How to Hire an Internet Ad Buying Agency?

Part of any successful brand’s digital marketing strategy involves the tactful implementation of an internet ad buying plan. Although mapping out an impactful internet ad buying plan is a crucial and necessary step to take when growing your business, it can be a daunting task for even the most experienced marketer. For this reason, it’s generally more effective to hire a professional internet ad buying agency that will meet your needs and maximize your ad dollars from start to finish of your campaign.

Rather than taking full advantage of internet ad buying, many marketers opt to forgo more advanced internet ad buying strategies, simply because they’re unfamiliar with or can’t afford the ramp up time needed to properly run campaigns in-house. Among the many forms of internet ad buying, the model proven to be the most beneficial for brands of all sizes and verticals is programmatic media buying. Maybe you’re asking yourself, “What is it that programmatic internet ad buying can do for my brand?” and the answer is rather simple: it reaches the right audience, at the right place and time, and at the lowest cost for the advertiser.

How are brands managing their internet ad buying today?

Programmatic internet ad buying is powered by RTB (Real Time Bidding), which has become the go-to investment for brands looking to get the most out of their internet ad buying, because the bidding process is constantly improved upon as DSP‘s (Demand Side Platform) identify the inventory spaces that yield the highest ROI. This powerful software can identify, purchase, and place an ad impression across the digital ecosystem in milliseconds, but if you slow things down, the RTB process can be broken into five stages:

  1.  A user accesses a web page.
  2. Cookies on the page retrieve data on the user’s behavior and this data is used to create a profile.
  3. Advertisers participate in auctions with the publisher for the page inventory if the user profiles align with their target audience.
  4. Buyers set their CPM (cost per mil or cost per 1,000 display impressions) and the bidder with the highest CPM wins the auction.
  5. The creative is delivered by the advertiser to the ad space on the web page that the user is visiting.

What are the benefits to having a programmatic internet ad buying partner?

As an advertiser, you want to assure that your products and services will be discovered by as many users within your target audience. Whether your brand is focused on selling sportswear to women between 40 and 55 years-old or life insurance to millennial newlyweds, buying internet ads on one channel alone won’t yield results. Just like the people we know in our everyday lives, internet users are multidimensional and your internet ad buying strategy should be too. Although programmatic technology leverages artificial intelligence and is capable of incredible, hiring a programmatic partner with an experienced team to implement omnichannel approaches to your internet ad buying will set up a people-first digital strategy, leading to higher conversions and even uncovering new users that you previously didn’t know were part of your target audience.

Before hiring an internet ad buying agency, consider the following factors:

1.) Specialization

Every company is unique and the roadmap and buyer’s lifecycle of each vertical, market, and even product-type, can vary significantly.  For example, if you’re a healthcare company with a highly niche user demographic, you’ll want to inquire about case studies and the experience that the agency’s team has within the healthcare industry. If the agency’s portfolio is primarily composed of consumer-packaged goods and retail clients, they probably aren’t yet suited  to set up a high performing campaign for a B2B company that sells medical devices.

2.) Creativity

Contrary to what many people might think, the programmatic buying of internet ad inventory isn’t a process completely void of creativity. It’s very important to determine whether or not the agency will be capable of coming up with innovative and creative strategies to reach the users in your target audience and uncover new ones. An agency’s ability to be agile and flexible to adjust its for your is very important.

3.) Time Efficiency

Your marketing team member’s talent might be limitless, but their time certainly isn’t. Firstly, having access to a DSP (Demand Side Platform), allows you to bypass the timely process of negotiating with ad buyers and publishers involved in traditional media buying. Secondly, when you have a specialized internet ad buying agency managing your campaigns, there’s more time left for you and your team to focus on other marketing efforts that will enhance your strategy.
contratar una agencia de medios digitales: cambios en el proceso de compra de medios onlineIn 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.

