Facts and Figures For Programmatic Media In-Housing

In 2018, more and more media buying and marketing teams are being asked to draw up proposals and plans for taking the programmatic portion of their budgets in-house.  While the claim behind this strategy is to innovate and take control of a brand’s programmatic future, the economics might point to something besides a complete in-house strategy as the way to go.
There are also different ways of in-housing. For some brands it means setting up their own agency trading desk and using that to deal directly with demand side platforms (DSPs). For others it involves bringing on board an ad tech partner or an agency of record that will be part of setting the strategy, but also responsible for pushing all the buttons when it comes to ad buying execution.

But let’s start at the beginning, why is in-housing taking off in the first place? The short answer is that marketers came to realize that a large share of their budgets were not being used to buy ads, but to fund the 5000 companies that have become part of the ad-tech LUMAscape. While in-housing doesn’t solve for all of that undisclosed share of the budget, it does force marketers to demand a more open or transparent business model from their agency or ad-tech partners.


Recent surveys suggest that more brands are having a serious look at bringing programmatic in house. A report from Infectious Media indicates that many marketers (more than 4 out of 5) want increased control over their programmatic efforts, but fewer than 2% of respondents have actually taken the steps to make it happen. It’s no wonder why brands have been scrambling to figure out the best way to manage their programmatic budgets.

The Challenges to Bringing Programmatic In-House

So what has been the challenge for advertisers to bring programmatic in house?  We’ve narrowed it down to what we think are the four most obvious issues.

  1. PROGRAMMATIC TECHNOLOGY IS COMPLEX:
    Requires a unique skill-set, technology in-house requires an expert or multiple experts at the helm.
  2. A FRAGMENTED ECOSYSTEM:
    Unlike other forms of digital advertising such as search, the market is not dominated by a single player but instead there are endless sources of inventory, numerous DSPs, multiple programmatic models to navigate. Marketers have to string together six to eight specialized solutions to accomplish their programmatic buying goals.
  3. TALENT POOL IS RELATIVELY SMALL for programmatic experts, with most professionals based at agencies in tech hubs such as San Francisco or New York.
  4. In addition to programmatic execution, brands also need to consider factors such as PLANNING, ANALYTICS AND BRAND SAFETYMost of which are enabled by 3rd party platforms and require expertise.

With most companies only being able to afford one or two internal programmatic experts, it seems that the budget has to match the resources necessary.

Brands must be spending at least $20 million programmatically before they even consider taking programmatic in-house, in order to generate a high enough level of savings to make the transition worthwhile.

– Wayne Blodwell, CEO of The Programmatic Advisory

The Solution is a Hybrid Model

At the end of the day most marketing and media buyers want the ease and safety of a single solution for their marketing services.  As much as having more control and transparency over programmatic media buying seems more cost efficient, the required investment in talent and expertise to navigate the ecosystem should not be overlooked.

The advantages of going direct make sense; control over their own first party data, disclosed contracts and platform logins, but until larger players absorb point solutions in the ad-tech LUMAscape your budget needs to start at something like $20 million to make the investment worthwhile.  Frankly not everyone is ready to jump in at $20 Million, so for those of you who are not there yet you should consider a hybrid model where you own the contracts and data and your agency partner, like us, owns the rest, at least for the foreseeable future.

3 Tips to Ensure Brand Safety for all Your Programmatic Media Buys

In 2017, marketers were told that they had to implement brand safety for all their digital and programmatic  display ad campaigns. The need for marketers to urgently address brand safety was spurred by the fact that “The Times” discovered that Youtube and Google were placing their ads next to content related to political violence, extremist religious propaganda and other offensive content that greatly misaligned with their brand’s messaging, and affected their brand safety. This prompted UK advertisers to quickly suspend their advertising on the site and countless U.S. advertisers quickly followed suit. Notably, the Havas Group, responsible for managing nearly $650 million (225€ million in the UK) in digital ad spend, decided to pull their ads from Google. This promoted advertisers to question how they can ensure that their digital display ads are running alongside publisher content that most closely aligns with their consumers’ values.

