decide on a time frame – quarterly, mid-year, yearly – to stringently look at your long term goals.

Chances are if your short term goals are on track, your long term goals are, as well. Hyper-focus on the long-term goals will lead to tunnel vision, which could cause you to miss out on diversifying towards a strategic channel or opportunity.

Examine Your Campaigns Granularly

It is crucial to understand each channel, each tactic, each audience segment, data point, etc. Determine how they support your overall goals – both short-term and, when applicable, long-term. Maybe that audience segment that you were testing out didn’t interact with your brand as much as you had hoped. Conversely, the SEM strategy you invested more budget towards resulted in higher click-through rates than traditionally used channels.

Look closely at each flight and the overall campaign to acquire as many data points as possible. Don’t overlook anything that doesn’t seem essential; at this stage, everything contributes to the omnichannel marketing strategy’s overall story

A strategic omnichannel marketing partner will implement an always-on analytics dashboard that gives you these data-points and critical information throughout your entire campaign. This level of access to campaign information means you don’t have to wait for a campaign to run its course to perform this evaluation and allows you to better track if you are reaching these short-term goals that you have set for your brand. 

Survey the Full Picture

With the detailed data gained from the previous step, you will now better understand if your omnichannel campaign was successful overall. (Again, always keep in mind that particular successes take months, if not years, to pan out.) 

With granular data obtained, you will be able to paint a better picture of your overall campaign and assess and evaluate those long term goals. As your short-term goals were reached each month, did they contribute to your long-term goal of more sales during the slower summer months, more webinar sign-ups, or a greater brand awareness amongst consumers in the Pacific Northwest?

Many of these long-term goals would not be possible without short-term success. As you look at your campaigns in full, you will be able to see how the different channels, all tied together with an omnichannel customer journey, led to tremendous success. 

Identify Areas for Opportunity or Growth

The step above will also allow you to identify areas for opportunity or improvement. Just as mentioned above, an omnichannel marketing strategy should always be evolving. So, as you check off those long-term goals, create new ones. 

And if you aren’t reaching those long-term goals, it may be time to reconsider your short-term goals. Is there a missing piece to the puzzle that is hurting the success of the campaign? Are specific audiences not being targeted on their channel of choice? Do I need to invest in certain technologies that would diminish cart-abandonment?

Understanding the missed steps during the campaign will allow you to invest your advertising budget for future campaigns better. 

Analyze Successful Aspects of your Omnichannel Marketing Strategy 

Just as important as taking the time to understand missed opportunities and areas for growth is evaluating what made your omnichannel marketing strategy successful. Taking time to address where your campaign is finding the most success highlights your company’s driving business, growth, etc. Knowing this will help you better invest your tie and resources in continuing to foster these environments. Taking time to analyze this portion of your omnichannel strategy will also help you build, even more, making it even more successful. Because, as mentioned above, omnichannel marketing strategies are never 100% done. 

Ensure Your Omnichannel Marketing Partner is Working Towards Your Success

As you evaluate your omnichannel marketing campaign’s success, this is an excellent opportunity to reflect how well you and your omnichannel marketing partner worked together. The partner you work with should support your brand’s overall KPIs and give you guidance and aid every step of the way to achieve those goals. Partners might have to shift strategy mid-campaign, implement new tactics, dive deeper into audience insights; the list is endless. But, no matter what’s needed, the best omnichannel partners are quick on their feet to address potential concerns before they become problems. 

As you continue through this vetting process, take time to evaluate your omnichannel marketing partnership’s success.

Digilant’s Omnichannel Marketing Solution

Digilant’s omnichannel marketing solutions are purpose-built; where traditional agencies can be slow to react, overly complicated, and high-cost, we are proactive, agile, and readily available. These qualities position Digilant as the best possible partner for advertisers. Our omnichannel solutions span across social, programmatic, affiliate, influencer, radio, television, and audio. Our always-on, transparent analytics dashboards give advertisers insight into their campaign’s performance every step of the way. 

Are you interested in learning more about how our team of data analysts, biddable-media platform experts, ad tech specialists, and planners and strategists will work on your behalf to ensure omnichannel marketing success? Let’s talk.  

Evaluating B2B Marketing Attribution in Omnichannel Campaigns

Conversations surrounding the benefits of digital advertising sometimes skew more B2C-centric. However, B2B companies can, and should, take advantage of the data-driven technologies available to advertisers. B2B companies face a longer sales cycle, on average (estimates say that of B2B sales take 3 months or longer to close, in comparison to 2-3 weeks for B2C sales), which means that quality, timely consumer touchpoints are essential. Attaining and maintaining consumers’ attention over the course of this sales cycle is no easy feat, however with a quality omnichannel approach, it is possible. 