4.) Cost Efficiency

Very often advertisers will begin their campaign planning by setting a budget, a logical thing to do when planning a digital ad campaign. However, the question shouldn’t be, “How much money can we spend on this campaign?” but rather, “How much money do we need to spend on this campaign?” The entire goal of internet ad buying is to reach and convert users with scale and precision that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to with traditional media buying. Therefore, greater ad spend  does not always translate into greater campaign results. Make sure that the agency you decide to hire is more focused on your company’s performance than their paycheck.

5.) Transparency

It’s very important to evaluate the level of transparency that the agency can provide your brand. Not only does it give you peace of mind to know where your ad dollars are being spent, but it’s also one of the best ways to shape your strategy. A top tier internet ad buying agency should be able to offer you with aggregated KPI metrics along with real time reports displayed on a dashboard for your team to reference and monitor. With this information you can glean insights from the internet ad campaigns that the agency’s managing and improve your digital strategy moving forward.

When embarking on your search to hire an internet ad buying agency, coming across a partner with all of these factors are only within the reach of a few companies among which, of course includes Digilant. Do you want to know more about how our programmatic solutions can help you launch a great internet ad buying strategy?

How to Become a Better Programmatic Marketer?

Programmatic ad buying has gone from being an advertising technology used only by the largest of businesses, to a key marketing tactic for any brand that wants to be seen and heard in today’s constantly expanding digital ecosystem. Despite its widespread prevalence, programmatic ad buying is an advertising practice that requires sophisticated training and knowledge to properly implement and get the most out of your ad dollars. If you want to plan and execute a programmatic ad campaign like a pro, you need to know what strategies to adopt, what trends and data to pay attention to and which metrics to follow to monitor performance?

Although programmatic ad buying campaigns can vary greatly in their tactics, with some aiming to amplify brand awareness, and others more focused on generating leads, a marketer that can develop a programmatic ad buying strategy that effectively reaches desired ROI while maintaining transparency is considered successful. Transparency refers to providing buyers with a clear view of the price of inventory purchased, the data leveraged to place their ads, and the environments in which those ads will ultimately end up, and being able to identify attribution.

How does programmatic advertising fit into an overall digital marketing strategy?

Whether you’re using digital media for direct acquisition or for brand awareness, if you’re still buying it traditionally, you’re letting go of opportunities to optimize your ad spend and maximize your total addressable market. In order to compete in today’s digital marketplace, integrating programmatic ad buying into your digital marketing strategy is a must.

In the broadest sense, programmatic is the automation of marketing activities, from the smallest programming of a post to implementing a highly layered real time omnichannel campaign. If you haven’t already dove into programmatic ad buying and are debating whether or not to get your toes wet, considering the following:

  • Would programmatic buying more efficient than how my brand is currently buying media?
  • Would programmatic buying be more transparent?
  • Would programmatic buying be more profitable?

How does the process of programmatic ad buying work?

The development of algorithms using data science driven technology that analyze the behavior of an individual user, is the driving force of programmatic ad buying, optimizing bidding in real time and reaching audiences composed of the users that are most likely to convert.

Businesses that bid for inventory through programmatic ad buying can compile an enormous amount of data that can become audience segments. The sooner you launch a campaign and the more time it has to gather this data, the sooner your programmatic ad buying platform’s data intelligence can strengthen your overall digital marketing strategy through more efficient targeting.

Learning about how programmatic ad buying can drive your digital marketing campaign is great, but it’s equally as important to know what’s underneath the hood. Purchasing programmatic ads involves the following systems:

1.) DSPs (Demand Side Platforms) facilitate the purchase of ad inventory and allow marketers to reach their target audience when integrated with a data management platform. In Today’s marketplace there’s a wide variety of DSPs available to brands looking to buy ads programmatically, and programmatic agencies such as Digilant who can manage your campaigns.
2.) DMPs (Data Management Platforms) compile and analyze massive quantities of cookie and mobile data that provide insights that help advertisers make better and more informed decisions. Generally the data sets with which DMPs work with are:

  • 1st party data: Data compiled directly from the advertiser; their website, social media platforms, email marketing and display campaigns, or their own CRM.
  • 3rd party data: Data compiled from external sources. The user data points generally consist of age, gender, social and professional interests, geographic location, and other interests or needs of the user inferred from their online behavior.