There are many precautions that advertisers can take to ensure their brands remain safe in the eyes of consumers. With digital ad spend expected to reach over $117 billion in 2018, we have outlined a few important tips that advertisers should use to ensure their programmatic buys are also brand safe.

1. Partner Up
Companies like Integral Ad Science, DoubleVerify and Comscore have developed formulas, algorithms and data-driven tools to prevent ads from ever appearing alongside undesirable content. Data-driven marketing companies already have developed the intelligence to ensure that an advertiser will buy ads that are brand safe. They are also continuously updating and improving this technology.

Global measurement and ad verification partners are constantly working to improve the user experience. They want to put the right content in front of the right person: someone interested in that brand, willing to purchase their offerings. They also want to ensure that brands have peace of mind with where their media budget is being used and that their content is being placed on the sites of reliable publishers. Programmatic works to generate qualified traffic so that the brand’s online presence is strengthened, values are maintained and reputations are not tarnished.

2. Invest in Private Marketplaces

In 2017, 74.5% of all domestic digital display ads ran via private marketplaces (PMP) and programmatic direct deals. By using this avenue for a media buy, advertisers know exactly who they are purchasing from and where their ad will be placed. This decision, although potentially more expensive, warrants ease of mind with ad placement. This marketplace also, just as with all programmatic buys, allows advertisers to reach their ideal customers.

3. Whitelisting
It is common to hear that marketers have blacklisted sites, a result of either their own experience was poor or it has a negative reputation. However, the number of “bad sites” is constantly rising and there is no way to constantly keep up todate. An alternative option is to whitelist sites. You can find sites that are safe to run ads on and compile a list of options that you can then use when preparing a campaign or a media buy. If this seems like an overwhelming task, there are exchanges that have an intense inventory approval process. These exchanges require sites to pass tests such as human approval or pre-approval of a new relationship with a site or app within existing relationships. If a site doesn’t pass the test, they are not able to sell their inventory on the exchange. This is a great step to take to ensure brand safety as you are confident in the sites you are choosing to place your ads.

Ensuring Brand Safety can Feel Overwhelming

Billions of digital display ad transactions occur everyday which means brand safety can become very overwhelming. There are many precautions that brands can take to ensure that their ads end up in an ideal location. However, what is most important to remember is to use common sense. If an deal seems too good to be true, it most likely is. Consumers will find your ad more appealing if it is displayed on the right site next to the right content. So, when choosing where to spend your programmatic media dollars, take the time to ensure you have done research on where your ad is is going to be placed and don’t forget to use the three tips above to get your head above water when it comes to keeping your brand safe.

Programmatic Media Buying 101: What is the Difference Between AI, Machine Learning & Programmatic?

The world of digital advertising and programmatic advertising has developed its own language in the last couple of years, full of terms that are commonly heard and used everywhere but mean something very specific when attached to the word advertising. Most recently it’s almost impossible to read an article or even talk about media buying without bringing up the terms Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Machine Learning. The terms AI and machine learning are often used interchangeably but they are different. What is the difference between the two and what should they mean to us or me as a marketer or CMO?

AI for Programmatic Buying

Artificial intelligence is the concept of reproducing human intelligence in machines so they can execute on activities that normally would require a human brain to be involved in, such as making data-based decisions.  By using AI-powered systems brands and advertisers case save money and time by completing tasks faster than us mere humans and make less mistakes.  When you apply this to the programmatic media buying industry, you bring efficiency to the media buying process, freeing people who’s job it is buy media from the more tedious and allowing them to focus on the strategic and creative elements of their jobs.

The reason digital media executives keep talking about AI technologies is that they allow us to have algorithms that analyze a user’s behavior, allowing for real time programmatic campaign optimizations towards consumers who are more likely to convert. Advertisers then have the ability to gather all this rich audience data to then use it to be more accurate with their media buys and overall targeting tactics – ultimately spending less money and time and bringing in a higher ROI.

