In yesterday’s post we discussed how companies can initiate a revolution in their enterprise with the adoption of programmatic solutions. Today we’ll take a real use case, the evolution of BrillMedia.co as a way to show how these steps play out with a real company.
Step 1 – Understand The Journey Will Lead You To New Places
When BrillMedia.co was started it was initially a consulting firm. We still run consulting business and help advertising companies develop solutions around the programmatic space. We are a white label trading desk for an agency, have held training sessions for Interactive Advertising Bureau, helped an ad tech company develop the early stages of a managed service solution. We’ve helped advertisers negotiate contracts with DSPs and developed broad programmatic strategies. Today we do that consulting work, and we also sell a combination of services broadly defined as hyperlocal marketing. Because the programmatic ecosystem is so broad access to one demand side platform (DSP) gives us immensely powerful advertising solutions at our finger tips. With licenses to multiple DSPs we have differentiated offerings. The knowledge to run self service programmatic campaigns translates well to Facebook ad buys, so we’ve expanded to help advertisers maximize the opportunity with Facebook, especially around lead ads. Our business evolved and continues to change as our skillsets get new uses. When I started this business in 2013 I did not know that my business will look like this in 2016.
Step 2 – Connect Business Challenges With Existing Programmatic Capabilities
We knew early on that access to trading alone isn’t enough to be competitive in this space. So, we tested the market with a few different hypothesis. Our programmatic solution sets were broad, and our conversations revealed a tremendous amount about who we compete with, how the market perceived us, and how well we compete. The end result is a focus on hyperlocal advertising. The business challenge was really honing in on who we are and our role in the marketplace. The opportunity with programmatic was, and continues to be, that marketers who we speak to understand hyperlocal. They have a strong and positive reaction to serving ads to people based on where they are in the physical world. If you never did any marketing that concept is easy to grasp, so it’s easy to sell, so we do more of that, and less of what doesn’t work. What didn’t work is selling influencers at scale (though we still get lots of interest in these campaigns) and calling ourselves a programmatic ad agency with billions of available impressions and lots of data segments. We have those, but those alone are too nebulous to sell.
Step 3 – Develop Enterprise Knowledge of Programmatic Principles
Luckily for us this is second nature. Having worked with demand side platforms since 2010 we were witness and participants in the evolution of programmatic from three IAB ad sizes and remnant inventory, to multiple media channels and more premium inventory, to the present / future where completely automated guaranteed buys on the majority of digital display media is transacted programmatically. We look at the space as a vibrant and robust ecosystem of people and technology that changes very quickly. With this knowledge we’re able to react quickly, onboard new technologies swiftly, pinpoint marketplace trends we’re equipped to fulfill on, and serve our clients with best in class programmatic expertise.
Step 4 – Develop Products With Programmatic Solutions, Not Programmatic Products
We used our knowledge of the ecosystem develop products, rather than simply relying on programmatic as a broad catch-all. Hyperlocal advertising is a fully programmatic solution. So is our Facebook ad buying capability. Programmatic is the way in which we make hyperlocal happen for our customers. But saying that we’re a programmatic advertising company is so broad that it doesn’t convey the work with we do, so we had to productize our solution set so that marketers would understand what they get when they work with us. The combination of hyperlocal ads, place based remarketing and geo-behavioral targeting are born out of multiple DSP relationships and three additional partner relationships. When you’re on the phone with us, unless you’re looking to deconstruct the work we do (and if you are we’ll tell you) what you care about is how turn-key it is for you to pinpoint audiences. We’ve productized those solution sets, so talking about them to prospects is about discussing solutions, not the programmatic marketplace.