3.) For content publishers, SSPs (Sell Side Platforms) are essential in providing a source of revenue. This platform is where various types of online media manage their unsold ad inventory. Bidders using DSPs are provided with information on the value of the available inventory from the SSP with data on page visits, visitor demographics, number of pages viewed, and length of site visit.

Step by Step Process

It’s essential to know how to work with the data insights that you acquire through your DSP. Once you feel that you have a strong handle on the aforementioned elements involved in the programmatic ad buying process, you’ll want to launch your campaign on a programmatic buying platform.

Whether your campaign is managed or you opt for a platform with self-service, it’s crucial that you partner with a provider that has a great support team to help you through any challenges that you come across throughout your campaign’s operation.

As seen in the above infographic, the programmatic ad buying process can be divided into 5 steps:

  1. Picking: The starting point of any programmatic ad buying process, picking refers to the period during which brands define the inventory criteria that they’d like to set before moving forward with bidding. Regardless of the DSP that you opt to use, you’ll be asked for information surrounding your budget, target audience, and the KPIs you want to achieve.
  2. Matching: Now that the DSP system knows what type of inventory you’re looking for, it will search ad networks and buy audience data from various digital environments and match your ads with the sites and platforms that will best align with your KPIs.
  3. Triggering: Once a match is found, the ad is placed and waits for a trigger. There are various types of triggers, but all refer to an interaction with the ad creative,  whether it’s a click, a mouse-over, or simply a page view.
  4. Tracking: With the ad now visible and receiving engagement from users, data surrounding this engagement will be collected to provide advertisers with insights about how effectively the campaign is operating.
  5. Repeat: Programmatic ad buying is a cyclical process that repeats itself. Once you’ve launched your campaign and have had ample time to analyze its performance, the human aspect of programmatic must come into place. you will have to return to the starting point steadily. Being an automated process, the repetition becomes one more step, which the user assumes as natural and proper to the operation of this system of purchase.

Common Concerns of Marketers New to Programmatic Ad Buying

Programmatic ad buying was specifically designed to help marketers execute more scalable, efficient and precise digital campaigns, so why are some marketers hesitant to give it a shot?

There are several reasons why some brands don’t feel completely secure with implementing programmatic ad campaigns.

1.) Ad Fraud

In today’s digital ecosystem, ad fraud is a huge concern for programmatic marketers. According to a Wall Street Journal report, it’s estimated that more than a third of online ad traffic is fraudulent, meaning a third of ads won’t be viewed by an actual user.

However, with advances in programmatic technology fraudulent traffic can now be detected by analyzing user behavior. The most common forms of fraud come from bots that generate irrelevant clicks and falsifying user characteristics, and ad fraud comes in many forms, including:

  • Selling of inventory automatically generated by bots or background mobile-app services
  • Serving ads on a site other than the one provided in a Real Time Bid – or RTB request
  • Delivering pre-roll video placements in display banner slots
  • Falsifying user characteristics like location and browser type
  • Hiding ads behind or inside other page elements so that they can’t be viewed hindering a user’s opportunity to engage by frequently refreshing the ad unit or page

Fortunately, technology exists that combats ad fraud, tracking suspicious traffic and retargeting ads to user traffic with real potential customers that are most prone to convert.

2.) Viewability

As previously mentioned, a fraudulent ad will never be viewed by a real user, but beyond being seen by a human, what constitutes a viewable ad? The Media Rating Council deems a programmatic display ad viewable if at least 50% of the creative is visible to the user for at least one continuous second. This may sound like a non-issue, but viewability is crucial metric for any programmatic marketer. A study conducted last March found that 57% of ads served are not considered visible and that leads to wasted ad spend and diminishing ROI.