Will Machine Learning Replace Media Buyers?

The words Machine Learning can conjure up images of old sci-fi movies in which someone develops an intelligent robot that then dominates its creator or destroys a large city… leading to many questions about how this technology could affect the digital media industry.
Machine learning is a type of Artificial Intelligence that provides computers or robots with the ability to learn things by being programmed specifically to take certain actions, improving their knowledge over time, much in the same way our brains do.
Computers using machine learning focus on imitating our own decision-making logic by training a machine to use data to learn more about how to perform a task.

Imagine you ride your bike to work every day. Over time, after trying different ways to get to work, you will learn which route is faster or maybe which road or path is better according to the day of the week or based on the weather outside. This is exactly how machine learning works. You feed the computer or algorithm with large amounts of data so it will analyze information from the past and learn from it to apply the learnings to any new data it receives in the future.

When applied to programmatic advertising, machine learning algorithms can analyze large volumes of data from difference sources and draw conclusions from it. It means you can almost replicate the brain of an experienced media buyer in a machine or algorithm so it becomes capable of  predicting, planning and optimizing media. Almost…. but not yet, though the machines can certainly make programmatic advertising more efficient, faster and easier to implement, there remain many factors which need human brains to input link the machine learning to an overall media buying strategy.

So How are AI and Machine Learning Connected to Programmatic Advertising?

Programmatic advertising is the automated process of buying and selling ad inventory through an exchange, connecting advertisers to publishers rather than having to make individual deals with each publisher. This process uses artificial intelligence technologies to improve efficiency and make better decisions for the advertisers with their budgets.
There is a lot of investment being made in marketing and ad buying technologies to leverage AI.  Companies like Xaxis, are betting heavy on AI for improving their future Programmatic Buying Platforms.  Fo right now marketers are using AI to stitch massive amounts of their data together, but it still hasn’t replaced human analysis.  For media agencies, Artificial Intelligence is still more a buzzword or a catchphrase to get peoples attention.

David Lee, programmatic lead at ad agency The Richards Group, said that he regularly gets pitches for AI-enabled products but the AI part of the products usually “doesn’t seem to affect performance outside of being a buzzword.”

You need Machine Learning to feed AI but you don’t need AI for Machine Learning. What that means is that machine learning is the technique — using algorithms to process data, learn from insights and make predictions for future programmatic campaigns which then trains the AI.
Both Machine Learning and AI are here to stay.  If you are a marketer or a media buyer, get familiar with these terms as they will continue to occupy the press and blogs like ours.  But for now they are not taking over for humans, that’s still in the sci-fi section of the video library.

2018 Programmatic Media Buying Trends: Video Takes 1st Place in Growth Opportunity

In 2017, advertisers spent more on video ads than banner ads for the first time. In the first half of 2017, advertisers spent $921 million on video ads which topped the $903 million spent on banner ads. This is in large part due to how many people are watching videos online. In a recent report, Cisco suggests that by 2019, 80% of all consumer traffic will be video. On mobile devices, 70% of the advertising traffic will be video ads. This yields a 14-times growth within the next five years. Advertisers and programmatic media buyers have a great opportunity to embrace this change, to make content that resonates with consumers and include video in more of their media plans.

Video display ads are expected to be the second leading highest spend platform in 2018 and in 2019 (source: eMarketer).

It isn’t just the growth in video consumption that is propelling a large spend on this ad format, there are also great opportunities for return on investment. Amazon, who owns one of the larger DSPs in the programmatic space, says that including a video ad increases the propensity to buy by up to 35%. Although video ads naturally cost more to produce, they are more engaging for consumers thus making them more effective. Advertisers need to ensure that they are still creating quality content, rather than a 15 second pre-roll TV ad.

