Steve is a talented SEM specialist with a passion for optimization. Steve is so into optimization that he even tries to make incremental improvements in his every day life. In fact, he's been timing how long it takes him to make a coffee and making slight tweaks the next day to try to improve his time. He's got it down to 47 seconds! Most of us can't even find the coffee in 47 seconds...

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Programmatic Advertising Outlook for 2015 & How You Should Prepare For It

This year eMarketer presented the Programmatic Advertising 2015 Outlook webinar, where they shared insights, the current landscape and emerging programmatic trends. The webinar provided really good statistics and data that helped illustrate the direction where the industry is heading and I would like to share with you the 3 key takeaways from this interesting webinar.

Programmatic Advertising in 2015

Premium Gains

We have embraced the programmatic evolution of display and if you are spending $20,000/month (or more), then you should embrace it too! There is simply no denying the efficiencies gained through sophisticated automation and data rich targeting. However, an interesting and noteworthy phenomenon is the growth of display dollars allocated to premium programmatic marketplaces. There seems to be a greater sense of security when engaging private programmatic companies, as opposed to open exchanges.

With premium and private marketplaces, sellers have more control on who is allowed to bid on their inventory. They can set the bid prices, and even the quantity of placements. As for the buyers, the biggest benefit lies in greater transparency in where their ads are served. Unlike open exchanges, brands do not need to bid against thousands of competitors for an impression and further can access special audience segments that may not be available in an open environment.

Though there are considerable benefits of premium inventories, I would advise caution before you focus all your digital ad dollars to these types of transactions. I recommend running a series of tests to measure and compare results against your other digital display buys to determine whether performance meets your overall business expectations before aggressively shifting your budgets.

Front-line Sophistication

Click fraud and ad viewability are the bane of display advertising, which has consistently placed the entire industry under the microscope. While I agree that there will always be questions around quality and transparency, it is comforting to know that greater accountability is now being pushed by key sources.

Major publishers like Google have taken steps to include top-grade partner sites included in their network. There is also a proliferation of quality/verification tools as well as industry indices to benchmark publishers and platforms such Pixalate and ComScore. This is a great start, but more movement like this is required to make programmatic display a sustainable and viable channel for advertisers.

Publishers and sellers are not the only ones that are getting savvy in this space. With the need to link digital ad exposure to bottom-line goals, advertisers and marketers are using their own data to better reach their audiences. The first movers in this area are Oracle with its acquisition of Datalogix, Facebook’s push for its conversion lift measurement capabilities, and a partnership between eXelate and J.D. Power to measure impact of online advertising to offline sales. Keep an eye on these companies as this develops further.

The demand for quality and accountability will serve as signposts for you whenever you engage ad exchanges, networks, or platforms. To go beyond the measurement and targeting limitations of 3rd party cookie data, you should begin exploring other data sources, such as your CRM, to engage your actual audience.

Media Agnostic

Programmatic started as a digital only approach, but is now being adopted for traditional channels—print, television, radio, and even wearable devices! All this hype is super exciting for advertisers and marketers because it extends our reach and offers greater creativity in how we can engage our audience. However, there are inherent challenges that we must acknowledge such as: the legacy sales process of traditional channels, the availability of infrastructure and technologies to allow and support programmatic buying, and the amount and quality of data for buyers to use in reaching their audience through these platforms. Taking all of that into consideration, I think it will be very exciting to do traditional media buys on a programmatic basis!

2015: The Year of Programmatic?

We expect 2015 to be a pivotal year for programmatic display advertising, which should encourage you to incorporate it in your overall marketing strategy. Know that when you make the leap, you are investing in a marketing channel that is on its ascent! If you’re looking for a partner to climb that programmatic advertising hill with you, Vovia is always willing to help.