3.) Brand Safety

Companies like Integral Ad Science, that specialize in guaranteeing brand safety, have evolved to fully integrate their services to protect programmatic advertisers’ campaigns from operating in ways that can damage brand reputation. The main responsibility of these companies is to assure that ads across the digital ecosystem don’t appear in environments that could be compromising to a brand’s identity or mission.

It’s ultimately not worth the risk to invest in a programmatic ad buying platform if you aren’t able to guarantee that your ads will be displayed on secure media platforms, and more importantly, alongside relevant content with values congruent to those of your brand. Let this past March’s Google Ad Crisis be a reminder for all advertisers to prioritize brand safety.

Major Brands Relying 0n Programmatic Ad Buying for Results

Many brands today are decreasing their traditional ad spend or cutting it all together. In an interview with CNBC, Adidas’ CEO, Kasper Rorsted, stated, “All of our engagement with the consumer is through digital media and we believe in the next three years we can take our online business from approximately 1 billion euros to 4 billion euros and create a much more direct engagement with consumers.”

This decision marks an important paradigm shift for digital marketers. With the sheer quantity of online user behavior data available and a plethora of digital media channels on which to reach these users, today’s advertisers are positioned to create digital marketing campaigns with incredible scale. When combined with programmatic ad buying, this scale is effectively leveraged to target and uncover the most valuable users in real time.

Interested in unlocking data and uncovering your brand’s potential through programmatic ad buying? Learn more about Digilant’s solutions here.

10 Tips For Digital Advertising Best Practices

Keeping up-to-date on digital ad buying best practices is essential for any marketer to successfully navigate today’s digital ecosystem. Given the sustained high-level growth of programmatic media buying in recent years, the way in which we leverage new technologies to bring together the main players of digital ad buying and selling is constantly evolving.
buenas prácticas para la compra digital de publicidad
To understand this evolution, you have to familiarize yourself with the foundations of programmatic buying, an impressions-based buying system that relies on algorithms generated from DSPs (Demand Side Platforms).

What for? It’s simple. DSPs need to access global ad inventory with millions of advertising impressions  in real time, with the ability to adjust to what every advertiser wants or needs.

The main draw of programmatic buying lies in its ability to automate the ad buying process in Ad Exchanges and on websites from a unified dashboard.

Differentiating between Programmatic and Direct Ad Buying

 Before reviewing best practices for digital ad buying, it’s important to understand the difference between programmatic and direct ad buying.

  • Direct buying occurs when a marketer buys impressions in bulk, normally in a specific context on specified sites and from a specific publisher. This involves hours of researching which publishers’ impressions will be best to optimize campaign performance and then negotiating the purchase before launching the impressions.
  • Programmatic buying occurs when a DSP automatically and instantaneously places ads on publishers’ sites after evaluating the quality of individual impressions from the best bidder.

Both buying methods have pros and cons and undergo different processes with online publishers. For example, though real-time buying allows an advertiser to reach wider audiences, it doesn’t offer a guarantee on return.

Best Practices for Digital Ad Buying

Real Time Bidding (RTB) marketing alludes to a type of digital advertising in which a variety of ad spaces are auctioned off in real time. The system identifies the visitor’s user information and then each is shown ads that correlate to their tastes and interests determined by data tracked from their online behaviors.
For this process to work correctly, it’s vital to make use of technology and big data. RTB wouldn’t be possible without generating and evaluating millions of data points. This data contributes intelligence to the entire programmatic buying process.

Additionally, advertisers can attract users more effectively thanks to being able to use data for the personalization of ad delivery. This is very evident if one’s to compare the effectiveness of traditional display campaigns.

Today, the majority of marketing departments are employing real-time programmatic buying for retargeting purposes, for example. However, programmatic ad buying allows marketers to also fulfill many other different strategies, analyze the relationships between all media channels, both online and offline, and consider segmentation possibilities.