Video is Winning the Attention Battle with Consumers


Consumers are now pre-programmed to ignore banner ads, so media buys need to make sure that this doesn’t happen with video advertising as well. Consumers are already watching videos, so if videos ads are interesting, they will remain hooked. As of now, video ads have the highest click-through rates of all digital ad formats at 1.84% which in large part is due to video trends yielding more brand engagement as opposed to direct-response, “buy this product” ads. Advertisers benefit because video ads offer live and very granular insights instead of static panel insights offered by other ad formats. There are many advantages for both consumers and advertisers that this ad format will continue to offer, as long as advertisers do not abuse it.

A Shift Towards a Video-First Strategy

The opportunity for revenue in video for publishers and advertisers is equally appealing and both are embracing video advertising as a dominant format.  Consumers have grown accustomed to the pre-roll and post-roll ads that appear when watching a video. But mid-roll, outstream and social in-feed ads are on the rise, now accounting for more than half of video spend ($478 million). Advertisers will need to proceed with caution with this ad format. Consumers do not like having their content disrupted and if this platform is abused, more people will start to use ad-blockers, thus making the ads irrelevant.
If advertisers and marketers stick to making quality, non-intrusive, creative video ads, consumers will begin to adapt pre, mid or post-roll ads as a ‘native’ format and part of their online video watching. This will allow programmatic media buyers to continue to see success with their video campaigns by both engaging consumers with brands and creating an overall return on investment.

Read about the other nine trends that we are predicting will be the key to success for programmatic buying teams in 2018 here.

If you haven’t already, there is no time like 2018 to get on the programmatic bandwagon.  If you need to get started Digilant University has all the information you need to get up to speed and get going.  Need more information, you can also reach out to us here.

Programmatic Media Buying 101: Amazon Invests in Ad Tech with its DSP AAP (Amazon Advertising Platform)

Interested in learning about Amazon’s DSP capabilities and how it can add value to your media plan? Reach out to us here and learn about Digilant’s unique partnership with Amazon’s AAP (proprietary ad platform).

Amazon is now everywhere, seemingly moving into every industry and recently making great strides in ad tech with its growing DSP business, opening up self-service programmatic ad products, and offering training programs to make direct connections with ad buyers. Its Transparent Ad Marketplace is the most popular server-to-server wrapper in the ad industry.

According to eMarketer‘s latest report, Amazon’s advertising revenues will total $1.65 billion in 2017 —far below that of Google or Facebook, but above brands like Twitter and Snapchat.
By investing in it’s demand-side platform (DSP), which is now one of the largest in the US, Amazon has a larger share of the US digital display ad market. With 3.0% of net US digital display ad revenues, Amazon takes 4th place for display ad buying in 2017 and is keeping it’s eyes on 3rd place. By offering Headline search ads, Amazon can compete with Google and Facebook for ad dollars.  Amazon is the most popular site for customers to search for consumer products online and by offering headline search ads, they are now dipping into Google’s search engine market share.

Amazon is Changing Digital Advertising as we Know it!

The one thing marketers hate is spending media budget to buy ads and then having to prove that they are converting with attribution methods.  Amazon is promising its programmatic ad buyers that if you buy ads on their DSP platform, you’ll know that they work and they will show you data to prove it. Because marketers not only want to be able to place ads in the right place and at right time, but they also want the right relevance.  Amazon offers measurement metrics from impressions and clicks to deeper data on sales information, full shopping journeys and things like a customer’s worth over a lifetime, giving media buyers what they need to prove their ads are contributing to conversions.  Amazon has a gigantic pool of real-time data, not just likes and habits, but actual purchases – what people are buying and how they are doing it -, you will know what ads work in actually driving people to make purchases — and then be best positioned to target those ads.

