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4 Ways To Simplify Your Programmatic Media Buying

Aug 13, 2019  ·  8 min read
Nina Bohush
Nina Bohush, Marketing expert at Epom

Programmatic media buying may be complicated and frustrating until you discover these four ways to simplify it.

Programmatic continues to evolve. Its 80% share in global digital ad spendings prove that the technology that was considered at one time unreliable and risky finally made its way to being a lifesaver for the industry. Why did this happen?

There are dozens of reasons why programmatic is better than any other type of media buying. Budget-saving pricing, an incredibly high level of automation, access to user's data, and precise targeting to just name a few. Zenith predicts that in 2020 advertisers will spend $98 billion on programmatic advertising (compared to $84 billion in 2019 and $70 billion in 2018).

Undeniable advantages of programmatic have also led to the rise of programmatic in-housing. According to the IAB Data Center of Excellence, 18% of brands claimed they fully adopted programmatic and gave up on outsourcing it. 47% of surveyed companies partially took programmatic functions upon themselves, while also hiring media agencies or DSP partners. Adobe states that 62% of brands have plans to bring programmatic in-house by 2022.

This growth tendency positively affects the technology itself. The massive adoption of programmatic has led to its continuous improvement, growing transparency, and better accessibility. Ask Google about the best demand-side platform (DSP). The wide range of choice surprises, right?

This is why today DSPs have to fight for customers. While trying to beat the competitions, DSPs accrete with new innovative features and helpful capabilities to improve user's media buying. At the same time, the continuous improvements complicate technology. As a result, users often feel frustration or even fear when starting their programmatic path.

To help you avoid the headache and accept programmatic as your friend rather than a menacing Demogorgon, we gathered four easy-to-follow steps to simplify your media buying.

Buy traffic with your own DSP

You probably think that we're kidding when offering you the option to build your own demand-side platform from scratch, but we aren't. Creating a DSP doesn't always mean investing millions in product development. It means that all the work is already done for you.

A white-label DSP is a brilliant alternative to save time and money. White-label DSP is a ready-to-use technology that helps you create your own DSP quickly while avoiding large investments. Everything is as simple as this: you take the technology, design it as your own, and start media buying. You put your name, logo, and colors on it, produce accounts for your partners, create custom emails and use it as if the technology was yours from the very beginning.

Here are seven reasons why programmatic media buying is better than advertising with a third-party DSP:

Icon 1 You don't pay middlemen like third-party DSPs, ad agencies, ad networks
Icon 1 Manage all your media buying activities within one platform instead of many
Icon 1 Save a lot on development while hiring a ready-to-use adtech
Icon 1 You gain absolute control over the performance of your ad campaigns
Icon 1 KPI automation keeps everything under control even when you're offline
Icon 1 Data-based targeting makes your ads more accurate
Icon 1 Live analytics are delivered to your dashboard without any delays

Two of the most common reasons why media buyers neglect running their ad activities with a personal DSP are the convictions that it's

  • Complicated;
  • Expensive.

Neither of them are right. Like with any technology, the onboarding process may be time-consuming and tough, especially when you are new to programmatic. However, once you understand how the DSP mechanism works, you'll be able to set and manage hundreds of ad campaigns on your own.

And what about the price? Today the industry boasts a great choice of white-label DSP solutions. And most of them offer a free trial for giving you time to explore the technology from the inside. The final price for the white-label will always depend on a range of criteria, such as the number of impressions to process, tech functionality, access to data, and more.

Programmatic media buying with your own DSP assumes that you will not only plug in your demand, but connect your traffic sources as well. The latter may consist of supply-side platforms, ad exchanges, website, or mobile apps. If you are not interested in negotiations with publishers, search for a self-serve DSP that provides access to trusted traffic sources.

Want to learn more about DSPs to make the right choice? Download our Complete Guide on Demand-Side Platforms and how they work.

Take advantage of built-in automation tools

Whether you do your programmatic media buying with your own DSP or a third-party DSP, you should always remember the outstanding automation capabilities.

You probably remember the times when advertisers had to do so much manual optimization for hundreds of ads. Many of them continue torturing themselves by checking stats 24/7, switching off low-performing publishers, and testing creatives. Luckily, programmatic takes all this pain away.