10 Digital Ad Buying Tips

1.) Start with a general focus

Programmatic technology uses audience data to target specific consumers across vast amounts of ad inventory by using audience data to target individuals dynamically, on a one-on-one basis — in real-time. It’s particularly useful for advertisers who are seeking the reach of a large bulk buy without sacrificing the accuracy of targeting users.

Rather than pay for large inventory, advertisers hoping to reach consumers’ interest can bid for the right audience and the right time. Programmatic not only makes ads more relevant to consumers it also helps publishers to sell inventory in a more valuable way for advertisers.

Additionally, Demand Side Platforms, or DSPs are able to buy ad inventory across all sources with the use of computer programs called algorithms. An algorithm is a computer application that performs sophisticated calculations based on specific rules. For DSPs, these algorithms determine which impressions a specific customer should buy.

2.) Identify your target

As with any advertising strategy, digital or otherwise, marketers need to establish clear objectives and a well-defined target audience.

If you have a specific product or service to promote, or if you’re simply trying to amplify brand awareness on social media, you need to make sure that you’re reaching the audiences that are most apt to listen to your message. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time.

Start by determining demographic data, such as the gender, age, and location of your audience. After gathering that information, you can begin planning how and where to allocate your ad spend.

3.) Prioritize transparency

 According to Smart AdServer, a third of digital media buyers don’t bid on blind inventories. For that reason, it’s important to segment your audience and provide buyers with as much data as possible.

4.) Think Mobile

 The behavioral capabilities of programmatic buying technologies are strongly linked to cookies. Which is a problem when it comes to mobile, since there are no cookies on mobile devices.

In the past, mobile marketing was used to view products before completing a purchase in a physical store or from your desktop. However, according to eMarketer, 75.7% of U.S. buyers are willing to make purchases directly from their phones and over the coming years that figure is expected to grow significantly.

Additionally, 9 out of 10 smartphone users have used their phone at some point in the buying process, according to the IAB. This is why it’s important to adapt all creatives to mobile devices before starting your next digital ad campaign.

5.) Monitor minimum bids and block lists

Another digital media buying best practice  is the consistent monitoring of your minimum bids. If you’re aware of where your ads will get the most value for their traffic and track minimum bids once or twice a week, you can multiply your return in the short term.

6.) Identify what ad formats are growing

Consider the following data from ComScore: After viewing an online video ad, 64% of users are more predisposed to the purchasing a product online. According to Unruly, online video ads increase purchase intent by 97% and brand recognition by 139%. Still wondering what format to use?

Video generates double the engagement that traditional banner ads generate. Even interstitial ads (advertisements that temporarily take up an entire device’s screen) have average bidding prices that are 60% higher than those of banner ads.

In addition to their creative capabilities, new and more captivating ad formats like dynamic creatives, can be programmatically delivered to the user in real time.

7.) Find Similar Users – Lookalike Modeling

Leveraging the data collected from your cookies, DSPs can find new and undiscovered users that look like your customers to whom you can target your ads and optimize conversion rates as your campaigns progress. Lookalike modeling involves defining the attributes and behaviors of your most valuable customers and then using these profiles to target matching prospects. Since these new audience segments are similar to your current customers, you’ll enjoy a higher likelihood of conversions.

8.) Implement Dynamic Creative Optimization

If you combine the power of a DSP with the audience management from a Data Management Platform (DMP), your campaign’s performance will improve significantly.

This lift is attributed to the sorting and classifying of customers based on diverse criteria makes it easier to deliver more personalized ads in which creatives are launched based on where in the sales funnel a user is located.

9.) Brands go for in-house management 

With the emergence of new programmatic software platforms, companies are increasingly willing to control the advertising spend by keeping programmatic buying internal, facilitated by brand marketers. This is the area of programmatic spending that has grown most in recent years.

CMOs that directly manage their digital ad buying build internal competencies in the execution, measurement and optimization of programmatic campaigns.