Their timing couldn’t be better, as Amazon’s DSP is growing in popularity, ad buyers are cutting back the number of DSPs they use. Media buyers and CMOs are choosing to use less DSPs and self-service platforms are on the rise in the ad tech industry, specifically for brands who are bringing all of their digital media buying in-house, with the goal to trim fees and have more control over their overall go-to-market strategy.  Amazon has greatly benefited from the programmatic in-housing trend. It offers agencies and brands a programmatic self-service model, and its DSP fees are among the lowest in the market.

If you want to know more about Amazon’s DSP capabilities and how it can add value to your media plan, or ask questions about Amazon’s AAP (proprietary ad platform) Digilant can help.  Reach out to us here.

2017 Holiday Shopping Insights & Stats for Marketers and Media Buyers – Infographic

The results are in from America’s biggest shopping weekend of the year and the numbers are bigger than ever!  According to Adobe, who predicted that Americans would spend $5 Billion this year on Black Friday, they actually surpassed that number in online retail sales reaching $5.03 Billion – up 16,9% over last year.  This comes after the record $2.87 billion in online sales on Thanksgiving.  Adobe analyses 80 percent of online transactions for the 100 largest web retailers in the country to come up with these stats.

Mobile Traffic Dominates Black Friday

This year, according to Salesforce 60% of traffic to retail sites came from a mobile phone device. This tells us that consumers are not just browsing on phones, as 42% of Black Friday orders were placed from a mobile phone. 2017 represents a huge shift to mobile and the first Black Friday where computers accounted for less than half – 49% – of all orders.

According to Adobe’s Revenue tracking index, on Black Friday, 54.3% of retail website visits and 36.9% of revenue came from mobile, with conversion rates for tablets up 13% year over year, and smartphones up 16.5% year over year.
With consistent mobile retail traffic and revenue since the beginning of the month, it’s time for all marketers to consider running mobile only programmatic campaigns. Because consumers have access to reviews, ratings, and suggestions at the tap of a button,mobile-driven micro-moments are grabbing the huge majority of consumer attention.  It’s important to get in front of that consumer at the right time with the right ad, on their device of choice, and create a fluid and intuitive buying experiences – all the way from the awareness stage to the point of purchase.

Mobile is also transforming the in-store experience for customers. In-store shoppers search for information online while in-store. For the most part, they’re using search engines but consumers also head to the retailer’s own site or app. This presents a powerful opportunity for retailers to connect with shoppers, whether by sending them a special coupon or thanking them for coming into the store —mostly using the opportunity to  prevent them from turning to the competition.

 

Getting Personal With Programmatic, 3 Buying Strategies for the Holidays – Infographic


It’s that time of year when consumers are being bombarded with advertising from all their favorite brands plus all the other brands that are trying to capture their shopping dollars.  For marketers, it’s the perfect time to work programmatic into your holiday media buying plans – so that you can reach specific audiences based on their current interests and behaviors.  With programmatic the consumer gets a more personalized experience – the right ad at the right time – resulting in a much better chance of converting them into a paying customer.
There are a couple of ways that programmatic advertising ensures brands can meet the unique needs of their seasonal shoppers when and where it really matters.

1. Data

One proven method of reaching customers on their seasonal shopping journey is leveraging first-party data for digital ad campaigns. The modern shopping experience is across devices, locations and is always-on. Utilizing the data that’s gathered directly from customers often translates to more accurate targeting capabilities and insights to what your audience responds positively to. When first-party data is added to third-party data and insights, marketers can create a well thought out campaign to ensure that their customers are receiving offers that will positively influence their shopping experience, in the right place and the right time, rather than add to the noise of online advertisements.  You can accomplish this by connecting your CRM data to your programmatic media buy.

2. Geotargeting

Programmatic advertising can help customize the experience for shoppers in physical stores through geotargeting. By targeting consumers with ads bytheir geographical locations, including ZIP code levels, brands have the power to develop hyper-localized ads to fit consumers’ exact preferences. These programmatic campaigns offer flexibility to taylor relevant ads to specific audiences, using data and analytics to make the necessary tweaks to maximize your holiday campaign performance.

