In 2009, when I was the Media Director for one of the nation’s largest drugstore chains, our ad agency let us know about an innovative way of buying digital display banner ads via “real-time bidding.” These were the very early days of programmatic ad buying, a tactic that involved sending hundreds of millions of display impressions out on the web in the hope that someone would click on the ad and arrive at our website.
Programmatic ad buying is a rising trend in marketing.
The edict we had been given from our leadership team was to innovate our digital buys. This was in the days before third-party data integrations, inventory arbitrage, fraud detection, and before BOTs were invented. In fact, very little was known about this “Wild-Wild-West” approach to buying digital media in this way.
Fast forward eight years. In that time, I have been an end user, seller, advocate, and adopter of programmatic media buying for not only digital banner ads, but video, audio, and native content as well. The media landscape has changed from a handful of agency trading desks, demand-side platforms, and media sellers to a cacophony of confusing acronyms, emergence of new channels, and thousands of media sellers and partners in this space.
Marketers often lack experience in programmatic ad buying.
There is no doubt that programmatic media buying is the future of media buying across all channels. But given the complexity of the landscape, how do you make an educated assessment whether a programmatic media buying strategy is right for you?
On June 14, I led a webinar, Programmatic Media Buying, What Every Marketer Needs to Know Now (watch it here!). The main goal of this webinar was to arm viewers with the information they needed to be educated and responsible consumers of programmatic media technologies. You wouldn’t purchase a car without doing research, and you shouldn’t pursue programmatic without knowing all that you need.
Follow these tips to get started with programmatic ad buying.
There are many Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to being an informed programmatic consumer. (Things I wish I knew back in 2009!) Here are just a few:
- DO become literate in the basics of programmatic media buying
- DON’T be afraid to ask potential partners tough questions about pricing, fraud, transparency and data
- DO assess multiple partners in multiple channels to understand the difference in platform offerings
- DON’T partner with any company that doesn’t brag about its fraud prevention and traffic validation