And as advertsertisers invest in an omnichannel marketing solution, they realize they can feel more comfortable dividing their marketing budgets across different channels. Today’s omnichannel advertiser’s, whether B2B or B2C, combine channels such as display, video, digital audio, CTV, SEM and social to create a more holistic omnichannel digital experience. In 2019, 51% of advertisers used eight or more channels to interact with consumers. 

However, the key differentiator in an omnichannel solution is that it isn’t just spreading your camping across different channels to touch them all. Rather, it is effectively using these channels to the best of their ability, reaching the right audience on the right channels. This is especially important in a B2B sales cycle, as mentioned above, that usually extends longer than the average B2C cycle. B2B marketers need to embrace quality, rather than quantity, effective touchpoints backed by data-driven marketing. 

So how does an advertiser ensure that their digital campaigns are yielding these strategic touchpoints? Enter B2B marketing attribution.

What is marketing attribution? 

Attribution allows advertisers to analyze ROI respective to each channel used throughout the customer journey. It outlines the way in which consumers get to know, and eventually purchase from your product. The goal of attribution studies is to understand which touchpoints (or channels) had the greatest impact on the desired result, such as a sale.

As mentioned above, the B2B sales cycle rarely has a 2 step path to purchase. Instead, consumers interact with your brand on social media, after seeing your ad while streaming television and then ultimately enter through your site via a display ad they see while scrolling through a news article, maybe toggling between adding an item to cart before eventually deciding to purchase the product after receiving a discount code via an email campaign (even that would be a quicker sales journey than most). As marketers it would be our dream to understand the consumer thought process during each step of this journey – what they thought of the brand while interacting with them on Facebook, if the website fulfilled any questions they had, etc. Although we don’t quite have the technology to fulfill that exact process, marketing attribution gets us pretty close.

Different Types of Marketing Attribution 

There are two major categories of marketing attribution studies: single touch and multi-touch. 

Single Touch Attribution 

Just as the name would indicate, single touch attribution models give credit of the desired action to one touchpoint during the sales cycle. The two most common types of single-touch attribution models are:

  • First touch: 100% of the sale is attributed to the first touchpoint the consumer had with the brand. In B2B marketing attribution specifically, you could also consider “lead creation touch” meaning that 100% of the sale is allocated to the touchpoint that directly led to a customer transitioning from a prospect to a viable lead.
  • Last touch: 100% of the sale is attributed to the last touchpoint the consumer had with the brand

So, take the example from above, if this brand was using a last touch attribution model, 100% of the sale would be attributed to the last email that was sent to the consumer. There would be no account for the CTV, social, or additional display ads that the consumer interacted with and saw. 

There are undoubtedly cases in which these attribution studies has benefits and can be efeiclty implement to further your brand’s goals. However, in more recent times, advertisers have leaned more on multi-touch. 

Multi Touch Attribution

Multi touch attribution models are more complex to outline and digest than single touch attribution models, as they each have their own unique nuances and benefits. However, the basis of multi-touch attribution models is that it look at a, again not surprisingly, different touchpoints along the customer journey and how they all contributed to the desired action. Some of the most popular models are: 

  • Linear: This model gives equal credit to every touchpoint during the customer journey
  • U-Shaped: This model gives 40% of the credit to the first touchpoint, 40% to the last touchpoint, and all touchpoints between account for the other 20%
  • W-Shaped: This model allocates 30% credit to the first and last touchpoints, but also allocated 30% to the touchpoint in which the consumer went from a prospect toa viable lead, leaving 10% for the remaining touchpoints
  • Time Decay: This model gives credit to the final touchpoints leading up to the conversion, or sale, and allocating less importance on the initial touchpoints

Aside from these two umbrella terms for attribution studies, there are also custom attribution studies that advertisers can create to weigh different touchpoints in their own unique way. 

B2B Marketing Attribution: Finding the Right Solution For Your Brand

Finding the right attribution model will depend on your brand’s overall goals. So, before you decide on any of these B2B marketing attribution models, it is essential that you establish what you hope to gain from these studies and what you intend to do with this information once you acquire it. Without a plan in place as to how you will use the information to better your brand, you are more at risk to pick a study that ultimately doesn’t further your success.  

Once these goals are in place, you will have a more clear direction of which study is best fit for you. Think of the B2B sales cycle in four different steps: 

  1. first touch
  2. lead creation
  3. opportunity creation
  4. close/sale

If your brand is struggling with steps one and two, you should look to attribution studies that lend better insights into where leads that end up making a purchase, first interact with your brand. This will allow you to better allocate resources and advertising budget to channels that are successfully improving this part of the sales cycle. 

Consider a custom U shaped attribution model that aligns 40% to the first touch and 40% to the lead creation action. This also could be the case for a first touch attribution model. 

On the opposite side of the spectrum, if your brand has no problem bringing in leads, but is struggling to close the sale, you will want to focus on attribution models that showcase end of sales cycle insights. 