Advanced programmatic geotargeting can be especially useful for holiday campaigns when paired with dynamic creative. Serving in-store promotions or product-specific ads to consumers within the zip code of store locations, advertisers can target those users who would most likely convert. With programmatic geotargeting, marketers can combine audience data filters with location signals to deliver timely ads that resonate with shoppers looking for specific holiday discounts or a particular product. These ads allow retailers to provide helpful details to consumers such as whether a product is in stock at a nearby store.

3. Personalization 

With programmatic advertising, you can remain agile and base your media plans on when, where and how your consumer wants to shop. You can offer shoppers product recommendations organized by the type of gift recipient – shoe lovers, sports fans, and more.  Then you can personalize that offer with a coupon to their local store.
You can marry customization with automation and offer consumers a personalized experience, whether is be a product that they might be looking for or a piece of advice through a native ad on a preferred social platform. Social media will have a real impact on what people buy for their loved ones this year so marketers also need to consider social as party of their holiday media plans.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to capture the attention of your consumers this holiday season.  Try getting personal with the right programmatic buying strategy.  Talk to us at Digilant to get started.

Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH): Bringing Back Billboards Using Ad-Technology

By 2019 it is projected that $4.5 billion will be spent on Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) advertising in the United States. This old but new again marketing tactic has the ability to reach mass numbers of people, at the right time, in the right place. It’s no wonder companies and agencies are investing their budgets in placing their ads on these banners, billboards and screens.  We’ve put together everything you need to know about how DOOH works and why you should incorporating it into your programmatic advertising plan.

Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) Defined

Historically categorized as ‘traditional media,’ requiring media buyers to book months in advance, today DOOH builds on the the programmatic promise.  These ads are no longer static and limited but are strategically placed LCD and LED screens that display digital content to consumers in places like bus stops, airports or on busy highways and are growing in number. Many also incorporate interactive features that allows consumers to involve themselves in the advertisement.

What are the Advantages for Digital Media Buyers?

The platforms for these advertisements are not unlimited like other digital ad channels, however, they are 100% viewable. No one can run ad-blocking software on a billboard or at a bus stop. This is a key advantage for marketers. DOOH advertisements have all the same features as online media, reaching the right target, at the right time, with the right message but with an advantage: you can guarantee people are going to see your ad.
Areas in which these ads are displayed use tracking to determine the demographics of the audience. Audience profiles are made up of information such as age, gender, income, spending habits, etc. When looking to purchase ad space, buyers choose where to place their campaign based on these profiles and set parameters based on target audience, budget and KPIs just like any other programmatic buying channel. As the campaign runs, marketers are given unlimited creative executions and can change the ad, in real-time, as different audience segments enter the area. Throughout the campaign, marketers are given reports on the success of their advertisement.
This new form of advertising shifts back to the early years of advertising: placing ads that demand attention in public spaces with high-foot traffic. DOOH ads  reach high volumes  of consumers but do a better job of engaging viewers through the unlimited creativity that can be incorporated. These ads can change in the space of a second, in order to ensure the right message is being showcased, at the right time, to the right people. DOOH unlocks countless advantages when added to your media plan.

How is it Being Used?

Major cities have been quick to jump into the DOOH market. New York, Paris and London are rapidly expanding their involvement while ensuring the content is engaging. Screens are being placed at bus stops, taxis, airport baggage claims, billboards, malls and other pedestrian epi-centers.
 

What’s Next for DOOH?

Interaction with consumers is improving as motion-censored screens are becoming more common in major cities. Technology is now able to recognize gestures as small as finger movements. Thee screens for DOOH ads are advancing and tracking capabilities are improving, leaving no room to skimp on the creative. Research into emotional recognition is in the works which will incorporate a new and even more targeted aspect into these already audience-specific ads.

Programmatic Media Buying 101: Why Marketers Are Talking About Attribution?

