Programmatic Media Buying 101: Why DSPs & DMPs work better together?

Data-driven advertising has been proven to deliver the most effective way of managing an advertiser’s spend as well as the most efficient way to monetize a seller’s digital assets.
The effectiveness of data-driven decisions –planning, selling, buying– make it necessary for both sellers and buyers to take as much control of their data as possible, and for this reason Data Management Platforms (DMPs) are a key technology for media buyers, publishers and marketers. A good DMP should not only be able to collect data from different sources, but also allow for the creation of audiences/ segmentation, consolidated reporting and campaign optimization – the place where people, platforms, partners and processes are brought together to apply audience data that is actionable. For all those marketers, media buyers and advertisers running programmatic advertising the DMP should be the source of truth for activation and analysis purposes.

What Can A DMP Offer?


Web and mobile experiences, speed of ad delivery, relevant ads and smooth and uncluttered paths to purchase have all contributed to the expectation of today’s consumers.  A good versus bad experience will make or break a retailer. The DMP enables advertisers and brands to craft and deliver personalized communications and offers to existing customers, while simultaneously reaching new customers (identified and informed by existing customer data) through digital advertising making sure the experience is seamless and relevant.

So what do advertisers look for when purchasing a DMP? According to John Lockmer, Director of Programmatic and Ad Operations for DuMont Project there are two main factors he considers when shopping for a DMP:

  1. How the platform will connect to his firm’s ad tech stack?
  2. How much it will cost to use?

With costs ranging from a minimum of $15,000 per month for basic usage to up to $500,000 for a license to manage up to 50 million users, advertisers are looking for alternatives which includes an integrated DSP (Demand Side Platform) and DMP solution.

“It makes it easier for us to work with them, as it does not require a yearly contract and commitment like [standalone] DMPs,” Lockmer said.

 

Tight integrations between a DMP and DSP hold a number of advantages for programmatic media buyers:

  • More efficient media activations – which means you can message your known audiences and address them with the right message
  • Advertising Efficiency – when there are clear signs that a user is no longer interested or have already bought your product, you can stop advertising to them
  • You can diversify your data to include first, second and third party sources for maximum advertising impact
  • Better understanding of the impact of your media buys across all online channels with more accurate and robust analytics
  • NO data leakage
  • If you work with Digilant, there is little or no added cost to activating the DMP

In order to execute a data driven programmatic media buy on a DMP, it’s also important to understand the different types of data available to today’s digital advertisers.

First Party Data

Advertisers have numerous potential first party data assets that they already own: CRM, Point of sale (POs), website, search, digital marketing and offline (point of sale, shopper visits, etc) marketing data. This data is frequently referred to as first party
data. The most important evolution for media buyers in first party data is the ability to activate it for programmatic campaigns, in addition to using the data only for email marketing or direct mail campaigns.  An necessary part of using first party data for programmatic is taking out any Personally Identifiable Information, know as PII, by using on-boarding service providers like LiveRamp – used to translate offline or email data signals to a digital user ID, so that DSPs can now translate different kinds of data for programmatic media campaigns.

Second Party Data

Second party data is acquired through exclusive relationships with data providers who do not sell their data in the open market. A DSP platform can help strike a deal with a data provider to enrich an advertiser’s first party data or directly activate second party data. DSPs are in a unique position to provide data intelligence to help advertisers make that data actionable. The DSP data intelligence comes from developing data science models from previous advertising campaigns that can be applied to enrich advertiser data and their campaigns.

Third Party Data

Data Management Platforms (DMPs), collect audience content consumption anonymously through access to publisher sites and sell the information as 3rd party data to advertisers. For sellers, the data that DMPs help collect is leveraged by sell side platforms (SSPs) to understand the value of their content and properties to increase monetization. For buyers, DMPs provide paid access to audience data from many publishers to which they otherwise not have access. DMP platforms that perform this data collection and distribution (“data exchange”) pay a small fee to sellers to be able to collect data and make it available for media buying platforms.
For example, BlueKai, acquired by Oracle, is one such DMP platform, the idea was to be able to monetize the data collected on both sides (sellers and Buyers), making it necessary for it to be anonymous, impartial and independent. This type of data is frequently termed third party data (3P). All DSPs have access to the same third party data for a price. But, additional layers in the media technology stack have implications. One, there is an additional fee to advertisers; and two, there is data loss as the audience universe do not exactly match between platforms. Since these different types of data are housed in different areas, a gap between first party data and third party data has been created for marketers and media buying platforms. these two data sets live in two different companies, in different technology solutions, and in different formats.