Consider time decay or last touch attribution models. 

Time to get Started: Find a Marketing Attribution Partner

Because attribution models are growing more advanced and customizable, there’s no one-size-fits-all B2B marketing attribution study that will work for every brand across the board. With nearly limitless options, it seems constricting to have a blanket list for everyone to follow.

Rather, if you are looking to get started with B2B marketing attribution but don’t know where to start, consider investing in a digital advertising partner. This partner will work with your team to understand your business objective and in turn, find an attribution model that will best work to fulfill your said objectives.

Attribution is not an easy subject to digest, let alone implement into your digital media strategy. To uncover the full benefits of its features, finding experts that can guide you through the intricacies and changes that arise is a worthwhile investment. 

Digilant’s Attribution Solution

At Digilant, we know the challenges that brands face. More pressure than ever to quantify business impact, greater trouble keeping pace with emerging channels, and an increasing need for digital media platform experts. All of our solutions are built with these channeleges in mind. 

Our custom-built dashboards give advertisers holistic, automated views into the customer journey, updated in-real-time. We work with our clients to find a solution that works best for their needs. And, we understand that your needs may change and adapt as your brand does. Our team of experts is flexible and readily available to work with you every step and change along the way to ensure your brand’s goals are achieved. 

Interested in learning more about Digilant’s attribution solutions? Learn more about our attribution solutions, or schedule a live demo with one of our attribution experts here

2021 Predictions

2021 Predictions

By Rieva Lesonsky via SmallBizDaily

What will 2021 bring small business owners? Small Biz Daily asked entrepreneurs and experts to share their small business insights and predictions for 2021.

More companies will focus on hiring where the talent is rather than a company headquarters or office location. Due to the impact of COVID-19 on remote work in a growing number of cases, recruiting efforts are shifting to focus on attracting, hiring, and retaining the best and most qualified talent regardless of the individuals’ home base. Through this approach, companies, especially those located outside of major metropolitan areas, will gain access to larger and more diverse pools of talent that are attracted to their specific employer culture and brand versus a desirable geographic location.

-Raquel Rosenthal, CEO, Digilant.

Read more.

5 Ways Omnichannel Marketing Technology is Used to Support Data Driven Decisions

Data-driven marketing solutions are transforming the way brands advertise. Data-driven solutions allow advertisers to reach an engaged audience at the right time and with the right message. And, as a result, it benefits the brand’s overall ROI and business goals. Invespo found that marketers that exceeded their revenue goals were using personalized techniques 83% of the time, and businesses that employ data-driven personalization delivered five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend.

Rather than playing guessing games, testing different advertising techniques, it’s time to invest in solutions that are backed by data. One of these data-driven advertising solutions is omnichannel marketing. Omnichannel marketing technology allows advertisers to address the consumer journey across every channel (desktop browser, mobile, retail, social media, podcast, and any others they might use) and how they move through these channels and interact with the brand. This creates one unified customer experience across all the different channels, rather than fragmented experiences that seem disconnected. Consumers are no longer just rely on one shopping experience, and omnichannel marketing technology meets these omnichannel shoppers with a solution that matches.

And as mentioned above, the backbone of this advertising technique: data. Data is used throughout omnichannel marketing campaigns to target the right consumers, to then track these customer journeys, and arguably the most important use, to optimize towards channels that are working best.

As your brand moves towards more decisions backed by data, omnichannel marketing supports these initiatives. Below, we’ve outlined five ways omnichannel marketing technology is used to support data-driven decisions.

Keep in mind upcoming changes to consumer data policies

During any data management discussions within your organization or with outside partners, it’s important to remember the importance of consumer privacy and your role in protecting it. Stay up to date with the latest changes in customer privacy and resources to help you prepare for said changes on our Future of Third-Party Cookies hub.

Five ways that omnichannel marketing technology can be used to support data-driven decisions. 

1.Continuously Improving Data

A brand’s insights are only as useful as the data that backs them. In the world of digital advertising, with continuous emerging channels and technologies, it’s essential to have a constant source of data. Data-driven decisions supported by data from 5 years ago may not warrant the best results. Omnichannel marketing technology forces you to continuously garner, update, and implement new and improved data.

That’s not to say that the data from 5 years ago, for example, isn’t useful. Having a year-over-year outlook on how your consumers have evolved gives you great insight into patterns and trends. The key to these insights is continuously fostering this data and using it to better your organization. You don’t want gaps in consumer data that lead to missed opportunities – and that is where omnichannel technology comes in with continuous data generation and implementation.

2. Unified Data Storage

Similar to the point above, just as harmful as gaps in data, so too is fragmented data storage. The average marketer is now keeping track of customer information from an average of 15 different data sources. And, as you begin to dive headfirst into a data-driven organization, you may realize that your consumer data has historically been stored on individual spreadsheets. 