Digital media buyers started using attribution measurement as a way to understand which aspects of their programmatic, social and search campaigns are contributing the most to campaign performance and/ or lead generation. In digital advertising, attribution measurement can now be done at a user-specific level, what this means is the that most ad-tech platforms apply technology in order to assign a consistent user identifier across all advertising related events. This is opposed to traditional digital media performance analysis, where ROI is generally calculated per user event or group of users because there is no consistent user identifier available.

Attribution Defined

Attribution is defined by a couple of different things.  First, it’s the cause or the origin of an event like a conversion or a download.  Second, how much of a customer’s decision can be attributed from exposure to an ad on a certain channel? For example, Jessica bought a pair of shoes because she downloaded a coupon from a specific publisher’s page.

Multi-touch attribution quantifies the influence each advertising impression has on a consumer’s decision to convert by assigning a credit value to each touchpoint.  For example Jessica bought her shoes after visiting the retailer’s website several times and then downloading the coupon. Each marketing touchpoint gets x% credit or attribution towards the sale of the shoes.

So Why do Marketers Find Attribution Critical to Their Marketing Efforts?

Today’s Internet users are no longer browsing on a single device but switch from laptops to tablets to desktops to phones and, depending on the device, also interact with different browsers. Another attribution complexity is that users are no longer stuck in a single marketing channel— but are regularly exposed to TV ads, emails, Facebook ads, radio and more. In order for marketers to address a multi-device and multi-channel world they need attribution measurement.  Through attribution they can look at users through the lens of the least common denominator—the person, the individual engaging with a brand across all channels, devices and browsers.

Other reasons cited by marketers according to AdRoll’s Annual State of MarTech Industry Report included a “full-funnel approach” that can help brands better assess where a user is in the customer journey and what event led to their conversion. The survey revealed that marketers in 2016 allocated 72% of their budgets to prospecting for new customers, with the most successful channel being paid-for social media according to half of the participants.  32% of the 1,000 US-based marketers surveyed said programmatic display ads were the most effective channel for them.

If you’re not measuring the impact of your marketing efforts—especially in today’s world of fragmented devices and touch points—you are likely missing out on ROI opportunities and wasting spend on channels, strategies and audiences that aren’t performing well. Plus, getting attribution right helps you maximize your learnings to make better business decisions over time. This guide will provide an overview of the what, why and how of attribution in today’s marketing landscape.

Using Attribution Models is Next Step in the Programmatic Media Buying Evolution

An important next step in the evolution of programmatic media buying for marketers, is to improve algorithms based on attribution models. Attribution models can and should be used to improve programmatic media advertising algorithms.

Using an attribution model, the behavior of individual customers can be tracked both cross-platform and cross-device.   Individual purchase paths across the customer journey can be observed and used to continuously improve the programmatic media buying algorithm.  Using an attribution model marketers can collect more customer data and then they can show relevant ads in ever better places at ever better times.
When attribution models are used to inform programmatic algorithms, marketers gain a more realistic view of ad effectiveness. Plus, with full transparency they can decide how much more relevant it was.

Tips for Moving to Multi-Touch Attribution

Make no mistake—multi-touch attribution requires an investment in cost, time and expertise. However, you can take steps toward shifting your marketing organization’s mindset about attribution.

  1. Run a data assessment. The results of any attribution exercise are only as useful as the data is accurate, completed and connected across silos.
  2. The attribution model and product you use should allow you to make ad buying decisions by using the variables that are influential in your conversion goals.
  3. Have internal meetings to help qualify budget, anticipated goals and expected ROI, infrastructural and technological elements to consider and how multiple systems might need to hook together.
  4. Choose the right data matching partners, which often comes down to the best match for the type of CRM data (email vs phone numbers, for example) and best practices around data hygiene, including ongoing data cleansing. The more conversion data you have to look at, the fuller the picture of attribution across channels and online-to-in-store sales.
  5. Prepare to activate and optimize in media. The attribution model and product you use should allow you to decision on the variables that are influential in your conversion goals. Some technology companies offer real-time integration with multi-touch attribution vendors that makes this process simpler and faster to execute on in media.
  6. Rely on your technology partners, like Digilant, for support in implementing the right solution.

