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programmatic advertising

What is programmatic advertising?

Programmatic advertising facilitates the automated buying of online advertising. It is a set of complex and interconnected technologies, algorithms, APIs and platforms that connect advertisers to publishers.

In practice, programmatic advertising helps brands target the right consumers, at the right time and with the right message across hundreds of thousands of websites, or just a select few.

What are the benefits of programmatic advertising?

Programmatic advertising vastly improves the efficiency of buying digital ads. Under the traditional model, brands had to approach each publisher separately. Agency planners had to evaluate websites based on audience data provided by the publisher or from research companies such as Nielsen, comScore or Gemius.

Today, you can target specific consumers or retarget your existing visitors across hundreds of thousands of websites.You can optimize for specific KPIs such as conversions, reach, or traffic. You can set the algorithm to seek placements with higher viewability or better video play-through rates.

There is a deep level of customization that allows advertisers and agencies to continuously optimize and improve their campaigns.

What are the challenges of
programmatic advertising?

When brands consider shifting their budgets to programmatic advertising, they need to be aware of several potential issues.

Cost can be a major barrier to entry for some clients. The underlying algorithms of programmatic buying require a consistent stream of data in order to learn and to be able to optimize for a specific KPI. Thus, clients are encouraged to run longer campaigns that have adequate daily budgets for their desired geographic markets and target audiences.

Another challenge is understanding the cost of programmatic campaigns.

Every DSP has a service fee, which is usually a percentage on your ad spend. Then, there is the cost of using audience data from 3rd party vendors such as BlueKai, Ziff Davis or Expedia. Some audience segments can be relatively inexpensive but niche or high-value audiences can fetch very high CPMs. It is not uncommon for some 3rd party audience segments to cost upwards of $5 per mille.

Brand safety and verification is another set of fees. Depending on the complexity of your campaign, you could end up paying 30% of your budget in technology fees alone.

It is important to have an honest and open conversation with your agency to determine the value and ROI of programmatic advertising.

Another serious challenge is ad fraud. Programmatic buying is facilitated by connecting to supply side platforms and/or ad exchanges, which have hundreds of thousands of websites. Thus, spotting and preventing ad fraud becomes paramount. This is why Metric uses ad verification tools to prevent ad fraud and to ensure that your ads are seen by real humans.

Key terms you should know about Programmatic advertising?

Demand Side Platform (DSP)

A demand side platform (DSP) is a web-based interface that allows advertisers to create  campaigns, use available audience data and connect to ad exchanges and individual publishers.

Data Management Platform (DMP)

The cornerstone of programmatic buying is the ability to target the right audience. A DMP is an interface that allows advertisers to collect, create and manage audience data. This process is done by tagging your website or by creating data sharing agreements with trusted publishers.

Supply Side Platform (SSP)

A supply side platform (SSP) helps publishers manage, optimize and sell their ad inventory to advertisers. Not all supply side platforms interface directly with demand side platforms. Instead, they facilitate the process of selling inventory by connecting to ad exchanges or advertiser networks.

Real Time Bidding (RTB)

The foundation of programmatic buying is real time bidding, which is a model of buying ad impressions through auctions. The underlying technology that facilitates real time bidding is complex and ever-evolving, however, it takes milliseconds for an auction to occur and for an advertiser to deliver an ad impression to their target audience.

Our programmatic ad stack

Our preferred DSP and DMP solution is MediaMath.

MediaMath is one of the biggest independent programmatic vendors in the world and is used by Fortune 500 companies and large network agencies. In other words, it’s a top-tier solution.

By using data sharing agreements with local Bulgarian vendors, we have built over 140 proprietary audience segments in our DMP. These segments span a wide variety of consumer interests, browsing and purchase behavior.

To ensure brand safety, we deploy Integral Ad Science (IAS) for all campaigns that we run through MediaMath. IAS isn’t simply a monitoring tool, but rather it can effectively block fraudulent impressions and disallow unsafe placements. Additionally, we use a curated list of SSPs and ad exchanges that have a proven track record of delivering high-quality inventory in brand-safe environments.

Although MediaMath is our preferred programmatic solution, our team has experience with platforms such as theTradeDesk, Appnexus and DoubleClick.

Thus, if your business runs on another solution our team can align with your requirements.

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