Omnichannel marketing technology pushes advertisers to establish a unified data management workflow. As data is gathered, it is audited and organized in a unified workflow set up to best support your organization. This process will ensure that all data from all channels is found, viewed, and analyzed, all in one place. Although it might require some work upfront, this organizational tool that is a direct result of omnichannel marketing will have an immediate and long-term positive impact on your marketing campaigns, and in turn, your brand.

3. Establishes Attribution 

Omnichannel marketing technology allows all channels to fire together for the best customer journey experience. Although, there is another crucial advantage brought about by this marketing strategy: better attribution studies.

Many brands have already discovered the benefits attribution and analytics can bring to their digital advertising campaigns. And, you may already be using these resources across some of your channels or campaigns. An omnichannel marketing solution will allow these analytics and attribution studies to showcase critical insights across all campaigns, channels, and tactics. With this holistic view, gaps that may have previously been hidden now won’t be overlooked. 

4. Smarter Investments

With every channel connected through omnichannel marketing technology, you will be able to see which channels are best supporting your KPIs. As mentioned above, new technologies and channels are always emerging in digital advertising. As advertisers, it is our job to stay up-to-date with these channels and ensure our campaigns take advantage of these features. One of the most significant benefits of omnichannel marketing is that you can quickly test these channels and realize if they work for your brand. Your audience might not be on that new channel yet, so as tempting as the new hot thing is, if it isn’t supporting your bottom-line goals, the money can be better spent elsewhere.

This smart investment strategy can also support better creative investments. People probably don’t connect the creative team with data, but omnichannel marketing technology will promote more informed content creation backed by data. Omnichannel marketing technology allows you to see which creatives are working best across which channels. You no longer have to wait for a creative flight to run its course; instead, you can quickly identify any messaging that isn’t resonating with consumers and quickly shift towards creatives that yield success. As you continue to create new ads, this data can be shared with your creative team to inform them and guide them for future campaigns.

5. Better Management Decisions

As clearly outlined in the sections above, omnichannel marketing technology promotes more informed, data-driven decisions to improve your consumer’s journey with your brand. This insight can trickle down to the management team to give them a better perspective of what is working well within the organization, highlight opportunities for the future, and showcase where resources need to be invested to improve the brand. These are insights that may have been lost without omnichannel marketing technology.

Take this scenario of a clothing brand, for example. This brand’s native display ads featuring its new spring line have a great click-through rate. And when utilizing a retargeting feature, consumers tend to add a specific dress (highlighted in their campaign) to their cart. However, you notice your brand is facing extremely high cart abandonment rates. Your organization may think they need to invest in better virtual assistants to support consumers through the checkout process. 

But, omnichannel marketing technology tells a different story. These same customers that abandon their cart make an in-store purchase the next time they head to the mall. The shipping charges deterred them from making online purchases. Without omnichannel marketing solutions, the brand would have mistakenly invested in a virtual assistant rather than figuring out a pricing structure or loyalty program to better support reduced or no shipping charges. Omnichannel marketing technology supports data-driven decisions across every level of an organization, not just marketing.

Omnichannel Marketing Partners Provide Data-Driven Support

As you begin to more seriously research omnichannel marketing and the benefits it will have within your organization, you may be overwhelmed by the different intricacies and expertise required for this type of advertising. If you know that your team does not have the internal bandwidth to properly execute a successful omnichannel marketing strategy, it may be time to look to a partner. 

Omnichannel marketing companies can handle everything from social media and SEM to analytics and attribution to CTV and digital audio. Having a team of experts who specializes in data-driven omnichannel marketing technology will ensure that your campaigns are optimized and on track to support your digital advertising goals and your brand’s overall goals.

Best-in-Class Omnichannel Marketing Technology with Digilant

Data backs every decision that Digilant makes; after all, one of our four core principles states, “lead decisions with data.” From the moment we start working with a brand, we are passionate about uncovering new data points and implementing already established strong data points to push digital advertising campaigns forward. And this data-driven mindset doesn’t stop. Our always-on, holistic analytics features give brands a transparent view into their campaigns. We understand what a digital media strategy requires – radical transparency and a team of agile and flexible experts. If you’re interested in learning more about how Digilant’s data-driven omnichannel marketing technology can boost your digital media, let’s talk.

Evaluating Programmatic Marketing Companies: Finding the Right Partner

After researching and learning more about the benefits of programmatic digital advertising, you’ve decided it is time to incorporate programmatic advertising into your digital advertising playbook. That’s great! However, you also know that you don’t have the internal bandwidth to run and optimize programmatic campaigns across the multitude of channels available: display, video, native, digital audio, CTV & OTT, mobile, DOOH. This means that it is time to find a programmatic marketing partner. 

