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Continue to Challenge the Effectiveness of Programmatic Buying + Staffing

3 MINUTE READ | March 25, 2014

Continue to Challenge the Effectiveness of Programmatic Buying + Staffing

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Cristina Freeman

Cristina Freeman has written this article. More details coming soon.

There are many ways to better leverage programmatic platforms, data providers and technologies to enhance results for active campaigns.  One of the key components of buying programmatically is control. As margins get tighter and some agencies and advertisers shift away from managed service relationships and onto trading desk, needs change.  Teams change.  This is important as you are no longer depending exclusively on experienced partners to test and make optimizations to the campaigns.

It is now on the agency or direct team experts to develop and/or hire.  That being said, finding an expert with 3+ years of true programmatic background is… well, tough.  Constantly be on the look for exchange operations or practical trading desk knowledge – sidenote: these skill sets relate well to other “programmatic” channels such as paid search. Hiring well initially will eventually save you from a lot of pain.

How do you look for new programmatic testing opportunities? For example, if your goal is to maximize revenue opportunity for your brand at the lowest possible cost; how do you approach the challenge.  More specifically, how do you scale a mature and seemingly defined program and audience?

With the right team or agency, you define a level of campaign control from set up while hands on optimizations and brand insight allow for a more effective creation process..

Here are 3 straight forward elements to consider when establishing campaigns:

Audience Testing

  • Cookie ache. If you are working with a 3rd party data aggregator, be sure to lock down on the terms of this syndication.  Many of these aggregators are selling a single cookie 20x times which creates an interesting “frequency” challenge and poor user experience.

  • Testing is a necessity. Not a nice to do.  Why buy programmatically if you are simply throwing it in neutral. Use new data partners, exchange additions, inventory models and control based bid adjustments to find new customers.


  • Not just “a” bid.  It is important to have differing bid strategies per audience. Part of the magic of smart programmatic buying is the increased scale and effective CPM.  Back into different cost metrics for audience sets and don’t give up too quickly.  Establish a confidence variable for the test and stick with it.


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  • Test. Test again. Apply key findings from the programmatic campaigns across other channels (e.g. paid search and social).  This could allow for performance increases across the portfolio through scale or cost efficiencies.  Happy with your findings?  Find an iteration of the audience and test again.

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