Fear helps us survive and stay away from excessive risks. It is natural for humans to be afraid of new or unknown, but sometimes this fear can also hinder our movement forward.

As programmatic continues to strike revolutionary changes in the advertising industry, yearly hitting the bar of $85 billion spend, some marketers are still looking suspiciously to this direction.

Today we will discover why some of the scary tales about programmatic buying are still alive and whether media-buyers have a reason to believe in them today. Do you think you know everything about algorithmic purchasing? Dare to find out the truth!

What if it serves my ads on questionable inventory?

Such a problem really existed at the dawn of the programmatic era, when algorithmic buying lacked transparency and advertisers could only guess where their ad impressions actually took place. In vaguely controlled and audited ecosystem fraudulent bots could imitate human actions and distort overall campaign performance statistics, leading to $8.2 billion losses globally.

Ultimately, such an ecosystem couldn’t be beneficial - nether to advertisers nor to publishers. That’s why starting from 2016, the global advertising community-initiated what could be called a real fight against ad fraud. As a result, the world has witnessed the launch of new programmatic inventory standards from IAB - ads.txt, app-ads.txt and ads.cert.

Developed for desktop & mobile (ads.txt), in-app and OTT environments (app-ads.txt), these standards help to protect programmatic purchasing by authorizing inventory resellers. Ads.cert in its turn is aimed at clarifying all placement details via cryptographically signed bid requests. These days mentioned standards are widely adopted by all progressive programmatic platforms, including SmartyAds. Today, inventory of the best global publishers like Business Insider, The Washington Post, or Time Inc is sold programmatically. The publishers are protected and advertisers can audit where their ads will be shown and whether sellers are eligible to offer inventory at auction.

What if it eats my ad budget in a day?

Keep calm, it won’t. In case you approach display campaigns reasonably, you will be able to achieve significantly better results from programmatic than you get with manual media-buying.

Typically, in programmatic, the budget spend is attributed to impressions, which is a guarantee that advertising campaigns bring you awareness and sales in the long run. However, you should allocate the money to the system wisely. For instance, it’s far better to test various digital ad formats and sizes to find out which ones will resonate better with your audience.

When the best creative is determined it’s time to configure the budget settings. Reducing ad costs on programmatic DSP is much easier in comparison to all other ways of media-selling because it has a flexible and configurable dashboard. Configuring the frequency capping on SmartyAds DSP, you automatically limit the number of daily ad impressions shown per each viewer, and thus daily spend. As well, it is easy to save up costs by limiting ad spend per day, just enter a preferable sum in the ‘campaign budget’ area.

Isn’t my campaign budget too small?

Too much time has passed since programmatic was the only privilege of large advertisers or media-buyers who had impressive budgets. Ever since programmatic witnessed mass-market adoption, it is no longer true. First things first: the budget advertiser needs to have in order to get started with programmatic, in most cases, will be defined by ad tech provider.

As the industry developed, ad tech also matured. For now, most of the demand-side platforms, SmartyAds DSP in particular, provide advertisers with access to new world-class technology affordable to large and small advertisers alike. In 2019 it is already possible to deposit $500 at a personal DSP account and launch a programmatic buying process.

What about transparency, commissions, and hidden margins?

The truth is, how much transparency you obtain depends on two things - the demand-side platform and inventory sources. Some platforms can’t generate reports per campaign - thus it becomes difficult to understand where advertiser’s ads appear. This lack of transparency cannot be attributed to programmatic but rather to specific suppliers. Ultimately, all DSPs can only report on those sellers whom they work with.

Platforms that pride themselves on clarity and transparency like SmartyAds, apply IAB’s inventory plus supplier authentication standards and generate detailed reports that include data on each campaign.

Some programmatic supply chains also experience issues associated with insufficient transparency and clarity over media spend. While advertisers may know how much they pay for impression, they are not told which part of it reaches the publisher and which is stuck in ad tech provider’s pocket. Sure, is not easy to constantly keep your finger on the pulse of all campaign details. That’s why SmartyAds decided to become one of those ad tech providers that help brands gain more control over their media-purchasing.

After acquiring a white label solution like DSP or ad exchange, the company can raise and nourish programmatic business under own label. Innovative enterprise-level in-house solutions can put the company in the driver’s seat, release from service commissions and provide total clarity considering all internal processes. As a result, an advertiser can save up to 70% of budget spend and achieve much higher campaign KPI.

What if I set wrong targeting or campaign options?

Applying targeting according to the specific audience parameter (IP, device, location, time of the day, etc.) advertiser instructs the system to serve impressions to specific segments instead of appealing to masses. This way, the ad reaches the most relevant users who are most likely to convert. This reduces the overall ad spend on irrelevant impressions and makes advertising potentially useful for the viewers.

However, DSP targeting, as well as other options, can be confusing for novice marketers or advertisers who don’t have enough experience in managing their own campaigns. For instance, targeting options are narrowing the audience in order to raise the effectiveness of every impression.

At the same time, too narrow targeting segments may adversely affect the results of the campaign so it’s always a good idea to think of the purpose beforehand. If the purpose if brand awareness or user loyalty, it is recommended to set broaden the targeting. Set no more than 1-2 targeting options and apply engaging video ad formats, e.g playable & rewarded, or Connected TV creatives.

If the purpose of ad campaign is increased conversions, you can use the DSP retargeting feature. In this case, advertising messages will be delivered to those people who visited your website before.

Brief takeaway

There is no doubt that programmatic technology has fundamentally changed the way ads are bought and sold. If media-buyers have data about customers, programmatic has all what it takes to make such data work towards campaign efficiency. Sure thing, keeping up with all trends and best campaign management practices can be challenging, but who said you need to do it on your own?

If you need additional campaign assistance, turn to managed-serve SmartyAds DSP. Our supportive team will help you correctly identify and configure campaign setting according to campaign purpose and build an effective advertising strategy.

Raise ad campaign performance with professionals. Contact us today!

Written by
IRINA KOVALENKO, CMO OF SMARTYADS
October 2019