DSPs and DMPs Work Better Together

How can we bridge this gap? Digilant’s solution lies in its integrated DMP and DSP that bridges data management and media activation.  With all the effort, platforms, people and cost involved in executing data driven programmatic advertising, advertisers need to understand that the recipe for success is not pre-packaged, the right combined DMP and DSP will can help them achieve the right ingredients to create the right programmatic buying strategy that leads to campaigns that scale and perform.

Programmatic Media Buying 101: Why You Should Add Programmatic Audio To Your Media Plan?

Programmatic advertising refers to the buying and selling of digital ad space using special software like DSPs or Ad Networks, built for specifically for digital marketing transactions. It avoids traditional human negotiation and is more efficient, because ad buying in the real world between buyers and sellers can be expensive and unreliable. Programmatic allows for automation in real time satisfying both buyers and sellers.

Today’s marketers need to be savvy in using every resource around them to effectively reach their target audience and as radio becomes mostly digital, it is one of the more important and cost effective media channels that media buyers are paying attention to.


Programmatic radio inventory is beginning to rival TV advertising in terms of reach. According to research by RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research) 3.7 million adults listen to podcasts, which is around 6.5% of the adult population. In the today’s world radio seems to be more and more obsolete when trying to reach consumers. However, according to Nielsen, in the U.S. radio surpasses all other platforms when it comes to weekly reach, connecting with 93% of the American population aged between 12 and 54.
Programmatic radio is more than just pure reach. Radio, or audio advertising have opportunities that come from streaming services such as Spotify, SoundCloud, and Pandora. Spotify has over 100 million active users, with over 60% of users opting to use their free service which exposes them to ads. RAJAR Midas Audio Survey states that 51% of time spent with on-demand music services is also a service that features advertising.

“There is a more advanced way to think about advertising budgets. It’s about data and efficiency. As they get better at using data to be more efficient in their advertising spend, they are pushing every media type to be bought that way.”
Mike Dougherty, Jelli CEO

An important thing to note is that programmatic audio ads are unique because you can only hear one ad at a time. In today’s digital atmosphere consumers are bombarded with constant ads almost everywhere they look and usually multiple ads on a page. Consumers have become self-trained to detecting ads and tend to immediately dismiss them. With audio, there is only one ad for the listener to consume and it is not competing with all the other ads the listener would see on a webpage. They can’t listen to anything else other than the ad playing, so engagement becomes a bigger factor when placing audio ads.

Programmatic radio performs best on mobile. In the US, 75.8% of U.S. digital audio listening occurs on mobile vs. 24.2%on desktop. Mobile advertising continues to grow in popularity and effectiveness each day, with programmatic audio advertising you can get in on the action.

There’s no denying that radio – the original broadcast medium – hasn’t lost its appeal. And whether consumers are streaming music, listening to podcasts, or tuning in for the news, they  are going to be all ears.
By adding programmatic audio advertising to your media buying plan you’ll be tapping into new target audiences as well are reaching users in new places.
Contact us to learn more about adding programmatic audio to your digital media buying plan.

Programmatic Media Buying 101: What’s The Difference Between DSPs & Ad Networks

The current programmatic media buying landscape is really just an extension of the traditional two-party system between advertisers and publishers. If you keep in mind what is being sold, who is selling it and who is buying, it should become a little clearer.

So What is the Difference Between DSPs and Ad Networks? 

The acronym DSP stands for demand-side platform. It is a buyer’s side platform for advertisers, it allows advertising buyers to manage multiple ad exchange and data exchange accounts using one interface. An ad network works for the publisher side of the two-party system, connecting advertisers to publishers that have web pages with advertising -matching ad space supply from publishers with advertiser demand.

Let’s Define This Further

Demand-Side Platforms (DSP):   These are used by media buyers at agencies and brands to manage and purchase digital advertising inventory from multiple ad networks through one interface. DSPs allow advertisers to buy ad impressions across a range of publisher sites, but targeted to specific users based on data such as gender, age, location and browsing behavior.
Using a single interface allows marketers to target a very narrowly defined audience segment at scale, without having to manage multiple ad networks or exchanges. The DSPs use the behavioral targeting data which is collected from cookies and data exchanges, to identify the audience segments.  DSPs let the marketers choose audience characteristics and then publishes the ads depending on the target audience.  The main advantage here is that marketers do not have to worry about picking the right websites to advertise on, as the DSPs can do the work for them.

