New Transparency Growth Opportunities Found in Programmatic Advertising
When a brand is looking to reach a niche audience–which is often needed in order to efficiently run campaigns–allocating a portion of the marketing budget to programmatic media placement should be considered. According to eMarketer, programmatic media placements are the most utilized media with the average user consuming 6 hours of advertisements per day. Beyond its impressive share of the digital environment, utilizing programmatic placements also allows for granular audience targeting and reporting insights.
Programmatic advertising touts many strengths and opportunities, especially as we move into 2018 with the improvements coming: low-cost scale, overall efficiency and the ability to target very specific, niche audiences as mentioned earlier. With the algorithms demand-side platforms utilize, in theory, advertisers can reach the right people, at the right time, and at a low price with campaigns only improving over time.
According to a 2017 article from Marketing Week, programmatic advertising was predicted to increase 31% in 2017 (up from $39 billion in 2016), growing faster than all other digital channels. Despite all of these strengths, rapid utilization and growth, we can’t deny that the space has its issues that we, as advertisers, have all felt and dealt with.
In a posting from an international programmatic agency, Infectious Media, it was stated that 75% of marketers planned to increase programmatic spend for brands, but the largest concern in the space was lack of transparency, i.e., brand safety, invalid traffic and viewability issues. A big piece of transparency challenges is the lack of real-time control over ad placements and ad spend. At the 2016 Digiday Programmatic Summit in New Orleans, Digiday asked advertisers to anonymously write their biggest challenges in the programmatic space and place them on a “challenge board.” One such challenge stated:
“We don’t have a great handle on how to steer our media in real time. There’s a lot of latency in action and insight. We spend money and don’t know what’s happening. We’d like to bring all our media in-house, but a big step forward would be knowing what happened, connecting real-time spend to real-time insights.”
The quote above was borrowed because of how beautifully it states an issue that many advertisers are feeling; one that can be a problem for any client, but especially those that have short bursts of campaigns – where every dollar counts. An example of such a client is Legendary Entertainment, creator of films that include The Dark Knight and Jurassic World. Each digital campaign that Legendary Entertainment runs is about six weeks leading up to the movie release with pressure to ensure that the movie is successful. Every dollar counts here, and a last-minute optimization on the programmatic side can mean big savings – or losses.
With programmatic services coming from demand-side platforms, data partners, ad exchanges and trading desks, something that hasn’t been seen much yet is bidder-as-a-service models such as the one touted by Beeswax. Legendary Entertainment recently utilized the Beeswax solution for the movie “Kong: Skull Island” to optimize bids against custom algorithms with insights provided at the bidstream and auction level to give an additional layer of control and avoid unrecoverable mistakes. According to an article in Ad Exchanger, this partnership allowed the campaign to outperform industry expectations by 30%.
Moving forward, Beeswax has made their solution more accessible by releasing the “Beeswax Programmatic Cloud” just this past September. This service gives a group of vendors access to an integration with its bidder that will allow custom algorithms for each client–a fascinating idea that will likely allow even further client audience customization and targeting granularity. If this solution finds success, it will likely be the first of many that will break into the industry moving forward which, like Beeswax, will offer more control over programmatic spend and additional insights into why a strategy might not be scaling, performing or losing bids.
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For those of us in the adtech/programmatic industry this, fortunately, or unfortunately, will make the space even more complex. However, if such services become more common and cost-efficient, programmatic advertising will only become more widespread and utilized, moving faster into additional media channels such as print and TV.
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