Automated optimization is one of the key features that makes programmatic so attractive to media buyers. With the DSP, media buyers automate performance optimization in a way that the platform continues managing ad campaigns even when media buyer is offline. The platform keeps an eye on your eCPM, CPC, conversions, etc.

When it comes to automated optimization, not all DSPs are equal. Various DSPs add different automation tools to ensure effective optimization. For example, Epom DSP offers users to elevate their programmatic advertising with the help of bidding autopilot.

The Bidding Autopilot feature automates performance optimization with a system of bidding rules. Bidding rules keep budgets away from the underperforming traffic sources. When turned on, bidding rules automatically blacklist the domains that haven't reached requested KPIs. And vice versa, if the publisher demonstrates good results, the platform will give it top priority.

Another automation instrument is bidding multiplier. Bidding Multiplier adjusts bids for specific traffic sources to guarantee that you win the impression without overpaying for it. Another automation instrument is bidding multiplier. Bidding Multiplier adjusts bids for specific traffic sources to guarantee that you win the impression without overpaying for it.

Here is an example:

  • Your bid is $1
  • Your bid with multiplier x3 being on is $3
  • The second price for the bid is $1.98
  • You win the impression and pay only $1.98 + $0.01

All in all, programmatic media buying comes along with advanced automated capabilities that are always ready to take some routine off your shoulders.

Use data and target specific audiences

It's hard to overestimate the role of data in online advertising today. When married to the right targeting, the insights about customers' behavior give a significant boost to the performance.

So, when test-driving your next DSP, one of the first things to check are the targeting capabilities. Are they extensive enough? Will they allow you to personalize your ad campaigns?

It goes without saying that the right and deep targeting will simplify your future ad optimization and save marketing budgets. When armed with data, brands become more sophisticated, but it's not the only way to make your campaigns effective and accurate. DSP may offer you to include the user's lists to your targeting. For example, with Epom White-Label DSP, it supports targeting by users' IPs to be excluded or included in the ad campaign.

At the same time, the user's data may ruin the trust of your customers. Seven years after, people still remember the buzz around the Target case that exposed the pregnancy of a teenager. Let's not overstep the invisible line of politeness.

Today, the GDPR policy protects a user's personal data and sets limits for advertising platforms in Europe. As a result, advertisers may not always manage to drive the expected ROI. Don't worry, non-personal data is also able to provide valuable insights about your targeted audience. Just make sure you use it in full.

targeting

Invest time in programmatic education

Mastering any technology requires learning the fundamentals. And programmatic isn't an exception. As programmatic is on everyone's minds, you will easily find tons of articles, expert thoughts, podcasts, and video tutorials that shed new light on how it works. All that for free.

Read:

Adexchanger.com
Exchangewire.com
Martechtoday.com
Digiday.com
Epom blog

Listen:

Adexchanger Talks
The MadTech Podcast by ExchangeWire
Programmatic Untangled
Level Up
Mi3 Audio Edition

Watch:

Programmatic Advertising Explained
Understanding Programmatic Digital Advertising - IAB
Intro to Programmatic Advertising: Part 1
Intro to Programmatic Advertising: Part 2
What is a Demand-Side Platform?
And more on YouTube.

With that said, we believe that the most important part of learning programmatic is practice. Unless you start advertising with a DSP in real life, it will be hard to discover the real potential of programmatic media buying for your business.

Before going straight to real-world practice, spend some time exploring a few DSPs. Sign up for demo calls, ask questions, and click on buttons. Run a few low-budget test campaigns. Experiment with ad formats, and dive into analytics. Knowing how everything works from the beginning will greatly simplify your work in the future.

When starting their careers, young writers always try to find an easy and quick way to achieve success. They often ask their older colleagues how they managed to become successful and renowned? In 99.9% of cases, writers explain their outstanding achievements with these words: “Well, I just wrote”. Everyday practice is key to becoming a professional in any industry.

Take your time to explore programmatic. Schedule a personal demo with Epom team and dive into programmatic fundamentals followed by intense practice.

Let's make your programmatic media buying simple, enjoyable, and effective!

Start now

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