In the digital advertising world, there is no shortage of programmatic advertising companies to choose from, which can make narrowing down which partner is the best fit more difficult. It’s essential that when speaking with these potential programmatic marketing companies, you can look past the big promises and get down to the details that will most directly impact your digital advertising goals. 

Below we’ve outlined five considerations that you should keep top of mind when evaluating programmatic marketing companies.

Know what you are looking for in a programmatic marketing company. 

Just because a prospective partner touts all the latest and greatest bells and whistles doesn’t mean they are the best fit for you. Before you speak with any programmatic advertising companies, ensure your organization is aligned with your goals in investing in programmatic advertising. Having a plan in place before speaking with these companies will better direct the conversations and allow you to more easily weed out companies that won’t help support your specific goals. 

Inquire about targeting tactics they will use to reach your audience. 

After all, you have decided to invest in programmatic digital advertising to better reach and engage your specific audience. Posing this question at the beginning of meetings will provide insight into a variety of areas of the potential partner. What data providers do you use? Liveramp? Comscore? PushSpring? Oracle? What targeting tactics will you implement? Do you use any laying techniques, and what experience do you have using them in other campaigns? The combination of this answer will suggest how well they will be able to reach your target audience. 

Learn more about how layering different data providers along with targeting tactics can help maximize your audience reach in our CPG case study targeting millennial moms

Brand safety measures cannot be overlooked.

As you were researching programmatic digital advertising, you most likely read about the top concern most advertisers have with this form of advertising: brand safety and ad fraud prevention. As the issue remains at the forefront of the industry, all programmatic marketing companies should have a resolute answer to this question. 

So, as you meet with different prospects, note their answers, and how confident they seem in their procedures. If their answer seems wavering, continue the conversation by asking how they vet their partners if they ensure that all data providers, DSPs, and any other organizations they work with also use similar ad fraud fighting practices. If a programmatic provider is willing to partner with an organization that doesn’t prioritize brand safety, they probably aren’t the best fit for your brand to choose as a partner. 

Don’t hold back your optimization expectations.

The primary appeal of programmatic digital advertising is that it happens in real-time, and so, optimizations also occur in the same way. Rather than waiting for a campaign to run its course and analysis after the fact, programmatic allows advertisers to optimize towards what is working well and shift budget and efforts away from what is not. There is a significant differentiator point in programmatic advertising companies you can uncover when discussing optimization plans with them. 

Yes, realistically, a programmatic provider can press play on your campaign, let the technology take over, and the campaign will run smoothly. However, for all the technology and AI that the industry has, nothing will ever be more beneficial than the human element. 

The right programmatic partner combines machine learning with human expertise. Campaign analysts should be looking into your campaigns, analyzing the data, and optimizing the campaigns in conjunction with the machine learning metrics. Ask prospective programmatic marketing companies how often they (they being actual humans, not just a machine) will manually optimize your camping? Will optimization analysis notes be shared weekly? Monthly? 

Just like in step one of outlining your overall programmatic goals, go into these meetings with expectations for these answers. You should not settle for a programmatic partner that won’t work toward helping you reach (and hopefully exceed) your goals. 

What makes them different from other programmatic marketing companies?

There is no perfect answer to this question (and if the response seems perfect, it might be too good to be true). Asking this question should give you a better taste of the company – what they value most, their area of expertise, or what unique technology they have to offer. 

Maybe they have a specific team of experts who will significantly improve your digital audio goals. Maybe their analytics features go above and beyond any other programmatic marketing companies. Perhaps their pricing structure aligns with the needs of your organization. This is an excellent part of the conversation to evaluate if the programmatic marketing partner will align and prioritize your goals. 

What makes Digilant different from other programmatic marketing companies

Digilant’s team is made up of data analysts, biddable-media planners & strategists, platform experts, and tech specialists who are passionate about data and understand what a digital strategy requires: radical transparency, agility,  and flexibility. We are not ones to sit idle, playing catch up if a problem arrives; instead, our platform experts consistently monitor campaigns to ensure that the best possible targeting options are in play and KPIs are reached. 

We understand that many brands face increasingly crowded categories. Reaching the right audience at the right time while staying on budget and maximizing ROI is more important than ever before. This is no easy task to accomplish. But, with a suite of best-in-class technology and data providers matched with best-in-class client service, Digilant is poised to work alongside our client every step of the way to ensure a winning digital media strategy.

Interested in learning more about how Digilant can transform your digital advertising campaigns? Let’s talk. 

What is Programmatic Digital Advertising?

Just a little over five years ago, in 2015, data shows that advertisers spent about $24.48 billion on programmatic digital advertising in the United States. By the end of this year, that number will more than triple. Experts predict that advertisers will spend just under $80 billion on programmatic advertising in 2021.