Benefits:

  • Access to multiple inventory sources — they connect to several ad exchanges and SSPs and offer several channels
  • Media buyer can choose which sites to buy on
  • You can set the price at you think each individual impression is worth
  • Added Data segments — use third-party or first-party audience data to enhance buy

Challenges:

  • There are many different DSPs in the marketplace and you need to set up a contract with each one to have access to their platforms
  • Steep learning curve — it takes time to master the nuances of buying on each platform, unless you work with a partner like Digilant

Ad Networks: An advertising network aggregates, categorizes and sells a range of publisher inventory in a way that can be easily understood and purchased by advertisers on a fixed CPM basis, connecting advertisers to web sites that want to host advertisements. . By aggregating inventory, Ad Networks offer advertisers the ability to better reach their target audience while allowing publishers to sell their inventory more effectively. There are many types of Ad Networks and they focus on delivering different objectives.  Some focus on delivering reach and price while others focus on audience demographics and quality.

There are three main types of ad networks:

  • Platform for buying audience segments and data
  • Platform for buying media
  • Platform for creative optimization

Ad networks are often used by media companies to sell out their online display inventory. However, unlike DSPs, not all ad networks support real-time bidding. They will have to incorporate a DSP, in order to facilitate real-time bidding.

Benefits

  • Centralized source for inventory for media buyers and advertisers
  • No need to buy from individual publisher sites

Limitations:

  • Lack of transparency — site reporting often masked
  • Fixed CPM — all impressions cost the same regardless of value
  • No automation — you need to contract each buy with a separate IO

What’s the Takeaway?

Technology creates efficiencies between advertisers and publishers. A DSP enables media buyers to incorporate automation using machine learning into the media buying process, giving advertisers access to more sophisticated targeting tools, data and analytics to improve their advertising performance.  DSPs consolidate purchasing needs in one platform.  But in today’s world of data privacy regulations and walled garden most advertisers can’t afford to use only one DSP.   Each DSP like Google, Facebook, Amazon, MediaMath and others all offer their own unique audiences, data and targeting capabilities.  Not only that but if there are buys or a platform goes down you don’t have options.  You can’t be overly reliant on the infrastructure of one partner because if they decide to change something that has implications for your business you can’t afford the lag time that might cause.
That’s why Digilant partners with all of the best platforms, giving media buyers a holistic view of their ad buys across multiple DSPs so that advertisers can measure results and get value from their ad spend.

Programmatic Media Buying 101: Programmatic Creative is the Future for Display Advertising

Digital advertising that includes both high quality creative and relevant messaging is increasingly a high priority for media buyers and marketers.  Advertisers see no reason why creative, rich media, and programmatic should be mutually exclusive –­ it’s the combination that achieves engagement and results with consumers. The combination of programmatic and engaging creative offers a wide range of new opportunities – using data to precisely tailor messages.

Marketing teams are moving away from click-centric strategies as the only way to measure engagement. With all the new high-touch, high-impact ad formats and the growing popularity of native ad placements, there is a whole new world opening up to advertisers in display ads, to provide a more robust user experience while still reaping the benefits of programmatic buying.

Creative has never been more crucial to display ads as it is today and agencies and marketing teams are paying attention because they realize that a display ad’s message or creative is just as important as the channel or medium through which it’s served.

What is Programmatic Creative?

Programmatic creative has the ability to use the data collected from a programmatic display campaign to create a more personalized experiences for consumers. Rather than displaying one generic creative, new technologies, like Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO), mean that the ad creative can be tailored to the viewer in real-time, across multiple devices, according to their location, what they are doing, and the time of day – improving the overall user experience.
Where programmatic advertising matches users to ads on a one-to-one basis in real-time, DCO supports the matching of the best creative for that user during the programmatic advertising process.

Instead of marketers and advertisers having to figure out a one-size-fits-all, mass-market approach to their creative for a campaign, now they can create hyper-relevant ads that are relevant to individual users, while reaching a larger audience.  Using the sizable amount of data that is collected from each campaign, programmatic creative can enable automatically generated ads relevant to products or services that customers are viewing, helping to move customers towards the conversion path, and returning customers into repeat purchasers – building long-term loyalty and increasing returns for those campaigns.