10.) Use attribution models to properly measure campaign performance

The efficiency of programmatic campaigns is calculated by tracking post view and post click conversions. Therefore, client acquisition strategies should be data oriented, steadily measuring and predicting the media channels that willyield optimal results based on the brand’s campaign goals.

Finally, the ultimate best practice for programmatic ad buying is to constantly improve upon the above practices and strategies. At Digilant, we don’t simply follow best practices for programmatic ad buying, we create them as the needs of our buyers and the technology to serve them evolve. Programmatic ad buying doesn’t just help reach new clients; it uncovers new and more valuable audiences.

Interested in unlocking data and uncovering your brand’s full potential? Learn more about Digilant’s solutions here.

How to Hire a Digital Media Buying Agency?

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.

buying ad space

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 Buyinginfografía compra de medios tradicional Vs compra de medios digitales

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.
Highlights include:

  1. The purchase of ads changes from manual to fully automated,thanks to powerful software that allows Real Time Bidding (RTB), in milliseconds.
  2. It goes from a process that involves several people to a management in which the technology groups the data in a common dashboard.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

3.- Creativity
 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.

5.- Support
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.
Digilant University Programmatic Media Buying Training
6.- Price
 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.

7.- Certifications
 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?

How Independent Digital Agency Cramer-Krasselt Built Its Trading Desk

For independent shops like Cramer-Krasselt, the shift to programmatic presents challenges. They don’t have the resources to pour into proprietary tech like the big holding companies. For Cramer-Krasselt, that has meant stitching together ad-tech partners to form its own trading desk — and educating all of its employees on the ins and outs of programmatic.

“For a long time, media-holding companies maintained the agency trading desks as a centralized profit center, and the next trend is midsized independent shops started getting into programmatic by working with companies like Digilant and Choozle,” said Eric Bader, managing director and co-founder for digital consultancy Volando.

The system (named “DesCK”) was moved out of beta last year, and now, the agency has an ad-tech team of 10 to run programmatic campaigns for clients including Edward Jones Investments, Cedar Fair Entertainment and blender brand Vitamix. The agency uses the technology infrastructure developed by its data management and five demand-side platform partners including The Trade Desk, and then adds its own data and budget-control system on top of that.

“We would be locked in if we build our own tech from scratch because there’s a cost, and once you want to change things, you cannot adjust quickly,” said Chris Wexler, the agency’s director of media and consumer engagement. “By leveraging others’ tech infrastructure, we can be very nimble in terms of what we want to buy, how we want to buy and how to measure it.”

One big differentiator in Cramer-Krasselt’s trading desk is that the agency has built it as a multi-DSP tech stack, with one single DMP that is governed by a proprietary analytical, fraud and budget management system that “significantly” enhances the agency’s DSP and exchange partners, added Wexler.

“If we had built DesCK with just The Trade Desk, while the tech is good, we would be missing out on the best results for our clients,” he said.

Cramer-Krasselt built its DMP based on Salesforce-owned Krux and then uses that DMP as “the core source of truth” to get the cleanest view of data possible. This is because if a marketer buys programmatic inventory from a publisher, for instance, the publisher’s own analytics may show it has 100,000 impressions per month, while comScore may say that the impressions are 90,000. Then, Google shows that the actual number should be 80,000 monthly impressions, while Cramer-Krasselt’s own ad server reveals that it is 70,000 monthly impressions.

“The numbers are moving around, so we need our own DMP to assess those data discrepancies and evaluate one DSP over another,” said Wexler.

The Train Will Come: The Power of Anticipation in Digital Media

By Stephanie Lozito, SVP Client Solutions, Digilant

Coloring Within the Lines

Programmatic media buys via DSPs usually materialize as a checklist of targeting tactics and bidding parameters pushed through a platform using an algorithm.  When heralded as the power of machines over people, DSP-based programmatic buying can appear to be sterile and isolated from other channels of media delivery, such as search and social.  The “human element” of programmatic buying usually refers to optimizations and analysis, when in reality, it is how a campaign is serviced that also makes the process human.

