Written by: Stephanie Bariatti, Programmatic Consultant
PROGRAMMATIC. For those unfamiliar with this relatively new way of dispersing digital advertising, the prospect of trying to understand the ins and outs can be daunting. You hear there’s some kind of auction and something called an SSP and a DSP and a DMP and a slew of other acronyms that may make your head spin. If you’re not in the know, you might be left saying, “Huh???”
SMB Media Consulting likes to define programmatic as “a term used in digital marketing that describes the fast-growing computer-based automated buying, selling, placement, and optimization of digital advertising. In contrast with traditional media buying, programmatic buying involves the use of software to purchase digital ads in real time. Its auction-based technology ensures efficiency and scale at a reduced advertising cost.”
This broad description will probably help you get the gist of it. However, the good news is you don’t have to be an expert on programmatic to reap its benefits. While some of the larger advertisers and publishers may be trying to develop in-house capabilities, there are ways for everyone else to get in the game too.
First, let’s just acknowledge the fact that programmatic is, so to speak, “the way of the future.” Heck, it’s actually the way of the present. It is rapidly changing and evolving, while driving more and more advertising dollars to digital each year. According to a 2017 study, eMarketer predicts, “86.3% of US digital display dollars will transact programmatically” by 2019. This is due to the fact that there are inherent benefits to switching from a more traditional approach. Advantages of programmatic include effectiveness, efficiency, deeper analytics/insights and more desirable CPMs, among others.
Even those who have a strong understanding and experience with programmatic may still find it difficult or unrealistic to execute in-house. This, of course, is where outsourcing could, and maybe should, come into play. There are many consulting and niche agencies out there that deal solely with navigating the programmatic advertising landscape. For many organizations, this is an avenue worth exploring, as there are many benefits that may result in a surprisingly stronger bottom line.
Some companies balk at the idea of outsourcing. They feel they may lose control, or they worry that it will not be a time or cost-efficient endeavor. There may be other cons that they see as well, or they just might not know where to start. These worries are valid, but they may be missing the big picture. Let’s get to the list of pros:
· Cost Efficient – For many, this is the big one. Naturally, agencies may vary in what they charge for their services, but you will find options that can deliver quality results for less than what it would cost to hire staff, train, utilize HR resources, etc.
· Time Efficient – Apart from the time spent on-boarding new hires as mentioned above, outsourcing can save you even more time in getting your projects flowing – especially if your agency is using talent working overseas. This could result in your agency working more or less around the clock toward your goals.
· Specialized Expertise – Since the area of programmatic advertising is still fairly new, few people are truly qualified and knowledgeable in the field. The people working at these agencies are the experts, dealing with this area day in and day out, being able to provide more insight than someone new to programmatic.
· Established Connections – Again, since these agencies are the movers and shakers in the field, they will undoubtedly have a generous base of network connections and trustworthy relationships.
· Better Tech – Companies that specialize in programmatic already have all the tools they need to conduct business. Furthermore, they will probably have relationships with the best technologies and platforms to execute transactions and track performance.
· High Accountability – A hired company will most likely hold themselves to the highest standards in regard to your deliverables and results. You are a client to them and they will want to retain your business.
· Frees Up In-House Personnel – If you do have in-house programmatic capabilities, but are understaffed for the volume of work you have, it may be helpful and easier to bring on an outside party to pick up the overflow.
· Third Party May Offer Other Beneficial Services – You may find yourself very satisfied with the results you are getting from the company you are using. You may want to continue or expand your partnership and they may offer other related services that you can utilize.
Whether you’re a small startup just getting started or a larger company ready to utilize and expand your programmatic offering, you shouldn’t be afraid to explore your options when it comes to outsourcing. The world of digital advertising is ever changing and it’s wise to enlist the services of experts to help get your message out there. Reach out to SMB Media Consulting for an insightful conversation about your business and how we can help achieve your goals.
Stephanie Bariatti works as a Consultant and Project Manager for SMB Media Consulting. She has had extensive experience with many facets of advertising and media, having worked for and with creative agencies, production companies and research departments. She lives in New York with her wonderful husband, two lovable little boys and two snuggly Golden Retrievers.