Programmatic Advertising has Changed the Role of Display Ads


With programmatic taking the largest share of digital marketing budgets, the role of display advertising has been reborn and redefined.  More than four in five US digital display ad dollars, or $45.72 billion, will flow via programmatic means by 2019.
It’s no secret that different formats accomplish vastly different goals for marketers and media buyers. As the role of display advertising is redefined, and programmatic has dramatically changed the landscape, marketers need their display options to emphasize relevance for each consumer and define their experience as unique rather than obtrusive.
If campaigns are to remain relevant, marketers should be considering themselves not solely as advertisers, but as storytellers.  Marketers and publishers alike are turning to programmatic creative to enhance user experience and keep the customer at the center.

Programmatic Media Buying 101: The Difference Between First and Second Price Auctions in RTB

If you are buying advertising programmatically then you are most likely using either a first or second price auction bidding process.  Most recently there has been more talk of moving towards first price auctions because of the popularity of header bidding.  DSPs (Demand Side Platforms) have traditionally been set up to use second-price auctions and for most DSPs adapting and changing strategies to first price auctions is expensive because they have to invest in technology that will specifically adapt to the rules of every auction and allow them to bid effectively.

So what are the differences between the two types of auctions?  And why should media buyers care which one gets used?

First Price Auctions

The programmatic buying model where if your bid wins, you pay exactly what you bid. This type of auction maximizes revenue potential for the seller.

In the first price auction model the bidders pay exactly what they bid. This type of auction can lead to unnaturally high prices because buyers are forced to guess how much their competition will bid.  This auction mechanism gives publishers the highest eCPMs for their inventory but can lead to the advertisers overpaying which can then lead to a lower demand for that publisher’s inventory.

The first-price auction allows both buyers and sellers to see the actual cost of the impression and the fees taken by the SSP/ad exchange will at least be known. The winning price is exactly what the advertiser agreed on, but there is a risk of overpaying for impressions.

The workings of the first-price auctions make sense economically only when the buyer knows the fair market value of the impressions they are bidding on, and understands the mechanics of hard- and soft- price floor mechanisms. The Price Floor, is the minimum price a publisher will accept for its inventory, which technically means they will ignore all bids below that price. This can turn a second-price auction into a type of first-price auction.

Second Price Auctions

The programmatic buying model where if your bid wins, you pay $0.01 above the second highest bid in the auction. In this type of auction, it is in your best interest to bid the highest amount you are willing to pay to win that impression, knowing that you will most likely end up paying less than that amount.
The second price auction is preferable to first price auctions for advertisers because it gives the winner a chance to pay a little less for the ad impression than their original submitted offer — instead of paying the full price, the winning bidder pays the price offered by the second-highest bidder, plus a bit more, usually $0.01. The final and winning price of the impression is known as the clearing price.

So What About Header Bidding?

Header bidding has become a popular type of first price auction where publishers place a piece of code on their webpage headers that allows a limited number of advertisers to bid on inventory outside of their primary ad server. This lets advertisers compete for premium or reserved inventory before or instead of the second-price auction.

Header bidding creates an auction prior to the final auction in a publisher’s ad server. Because of that inefficiency, SSPs (Supply Side Platforms) who run a fair second-price auction in the header, will have less competitive bids for that final auction, and find themselves with low win rates.  Being less competitive in the auction has terrible implications for SSPs as more competitive bids from header bidding can steal their market share.

Media Buyers Are Asking for Transparency in the Bidding Process

Programmatic ad buying exchanges have a mostly obscure bidding process, making it unclear for the buyers whether they are dealing with first or second price auction. If you want complete transparency, then first-price auction seems to be the better option (there are no floor mechanisms or hidden fees), but it offers few real benefits for the advertiser. Truthful bidding in this model (i.e. bidding the real value of the impression, which means if an impression has a value for you of $1.00, you should also bid $1.00) is not only more challenging but it’s also more expensive. A transparent first-price auction will squeeze the margins of the many ad tech players in the middle, and deliver more actual working media to the publisher. But if programmatic media buyers think they are still playing according to second-price auction rules, they will end up overpaying for inventory. Advertisers don’t like the feeling that they are being manipulated into bidding higher than they need to, which is exactly why DSPs use algorithms to predict the price floors and bid accordingly.

