At Digiday’s Programmatic Summit marketers were asked about their frustrations with programmatic vendors. A big issue is “telling the difference between vendors”.
This is an interesting and serious issue.
Recently when talking to a customer one of their concerns was exactly this. In determining whether they want to start up trading practices in house they had met with every vendor they could get their hands on. They met with DSPs, publisher partners and networks, and a primary concern expressed to me was differentiating between each of them in a meaningful way based on their programmatic capabilities.
The issue is also not confined to simply starting programmatic operations. This confusion happens in most stages of the business, and even within veteran media teams.
When talking to colleagues questions come up about elements that are important with programmatic vendors, and which aren’t. When working to differentiate between competitive solutions it’s often important to first have a set of KPIs. What are you working towards? If you are interested in creating a programmatic buying capability it’s important to first distinguish the needs of your business and the needs of your clients.
Agencies may think about revenue opportunities, the specific media plans they run for clients, data needs of their clients and achieving economies of scale.
Marketers may think about transparency, re-investing marketing dollars that have been saved and ways to deploy modeled data combined with their own first party data.
Ad networks, verticalized networks, or publishers may think about audience extension campaigns and revenue and payouts tied to partner data sources.
Each of these businesses will have different needs and use cases for their programmatic solution set. Some will want to build their own capabilities while others will want off the shelf solutions. Some will place greater emphasis on data infrastructure. Others will pay close attention to the ease of launching a campaign in a preferred DSP. For BrillMedia.co we think about the delivery of reporting to derive insights.
So, step one, define a set of KPIs.
The next step is to do your due diligence. Have the right conversations and find the points that are truly important. They’ll spring up as you think about what you like and don’t like about a partner. Is algorithmic optimization a differentiator, or is it more of a nice to have? If it’s a nice to have element, then be sure that all top DSPs have one, and know that you aren’t going to lose out if you choose any of the top 5-10 DSPs. Read reports about top DSPs from an independent source like Forrester. As you have these conversations you’ll identify the top 5 elements that you need in your partner set to make it the right fit. This speaks to the heart of the issue. Know exactly what you are looking for, and make those factors key in your conversation.
Finally, don’t get caught in analysis paralysis. Do test with a few use cases. Make sure the assumptions that led you to choose a partner are in fact correct. Learn the platform of choice and take smart risks. Learn by doing with a guided hand and ensure that your clients benefit from great tech, smart trading strategies and thoughtful media leadership. Ensure that you learn to run programmatic campaigns with a leader who can guide you through best practices, proper campaign setup and proper training.
So, know that by doing you are setting up for a successful future. Trust that your smart decisions and thoughtful planning to get you to this point will hold up. If the platform partner of choice isn’t the right fit continue testing.
In summary, set a plan of action by defining programmatic vendor needs and KPIs for your organization, determine exactly what is important to your enterprise, and be willing to jump in and test.