Here is a clear description of what brand owners need to consider when setting themselves up to buy programmatically. The infrastructure for delivering a programmatic strategy may appear complex but, in reality, the client simply makes a choice about how to work with the technology. These choices include:
- Working with an established media agency that has the expertise and ability to process data, analytics and programmatic buying
- Working with a specialist trading desk that is purely focused on programmatic buying
- Investing in a suitable technology package and creating an in-house team
All of these choices offer different benefits, and clients will need to carefully consider which option best serves their purpose and strategy. Large multinationals such as Procter & Gamble are investing in their own trading desks, although this is not without its challenges. Setting up an in-house team can be problematic due to a lack of staff expertise and the time it takes to train them. Companies looking at trading in-house should evaluate the tech solutions available in the marketplace and find the one that best meets their needs.
Ads are bought and placed by Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) communicating with Supply Side Platforms (SSPs). These SSPs handle bundles or networks of digital inventory owned by publishers. This world of inventory includes far more than ‘traditional’ publisher websites, and exciting new ad formats are emerging all the time.
The DSP and SSP processes are automated and use complex algorithms to optimise the bidding and selling of inventory. Ad trading in this way introduces efficiencies for businesses that are looking to engage their online audiences and customers at scale. You can see the priorities on which marketers are focusing in the chart below, which includes data from research carried out by GlobalDMA and Winterberry Group:
So what kind of inventory and media can be traded in this way? Pretty much all online display formats can be deployed if the DSP has access to the right publisher network. Interest is now shifting to TV in its broadest sense where Video-on-Demand and connected TV offer exciting inventory opportunities. Digital radio and Out-of-Home are also areas where programmatic experiments are taking place, although there are still hurdles with these channels in terms of processes and the amount of inventory available.
Given how technology has changed the face of marketing in the past decade alone, we can only imagine the quantum leaps that will occur in the next 10 or 20 years. But marketers must never lose sight of the end goal, which is to create a better experience for the consumer. Technology is simply a means to an end. Brands that show they understand their customers and make their shopping experiences easier will reap the rewards that the latest technology has to offer.
The writer is Matt Ware, Commercial Director APAC, at MediaMath