Hiring the right digital media agency is one of the most essential tasks for any brand that wants to effectively reach its target audiences. The digital ecosystem has radically transformed the work of media agencies. However, its main function has remained the same: having a brand message reach the right audience, at the right place and time, and at the lowest possible cost for the advertiser.
Until a few years ago, the main media outlets were newspapers, television, radio or outdoor advertising media. In spite of the great variety of available means, the truth is that the work of a media agency was simpler.
As seen in the image below, the process of buying advertising space began in the compilation of a series of data that the agency itself interpreted and executed channel by channel.
Changes in the media purchase model
The transformation of the media buying ecosystem has brought some changes that should be taken into account:
- The emergence of the Internet has lead to significant audience fragmentation in each and every one of the digital channels. And all this boosted by the irruption of mobile devices. It is becoming increasingly true that : anyone who writes a blog, creates a radio or television station, is a digital medium. Because although the reach of each of individual channels very small, the sum of all of them is a very sizeable amount. That is why the long tail of digital media is one of the main headaches of media agencies. And the way to solve it is one of the keys to take into account when hiring a digital media agency.
- The evolution of advertising technology has profoundly changed much of the media buying process.
- In the past, marketing managers and agencies could buy inventory directly from the publishers. A purchase decision that in many cases was based on the content. Depending on the target you would like to impact, you should choose a specific medium. However, the emergence of technologies such as DSPs, DMPs or SSPs have not only solved some of the inefficiencies of the traditional media buying process, but also, has made the process faster and easier to identify the target and the right moment to impact it.
- The generation and grouping of data from a variety of sources makes it possible to achieve greater target identification. The technology makes a huge volume of data available to all the actors of the ecosystem, as well as the possibility of extracting value from their combination. Thus, it can impact a very specific type of user. Taking into account not only its demographic aspects but also its digital behavior.
Traditional Media Buying Vs. Programmatic Buying
The concept of a media agency as a mere buyer of advertising space has disappeared, as technology has been further integrated into the buying process. The previous infographic shows the main differences between the traditional media purchase and the programmatic purchase.
- The purchase of ads changes from manual to fully automated,thanks to powerful software that allows Real Time Bidding (RTB), in milliseconds.
- It goes from a process that involves several people to a management in which the technology groups the data in a common dashboard.
- Price stops being a matter of agencies and publishers to being set up through real-time bidding. It allows you to buy and sell inventory in real time based on possible impressions.
- Measurement goes from being a tedious and complicated task to be generated via automated reporting. That, in addition, allows generating more knowledge through the application of several filters to the data.
- Traditionally, the only way to optimize the campaigns was to wait and see the results. By contrast, programmatic buying of digital media allows to optimize the campaigns in real time. Basically by the access to the data as it consolidates.
- A slow and intensive process in human resources is transformed into something fast and automated, where much fewer human errors are made.
Keys to hiring a digital media agency
Having established this background, hiring a digital media agency has become essential. It is essential if the agency does not have the technological means, or if it lacks the necessary knowledge, or if it does not have access to the long tail inventory.
Having access to a media agency that buys ad space is no longer enough to draw interest. The most compelling thing is that this agency focuses on data analysis and technology to optimize any campaign in real time. This is important when deciding between digital media agencies to hire.
To avoid falling into errors, there are a number of keys that you must master:
1.- Appropriate Technology
Technology is a pivotal piece of the puzzle. If a digital media agency does not have the appropriate technology, it can’t compete with the market.
The process of buying media with agreements between the publisher and the advertiser is no longer useful. It is now essential to have a DSP to automate the access to an almost unlimited inventory, while leveraging algorithms to define audience segments appropriate to each campaign.
A DSP is the technology that allows the ad to reach a higher quality audience, thanks to its capability to cross users’ data with auctions’ data. This helps optimize campaigns in real time. Hence the importance it has when it comes to hiring a digital media agency. So it is very important to opt for partners like Digilant.
2.- Access to unlimited inventory
One of the tasks of a DSP is to centralize media buying services, and to do so in real time. This automation allows you to integrate data from both your own sources and from other suppliers, as well as advertiser data.
This not only makes decision-making more accurate (fundamentally because much more information is available and more segmented), but even more important it allows access to an almost unlimited inventory. In the case of the traditional media purchase the access to inventory depended on the ability to negotiate with the publishers one by one.
However, using programmatic buying does not imply letting go of creativity. Quite the contrary, when hiring a digital media agency you must assess that the agency can generate creative strategies. Only doing so, it will be possible to make decisions with a return:
- Where you need to communicate the brand to your users.
- What message to send.
4.- Complete reports in real time
A professional reporting dashboard makes it possible to explore and interact with thousands of data points, and what it is even more interesting, in real time. This is another essential aspect in deciding why to hire a digital media agency or another.
A digital media agency should be able to offer you aggregate metrics as well as trends for specific time periods. Reports that give you information about your audience, that have been extracted from First, Second and Third Party Data.
This aspect is fundamental since these reports are used for the timely optimization of each campaign, which will make you achieve a greater return on your investment.
One of the problems with automation is that some advertisers need to learn how to work with certain tools. Knowing what a DSP is and how it works is not enough. It is important to know how to use it.
Hence before hiring a digital media agency is necessary to study in depth the support it offers. It is not only important the explanations they offer, but you should also consider the contact channels that are being used to offer that support: webinars, chat system, phone, etc. as well as the language. Sometimes incorporating technology involves mastering terminology that you may not know in your language.
In this regard, Digilant University, offers programmatic knowledge relevant to media agencies and brands.
Is there any company that does not take this variable into account? It is a mistake to only consider this factor when deciding the agency you are going to hire. However, this list of aspects to consider, the fact that it is more or less expensive is important, especially if it is accompanied with different functionalities.
One of the ways to increase the confidence of other companies is to demonstrate expertise. Having professional certifications is another aspect to take into account. For example, when it comes to buying digital media, the QAG Quality standard from the Interactive Advertising Bureau, a certification confirming the agency’s commitment to providing advertisers with high-quality, transparent and reliable advertising placements is key.
Something only within the reach of a few companies among which, of course includes Digilant. Do you want to know more about our Programmatic solutions?