Many programmatic traders are left in the dark when it comes to the setup of the auctions they are bidding in. Since media buyers can only audit the vendors they are working with directly on the demand side, they have no way to verify if other programmatic platforms in the ad supply chain are altering their auction structures to make more margin. Which means a buyer might think they are buying based on second price auction but really be in a first price auction. That can get expensive, since the bid strategies are drastically different.

The industry will likely be in a transition period for much of 2018 as DSPs adjust their algorithms to allow for some Bid Shading to minimize the chance of overpaying.  It’s important for media buyers to clarify the auction type (first or second) whenever negotiating a deal and floor price with a publisher. To combat price increases, some buyers have already started Bid Shading, or reducing bid prices. But that strategy comes with risks because buyers can lose out on inventory they want if they submit too low a bid.  So until trust or transparency in auction type and fee structure is available in the open exchange, some media buyers will either try to work with adjusted algorithms or push towards more private exchange tactics so that they can trust the contracts and pricing models.

Programmatic Media Buying 101: Why Are Marketers Talking About Blockchain Technology?

Will Blockchain be the technology that solves the programmatic industry woes, or is it just another buzzword that we need to add to our vernacular in case someone brings it up in a conversation?
Either way it helps to know why people are talking about blockchain technology and how it will help or change the programmatic buying industry.  The problem that most people are hoping that blockchain has the potential to solve is transparency throughout the advertising supply chain – which means advertisers having a better understanding of cost and the visibility of their ads.

What is Blockchain Technology?

First of all Blockchain isn’t a new technology, and it wasn’t developed specifically for the advertising industry.   It was originally created for managing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.  Blockchain is a continuous series of records – blocks – linked by encryption, that sit across a distributed database and are stored on computers all around the world. Each time a transaction is made, a message is sent to the network to agree (or disagree) that the transaction is legitimate before giving the approval.

Why Are Marketers Interested in Blockchain for Programmatic Buying?

Blockchain has the ability to create a highly secure trading network for advertisers, by publicly storing data to create a permanent audit trail with an unchangeable record of all transactions that occur within the programmatic buying marketplace. This provides marketers with full visibility into their ad buy, to better track all transactions that are taking place automatically and ensure their budget is actually being used effectively. Using blockchain technology, a record of all transactions taking place throughout the ad-buying and selling process is made and in the future marketers can use this knowledge to reduce, or even eradicate, hidden costs or fees from multiple intermediaries within the ad-buying supply chain.

The main benefits of blockchain for advertisers include:

  • Keeping track of each point where that ad shows up effectively, so that the advertiser can control the process and get more working dollars in front of users/ clients
  • It can provide more transparency with relation to ad fraud and brand safety by allowing advertisers to record exactly where their ad campaign is being delivered and whom it is reaching

For those companies who are thinking of bringing their programmatic in-house there will be some benefits from the direct line of communication that blockchain offers with data providers and other vendors.  This means more transparency on how data is collected and sourced.  So if the advertiser doesn’t have to worry about security or fraud and is able to leverage transparency they can focus on improving their targeting strategies and invest in creative and an overall better experience for their audience.

So When Should We Expect Blockchain to go Mainstream?

If blockchain is so powerful, why has it not being used more widely?  After all, it’s not a new technology, what’s holding the ad-tech business back from implementing it?
First of all, it’s really bad for the environment!  Blockchain inherently uses an immense amount of energy.  It’s by nature a space-hungry technology because the series of blocks become very large very quickly and become hundreds of gigabytes in size.  And as the chains get bigger you need more storage and capacity is limited.  Then that data needs to load every time you make a transaction, which is not practical for any type of programmatic buying, which involves millions of transaction per second.  That’s a lot of blocks.
So this probably not going to be the year of blockchain for Real-Time Bidding (RTB) but it doesn’t mean it can’t be implemented in other parts of the ecosystem.  For instance, it can be used to authenticate the publishers advertisers are working with when they set up private marketplace deals.  Even though PMPs are meant to be safer or fraud free they are still subject to domain spoofing. Using blockchain to set these deals up could give advertisers another layer of verification.  So blockchain still has some possibilities.  We are keeping an eye on it but haven’t seen it move the needle in any direction as of yet.

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.

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.

 

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.

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