Too often, marketing goals dictate media plans that rely on dated programmatic tools, tech, and thinking.  While there is a time and place for coloring within the lines and relying on those plans and approaches that have worked in the past, we need to sharpen our focus on creativity and experimentation and apply new data strategies within marketing plans.

The pre-planning process is not the only proper place for creativity!  Programmatic media professionals are also creative thinkers and explorers on the front lines of innovation.  How can we inject a new creative sensibility into programmatic?  By prioritizing the human element of media buying.  In short, we need to anticipate.

Laying the Tracks:  The Semmering Railway

The case study of the Semmering Railway offers us a roadmap for what I’ll call Anticipation-Driven Creativity.  Between 1848 and 1854, about 20,000 workers laid 41 kilometers of train tracks across the Semmering Pass in the Austrian Alps.a  This was not an easy feat, as the mountains held especially steep grades with challenging turns, making them uniquely difficult to traverse. Neither surveying tools nor locomotive design available at that time could accommodate travel on the newly-laid tracks.  In short, the Semmering Railway Project was laying tracks for a train that didn’t yet exist.  They built the tracks knowing that one day, the train would come.

programmatic journeyA competition asked entrants to design trains that would achieve what had been previously impossible.  While none of the original four entrants were successful, “
trials for a suitable locomotive led to a number of developments in this field of engineering, and in the end resulted in the invention of the Engerth locomotive.”b  In this case, the “thing” that was anticipated (a train that could make this unprecedented trip) forced the process to create the very thing they were anticipating when they laid the tracks.

Solutions-Based Partnerships

Solutions-based partnerships ultimately fail without anticipation and human creativity.  In fact, creativity needs to take its place at the very center of programmatic buying – to anticipate where tech could potentially go, and help us get there.  To be better at what we do, we need to lay the metaphorical tracks, which will help us design the train fit to travel on them

First, we need to build a level of trust that offers us the freedom to not only present new ideas, but more importantly, present new ideas for which there is no currently established proof that the idea will work.  We need some leeway to be risk takers. Many will say, “What?  That sounds like you want to allocate client spending to a leap of faith!”  To which I would respond, “brands take risks in their creative processes all the time.”

Innovation is based on risk, but calculated, rooted in experience, information, and intelligence (should sound familiar to those working in the programmatic media buying space).  The proliferation of think tanks within brands, like Nike’s Innovation Kitchen, helps break through the innovation clutter.c  Additionally, the title “Chief Innovation Officer” within agencies and brands also indicates the value placed on calculated risk and innovation within the “creators” of media strategies and plans.  Let’s inject this same approach into the practice of programmatic!

To do that, we need to transform programmatic’s “test and learn” mentality into an incubation mentality.  Programmatic incubation fosters freer conversations about new capabilities and allows for greater risk in leading the technology where our clients’ marketing objectives need it to go.

Programmatic Think Tanks

If we were to generate programmatic “think tanks,” similar to our brand and agency colleagues and partners, we’d see a dramatic increase in programmatic innovation and creative thinking at the DSP-level.  Not all of our ideas will work as originally designed (much like the 4 locomotive entrants in the Semmering Trials), but having designed them will allow us to push our programmatic thinking forward.

Let’s avoid making programmatic a rote exercise.  We need to own programmatic creativity. We, as an industry, need to experiment more.   Digilant has made the shift toward a more custom offering that is unique to the buyer, uncovering new data and audiences they wouldn’t have know about.  The beauty of programmatic is its ability to make quick pivots; let’s use this to our advantage.
programmatic train

The Train Will Come

We, as an industry, should make anticipation a part of our daily approach to media buying.  To that end, we should activate programmatic think tanks to innovate as the “human layer” on top of the programmatic tech layer.  And with enough focused anticipation and experimental fearlessness, in every case, the train will come.

Sources: Unesco, and New World Encylopedia, Great Rail, and Fast Company 

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