Many factors contribute to the exorbitant growth of programmatic digital advertising: better technology, a need for better targeting, and the introduction of mobile phones, to name a few. Experts no longer question the validity of programmatic marketing or if advertisers use it. Instead, people now look to the future to see how they can work to combat any drawbacks people face to grow programmatic marketing and to help advertisers reach their audiences even better.

Before we dive into the different facets of programmatic, it’s helpful to look at the last decade or understand how programmatic quickly climbed up the ladder of digital advertising to become a preferred tactic amongst advertisers.

Basic Programmatic Glossary

Demand Side Platforms (DSPs): A piece of bidding technology or ad servers with optimization and inventory links. They allow audience buying via RTB across multiple sources of inventory. Using algorithmic driven evaluation techniques, DSPs can determine which impressions to buy in real-time.

Demand Management Platforms (DMPs): Used to manage cookie IDs and to generate audience segments, which are subsequently used to target specific users with online ads.  Advertisers now buy media across a vast range of different sites. DMPs can help tie all that activity and resulting campaign and audience data together in one, centralized location and use it to help optimize future media buys and ad creative.

Supply Side Platform (SSP). Supply refers to the seller of media – in most cases, the publisher. SSPs are vehicles for publishers to make their inventory available for programmatic buying via an exchange type marketplace. SSPs are sometimes referred to as yield-optimization platforms. 

Agency Trading Desks: Distributed media buying platforms that exist within the larger ad agency holding companies. Their primary purpose is to buy and sell digital media, including display, video, and mobile, on behalf of agency clients. 

A brief history of programmatic digital advertising

To understand programmatic advertising, we have to travel back to 1994 when the first banner ad was displayed. Hotwired.com made a deal with AT&T to display a banner ad on their site for three months. Over this period, the ad resulted in a rumored 40-50% click-through rate, which will astonish any current-day advertiser who is accustomed to industry-standard CTR rates of ~0.06%. 

And for the next few years, digital advertising mirrored this simple and straightforward process. Advertisers worked directly with publishers to negotiate pricing and placement. These ads were about reach, not relevance. 

Flash forward two years as the internet continued to gain more mainstream use and integration into society. At this point, advertisers had jumped on board, and they too wanted to advertise on these new websites. This led to creating the programmatic ecosystem’s first element: an ad server – DoubleClick to be specific (which would eventually be purchased by Google for  $3.1 billion in 2007).  

Right before the turn of the millennium, competition arose for DoubleClick as they couldn’t keep up with the demand. From 1998-2000, we saw a boom of ad servers that allowed advertisers to place their ads on various sites within the network. 

In this same time frame, Google launched AdWords, which allowed advertisers to run CPC-priced campaigns on the Google networks. This isn’t exactly the moment programmatic was born. This only allowed advertisers to run in the Google network; however, this would eventually lead Google down the path of more targeted advertising. 

In tandem with Google’s journey, the beginning stages of programmatic advertising were on the rise. At this time, ads were first-come, first-served (literally). Backed by name-brand recognition and power, Google launched AdSense, their display network, in 2003. Unlike other moments in the timeline of programmatic, this too had its ups and downs. AdSense quickly became synonymous with spam and ad fraud. And what did Google do to combat this? They launched the Panda update, which still affects how sites are ranked by reducing ranking for low-quality sites. 

Google was not the only player during this time working through the bumps and bruises of digital advertising; however, their journey indicates that no company had a linear line to what we know today as programmatic. And it only grows more complex. 

The Birth of Real-Time Bidding

The next decade of programmatic advertising history (the 2010s) cannot be easily outlined linearly. However, most simply put, in 2009, we saw the first use of real-time-bidding (RTB). RTB allowed for the first big wave of programmatic advertising. As outlined in the graphic below, the process is as follows:

  1. A visitor lands on a page, and the publisher sends a bid request to the ad exchange.
  2. The ad exchange makes the user’s profile available to all bidders.
  3. The advertiser’s bids are automatically sent to the exchange by the bidding algorithm.
  4. The highest bid wins the impression.
  5. The high bidders’ creative is served, and the page is rendered.

This entire process happens within one-tenth of a second. This way of buying and selling ads in an open exchange allowed advertisers to bid on specific consumer personas, such as demographic or device type. And the seed was planted. Gone were the days of digital display ads simply used for reach; now, there was an era of relevance. 

But to be clear, because RTB gave people the first real glimpse into the world of programmatic, many people believe that this is the only way to purchase ads programmatically. However, programmatic digital advertising has grown much beyond the 2010-era. So with that said, let’s jump in.

What is programmatic digital advertising

Programmatic advertising is a method of marketing that utilizes technology to buy and sell online advertising space. It’s helpful to target segmented audiences using real-time data in ways that humans simply can’t accomplish, which yields advertisements delivered to the right people at the optimal times.