 

3 Key Digital Media Consumption Trends for the 2017 Holiday Shopping Season

  • Mobile Devices

Mobile devices are now driving a boost in Thanksgiving weekend e-Commerce with more conversions now happening on phone.  People use their phones to to preview products and prices; retailers like Best Buy and Toys ‘R’ Us encourage shoppers to test the product in-store but skip the huge holiday lines and crowds by buying from their web site. It is bringing us one step closer to frictionless commerce.

Shoppers now research products on their mobile devices even earlier, with some of the largest “converted cart sizes” occurring weeks before Black Friday. Thanksgiving Day has grown into an e-Commerce holiday as some retailers are making a statement – inspired by negative consumer sentiment about stores being open on the Holiday – by being closed to allow their own staff to celebrate the day with their families. This has pushed a higher volume of shoppers online also creating a big spike in shopper activity after 4 pm on Thanksgiving, just after the average eating hours.  With these statistics in hand, digital media buyers can plan their programmatic campaigns using specific time of day targeting for their mobile campaigns, and also creating mobile specific messaging and creative for the “window shoppers” who start shopping on their commutes to and from work much before the actual Holiday.

eMarketer is predicting that digital holiday sales will increase a record 11.5 percent this year, compared to a 17-percent increase in 2016. What’s more, large traditional retailers like Walmart are trying to boost e-Commerce sales in order to compete with Amazon, possibly pushing more shoppers online.  eMarketer also predicts that an additional driver of  “e-Commerce will be the continued growth of m-Commerce sales — particularly smartphone commerce, which will rise by an estimated 57.8% in 2017 overall.”

  • Video Advertising is on the Rise

“In 2015, U.S. agency and marketing professionals said they spent, on average, $5.6 million on digital and mobile video advertising,” according to eMarketer, “A year later, they spent an average of $6.8 million, and this year [2017] they anticipate spending an average of $9.4 million.” Consumers expect content to be available in video form, with 50% of consumers who look for a video of the product before visiting the online store. Studies show that a user is 25% more likely to lose interest in retail content if it isn’t in video format. 51.9% of marketers say that video offers the best ROI (return on investment) and that consumers themselves much prefer video content to any other type.

Knowing the trend in video investment and consumption, it’s important for programmatic media buyers and marketing teams to implement platform pixels with their social and paid media buys and begin building audiences way ahead of the holidays, which can then inform the remainder of a Holiday media buying strategy.   Another tactic to consider is extending campaign durations to start way before the Holiday period. More than half of users who clicked on Cyber Weekend sales ads usually had a first touch prior to Thanksgiving, so it’s important to ensure that retargeting efforts during the 2017 Holiday Season are reaching users who may have clicked far in advance of the actual Holiday promotions.

  • Social Media Will Have a Big Impact on Gift Buying

Social media will have a real impact on what people buy for their loved ones this year. One-third of all Americans will be influenced by social this year, and 30 percent of people surveyed by Sprout Social said that they planned to post about gifts they received on social media. In addition to people posting about their presents on social, Sprout Social also predicts that the average retailer will receive more than 3,000 social messages during this holiday season–approximately 30 percent more than last year.  According to the report, 56 percent of the messages retailers receive in 2017 will require retailers to take action, a 15 percent increase compared to the 2016 holiday season. Regardless of the increased customer service type postings through platforms like Facebook and Twitter, response times and rates on social remain stubbornly low.   Brands and retailers should consider investing more heavily in resources for social customer-service efforts to keep more happy users and spenders on their site.

To find out more about when and where we predict people will be shopping this 2017 Holiday season download Digilant’s Holiday and Consumer Shopping Report.

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