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Aug 15

Feel like an Olympian: How to overcome programmatic hurdles

The 2016 Summer Olympics are in full swing in Rio and bystanders cannot help but feel the competitive spirit in every aspect. However, it doesn’t just take the Olympics to make marketers strive to achieve GOLD with every programmatic marketing campaign. Plus, who doesn’t want to feel like an Olympian!

Programmatic has remained one of the hottest trends in digital advertising over the past five years, but the increased spending and popularity haven’t come without difficulty. The latest struggle is agencies are trying to integrate programmatic ad buying across their organization to help keep up with demand. This has not come quickly, with many of the largest holding companies struggling to break programmatic out of a silo. So, what are the hurdles that marketers and agencies face with adoption programmatic?

Resources & Infrastructure

The biggest hurdle that organizations face with adopting programmatic media buying processes is resources and infrastructure. Typically these agencies have been assembled to execute advertising campaigns in traditional ways, and programmatic is, in one way or another, disrupting some of the practices that have dominated the agency world for decades. Agencies are struggling to determine where in their organization programmatic lives, who controls it, and how it relates to other parts of the company.

Amid all of the reorganization, it’s important to remember that programmatic is simply the latest means to an end. It’s great to talk about how automation enables audience targeting at scale, but to get the advertiser interested, this tool needs to be packaged simply. Rather than a heavy programmatic push, agencies simply need to become experts for their clients. Programmatic allows agencies to buy ads across multiple sites, targeting the customers that the advertiser wants to reach. Similar to other media buying processes, but with scale and efficiency.

Control of Inventory

Lack of control of inventory is one perceived hurdle of programmatic media buying. According to U.S. media buyers surveyed in March 2015 by DIGIDAY in association with SONOBI, 40.7% said there was a significant or very significant loss of control when purchasing ad inventory programmatically vs. direct, and an additional 43.3% said there was at least a moderate loss of control. Just 16% felt little to no control was lost.” This perceived hurdle is a huge misconception. Programmatic media buying strategies allow agencies to execute campaigns with control of inventory and placements. With strategies like preferred lists and brand safety measures, agencies can execute campaigns with the same control as direct buying campaigns.

Platform Consolidation

There are times for consolidation and times for competition and this is a time for the former. The realization of an overarching programmatic direct marketplace favors both advertisers and publishers and would lead to faster adoption. As more agencies look to bring more tools in-house, they will become easier to use and execute smart campaigns.

Despite the challenges at programmatic’s door, this technique of buying media can be an alternative, highly measurable channel of execution and, ultimately, allow agencies to achieve GOLD for their clients. The hurdles that agencies face with programmatic will eventually get squeezed, leading to increased efficiency and performance for all.

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