5 tips for effective Programmatic Buying

Be selective about your technology providers

With the number of vendors only growing, it is understandable that programmatic buying and its process can become confusing for both media agencies and advertisers. When deciding on your programmatic buying strategy, it’s important to find the balance between lowering spend, sampling several providers and diversifying your approach, or alternatively increasing spend in an attempt to yield more reliable and accurate results. The first approach is arguably more complex and can ultimately end up being less efficient and require more technical support. The latter is risky, as the provider might turn out to be a flop, and you’ll have taken a huge risk putting all your programmatic eggs in one basket. Invest some of your time into finding the right providers to part with, and base your decisions on how closely your goals match up the provider’s strengths. Sometimes the best way to choose programmatic buying partner is to segment your campaign and choose various providers with a strong reputation in each of those elements.

Intermingle programmatic buying into your media toolkit

Programmatic buying was initially focused on Real-time Biding (RTB), and mainly associated with remnant, or leftover, inventory. This is no longer the case, as advertisers and publishing networks make full use of the numerous capabilities of programmatic buying (and selling). These include things like insights and analytics from data integration, as well as the obvious benefits of the increasingly powerful automation capacity of programmatic buying engines, all of which boost the efficiencies of your media campaigns.

Quality over quantity

Like most things in life, it’s quality over quantity, and programmatic buying is no exception. Understandably, some advertisers have expressed reservations about integrating programmatic buying into their marketing strategy because of fears that the impressions yielded through this method are poor quality, and thus less valuable. Apart from the obvious risk of putting a dollar value on inventory that never gets seen, it is true that the automation involved in programmatic buying will inevitably make tracking where and to whom the ads appear a more complicated process. To counter this, you should be taking advantage of the metrics available to you, such as past performance and “viewability”, along with bespoke customer verification settings. Together, this should improve your tracking capacity and overall strategy of programmatic buying.

Optimize your creative using variable testing

The benefit of being able to collect huge amounts of data through the automation engines used in programmatic buying is that it means you can conduct effective A/B testing on top of your retargeting efforts. Optimizing your creative media content, and ultimately your message, in real time can help to drive your campaign’s results. The automation of A/B testing means you can work out the most effective creative, ad formats, action buttons and tag lines, which will help to determine the best-performing ads in different segments and across various channels.

Fine-tune the campaign when you have enough data (and not before)

Programmatic buying involves automatic optimization, which is what makes it so appealing. It uses swathes of data to constantly update and optimize the settings of your campaign. The algorithms used in programmatic-buying technology are built to independently make assumptions and draw conclusions. They also have the capability to distinguish between normal deviations in data and abnormalities that need fixing. Nobody understands a business’ target audience better than its advertisers, so when there is sufficient data and the campaign has yielded significant insights, it is reasonable to make any necessary adjustments to drive better results.

Next steps

If you are new to the world of programmatic advertising, why not have a consultation with our expert media buyers about your goals for 2015. We’re certain we can help you to optimize your campaigns to get better audience engagement and stronger campaign results.