Evaluating digital partners and future proofing your business

posted by Tim Webster
19 January 2018

From the early days of direct and network buys, programmatic advertising has advanced to connect consumers with brands across a myriad of sites, devices and content types. The technology provides unprecedented access and insight into consumer data and behaviour, which to date has not been possible with traditional media.

Using insights generated from programmatic technology, brands can more efficiently target their desired audiences and monitor campaign success against set performance metrics. They can then optimize their advertising and reinvest ad spend in the best performing areas.

Navigating the digital supply chain

Driving awareness and return on investment is the goal of every digital advertising team, but in focussing too heavily on these fundamentals and not enough on meeting the ever-changing needs of the modern-day consumer, the objective of delivering exciting creative is getting lost. Consumers don’t care how an ad was delivered if it was additive to their consumption experience – creative needs to work in harmony with programmatic to maximise advertising effectiveness.

As the technology continues to develop, the industry must continue to evolve to fit within the unpredictable digital supply chain and be prepared for the challenges that come with it. Today, advancements in dynamic content technologies and richer ad formats mean programmatic advertising can deliver ads ideally suited to the device and environment they are being consumed in. The result is higher levels of engagement and improved balance sheets. Data-driven creative is the future – the marriage of man and machine is what will drive the supply chain forward but businesses must understand what is involved in executing this internally as well as the risks of choosing just one digital partner and technology stack.

Take back control to future proof your brand

Driven by concerns over transparency, brand safety, viewability and fraud, many of the world’s biggest brands are rethinking their programmatic strategies. Research from World Federation of Advertisers shows that in the past 12 months alone, 65% of brands have enhanced their internal capabilities, 32% have added data ownership clauses to contracts, and 24% have increased contractual controls of programmatic by adopting a hybrid model.

However, some businesses are taking this overhaul even further and are considering bringing their entire programmatic stack in-house. With the promise of increased control over how budgets are spent, a reduction in the proportion of ad spend eaten up by agency fees and tech providers, and better visibility into where ads are placed, it’s easy to see the attraction of this strategy. But the cost and complexity of taking programmatic in-house means it’s not a viable solution for the majority of businesses, and not an efficient use of budget.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution and businesses must evaluate the digital supply chain and decide where to invest budget to achieve long-term goals.

Tim Webster is CSO and co-founder of digital marketing provider The Exchange Lab.

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