Conversations defining and describing programmatic can get extremely heavy in industry jargon. But when it comes down to it, brands and agencies use a DSP to decide which ads to buy and how much to pay for them, while publishers use an SSP to sell ad space. Backed by tremendous amounts of data, these two platforms match up in an ad network in real-time to serve an ad onto a site in front of a consumer.

And what is attractive to advertisers is the customization, targeting, and data-driven technology behind each of these purchases. Rather than purchasing 100,000 impressions on one news site, programmatic digital advertising allows you to purchase 100,000 impressions across various sites, targeting specific audience segments. You can decide to target a particular age demographic of people, on a specific day, at a particular time, that has a certain interest that directly correlates to the product you are trying to sell. You can even target this person with one specific creative version of the ad you are running. Backed by data, the benefits of programmatic advertising is clear – there’s no reason to be playing a guessing game with your digital advertising budgets anymore.

Different ways to Buy Ads Programmatically

The buying and selling ads programmatically mirror the RTB process outlined above, as RTB is a segment of programmatic digital advertising. However, there are three other ways (four total) to purchase ads programmatically:

  • Open Auction (RTB): hundred or buyers competing
  • Private Auction: Negotiated minimum price, Invitation only auctions, Non-guaranteed volumes.
  • Preferred Deals: Fixed price, One-to-one deals, Non-guaranteed volumes.
  • Guaranteed Deals: Fixed price, one-to-one deals, guaranteed volumes

The last three buying options are referred to as programmatic direct, and obviously, the step in which the ad goes to the open exchange would be removed as these are privately negotiated deals. These different buying options have clear benefits based on the overall goal of the campaign. 

After learning about the history of programmatic and what it is, you may be questioning, “so programmatic relies on computers or robots?” And this is where the importance of choosing a strategic programmatic partner becomes ever so clear.

The Importance of an Effective Programmatic Partner

Realistically, you could launch a programmatic campaign, and go about your day, week, or however long the flight is running. The computers will work to target the audience parameters and targeting you have in place. However, with such great data available to advertisers, the days of “setting it and forgetting it” should be long gone. 

The element of the human touch remains priceless to programmatic – even if it is a technology-driven industry. Just as programmatic ads’ buying and selling happen in-real-time, so too should the optimizations and analysis. 

At Digilant, we understand that programmatic campaigns need fostering in order to reach their full potential. Our team of highly qualified campaign solutions analysts monitors our client’s programmatic campaigns every step of the way to ensure the audience is reached effectively. Where traditional agencies can be slow to react, overly complicated, and high-cost, we are proactive, agile, and readily available. As we monitor campaigns, we can quickly adapt to what is working while also shifting away from what is not. This also allows us to uncover new audience insights that can be established for use in current and future campaigns. 

Learn more about some of the recent successful programmatic digital advertising campaigns we have run for the following clients:

University Drives Interest For Undergraduate and Graduate Programs

SaaS Enterprise Software Company Drives Engagement

Top 10 US Automotive Brand Increases Seasonal Sales

Interested in learning more about how Digilant’s passion and industry expertise will ensure your programmatic digital advertising campaigns reach new heights? Let’s talk.

Qualities of the Best Programmatic Advertising Companies

More advertisers are unearthing the benefits of programmatic advertising and how data allows you to reach your audience at the right time, in the right place, and with the right message. This realization, combined with the continued increase in consumers using mobile devices, has created the perfect storm in which programmatic advertising “rains” the best solution to target consumers effectively.

As we dive into the new year, programmatic digital advertising hasn’t shifted away from the spotlight – if anything, it has moved even more directly into the limelight of digital advertising. Programmatic display ads are projected to grow by more than 19% this year and, accounting for more than $79.5 billion worth of ad spending in the US alone. 

If you’re ready to take the leap and invest in programmatic digital advertising, you may be overwhelmed by the breadth of programmatic advertising companies. Each company has its unique solutions, expertise, pricing tiers, and added benefits, making navigating the decision difficult. Despite the differences in companies, there are some tried and true qualities that you should look for in a programmatic partner. Below we have outlined 5 of the qualities of the best digital advertising companies.

What is programmatic digital advertising? 

Programmatic digital advertising is a method of marketing that utilizes technology to buy and sell online advertising space. It’s helpful to target segmented audiences using real-time data in ways that humans simply can’t accomplish. In the end, programmatic ad buys to ensure that advertisements are delivered to the right people at the best times.

Learn more about the pros and cons that programmatic advertising can provide your growing business here.

Five qualities to look for in programmatic advertising companies

1. Transparency 

As with any business partnership, you need to trust and feel confident in the programmatic advertising company you invest your advertising dollars. However, with programmatic advertising, this takes on an additional mold. 

As stories of bot traffic, ad stacking, and ghost sites have gone viral in the advertising world, advertisers understandably are concerned about issues surrounding ad fraud. When campaigns are built on and deemed successful or not based on metrics such as views, clicks, etc., you need to be sure that they come from actual humans. 

The best programmatic companies have stringent policies in place to fight ad fraud every step of the way. Programmatic advertising companies should implement always-on ad fraud-fighting features in campaigns, proactively catching suspicious activity to combat it before it becomes a significant issue.

When seeking out the best of the best, an extra tip is to ask about a company’s vetting process when choosing their partners (such as data providers, DSPs, DMPs, etc.). The company’s ad fraud prevention practices are only as good as the companies they partner with, so you should ensure that their partnerships across the board all maintain the same level of transparency methods. Simply put, programmatic advertising companies genuinely are “…known by the company you keep.”

2. Platform Agnostic

As you’re researching and speaking with digital advertising companies, one of the first questions you may ask them is which DSPs they use. Some may answer with one, while others may use a handful. Although there are DSPs that will seamlessly meet your campaign’s KPIs when used alone, it’s always best to look for programmatic partners with access to different platforms. 

With access to different DSPs, advertisers can lean into platforms’ unique strengths, target varying audiences, and access multiple devices. Beyond these advantages, finding a platform-agnostic partner will give you a more significant variance in industry knowledge. These partners won’t be tied to one platform but rather have a more thorough picture of the programmatic landscape and offer suggestions and tips about where your campaigns will run most successfully. 

3. Advanced Technology & Creativity

The best programmatic partners utilize strategic partnerships combined with their advanced technology, insights, and creativity. Programmatic technology allows you to reach your audience better, so the best programmatic partners should offer a unique technology that enhances your campaigns. Maybe they provide unique audience insight technology, better cross-device tracking, or more strategic analytics features. 

As for creativity, the company you decide to partner with will be an extension of your team. The best programmatic companies are ready to roll up their sleeves and find the most effective and creative ways to reach and exceed your digital advertising goals. They should offer suggestions, insights, industry news, and applications that they have found successful in campaigns to ensure that your campaigns reach their full potential. The era of “set it and forget it” is no longer the best way to run programmatic campaigns; when instrumented correctly, the human touch element is priceless when working with the best programmatic advertising companies.

4. Precise Measurement & Analytics Tools 

Programmatic marketing can be an extremely useful tool for marketers. However, you need to ensure that your investment is paying off at the end of the day. This is where measurement and analytics tools come into play. Programmatic partners should offer transparent measurement tools that showcase the results of your campaign. 

Companies can offer many fantastic features concerning measurement tools; however, standard attributes to look for in to-tier programmatic measurement programs that are holistic, automated, and updated in real-time. One of the significant advantages of programmatic advertising is that you no longer have to wait for the campaign to run its course, hoping that it was successful. Measurement data should be always-on, easily accessible so you can see where your campaigns are seeing success. 

The best programmatic advertising partners will also provide suggestions, areas for improvement, and growth opportunities. Having robust campaign data should only improve your future campaigns if your programmatic partner has and uses their analytics toolkit properly. 

5. Flexibility – One Size Does Not Fit All

Every brand has unique objectives for its digital advertising campaigns. The best programmatic advertising companies understand that one size does not fit all. Instead, they will work to craft customized, data-driven programmatic plans.

Taking it one step farther, the best of the best, also understand that plans and goals can change. Flexibility during these changes is essential so as not to pigeonhole yourself into one category or box. 

Qualities that Put Digilant Amongst the Best Programmatic Partners 

At Digilant, we understand the qualities necessary to be a top tier, programmatic digital partner. We don’t take lightly the trust that our clients put in our team to execute their programmatic campaigns, which is why our team of programmatic experts goes above and beyond to ensure the best quality work is delivered every step of the way. 

“Lead decision with data” is one of our guiding principles. Leading with data means that every campaign starts in the hands of our planning and insights team. They thoroughly research the brand to understand that audience and uncover new, beneficial insights. This research helps to identify the best partners to work with for the campaign. With a comprehensive list of data providers and technology solutions, we are passionate about finding the perfect match for each of our clients. 

However, we also understand the importance of brand safety, which is why Digilant has a built-in suspicious traffic filter as a safety precaution that detects and eliminates fraudulent traffic. With brand safety features in place, once campaigns are live, our always-on measurement solutions allow us to strategically alter and change campaigns to take advantage of what is working and quickly adapt to what is not. Our talented team of analytics experts offers custom-built dashboards, complete with valuable insights and suggestions that clients can access throughout the campaign. With a holistic view of all the campaigns, these insights and suggestions to be implemented in real-time as the campaigns are running and for a future campaign. 

Are you interested in learning more about how Digialnt’s custom, data-driven solutions can take your advertising campaigns to the next level? Let’s talk.

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