A Publisher’s Guide on Choosing Programmatic Advertising Solutions

February 8, 2022

As you probably know, the programmatic advertising field has been flourishing and rapidly evolving over the last decade or so. This process gave birth to an extensive and rich ecosystem that today includes a huge variety of programmatic solutions and tools designed for a wide range of purposes and applications. 

The downside of such a quick growth is that it can be very difficult to navigate through all this multiety. This is why it is not uncommon for businesses in general and online publishers specifically, to face challenges when choosing their programmatic solutions. 


It is quite understandable especially because there are so many factors that you need to take into account when making this decision. In many cases publishers are not even sure what to look at when choosing a programmatic advertising solution, be it a specialized tool or a platform. 

How should you evaluate programmatic solutions in order to choose the best option for your specific business needs? This is what we are going to talk about today. Here are 9 key recommendations to use when looking for a programmatic solution. 



Specify your programmatic advertising needs and goals 


Naturally, it makes sense to start by determining your current programmatic advertising needs. This will allow you to get a clearer picture of what parts of the programmatic advertising technology stack you may actually need. Once you know that, then you can use existing data to come up with short-term and long-term goals for your programmatic advertising strategy. 


Costs and pricing options 


Cost is understandably an important factor for the majority of businesses looking for programmatic solutions. This is why pricing options and pricing structure is one of the first things to look at. If it’s a SaaS (software as a service) or PaaS (platform as a service) programmatic solution, check how the pricing is set up. If it’s based on fixed monthly/yearly payments or follows a flexible on-demand model where the final price will depend on the number of features and computing resources used. If it’s flexible pricing, check if there is a minimum and/or maximum fee. Other things to look at when analyzing the pricing plan are: possible upfront fees, onboarding and training fees, as well as other expenses that may not be included in the subscription fee. 



When it comes to the technical aspects of programmatic solutions, it makes sense to start the evaluation from the user interface as the main client-facing part of any tool. Check the interface to see if it looks user-friendly and easily understandable. Many programmatic solutions offer a free trial or demo version for these purposes specifically, allowing you to test-drive the UX and basic functionality of the service. 

Demand sources 


Talking about programmatic solutions meant for publishers, such as SSPs (supply-side platforms) and ad exchanges, you should of course include the evaluation of advertising demand sources available on the platform as one of the primary aspects of choosing the solution. As the rule of thumb, the more demand sources—advertisers looking for publishers’ ad inventory—are there, the better it is. But it also makes sense to look at the demand sources more precisely, checking if the platform has a good coverage of your core audience’s geographical locations, if the advertisers available match your requirements in terms of brand protection and quality standards, and so on. 


Backend technology 


Then, it would make sense to look at all the other technological aspects of programmatic solutions that need to be evaluated. Naturally, the backend technology is what sets programmatic advertising tools and services apart. Looking at the technology powering the solution, in some cases—when choosing an SSP, for example—it is advisable to check if the platform is based on an original or third-party programmatic solution. 


Ad formats and targeting 


The support of digital advertising formats and ad targeting options would be another key part of choosing programmatic solutions for online publishers. The platform should support and, when applicable, provide a substantial demand for the advertising formats that you plan to make a part of your ad inventory. The availability of targeting options is also important as the effectiveness of targeting may have a significant effect on CTR (click-through rate), ad viewability and other metrics affecting your ad revenue. 


Data transparency and privacy protection 


Another vitally important aspect to look at in programmatic solutions is data transparency. The access to data is very important for modern-day programmatic advertising platforms as being able to follow the real-time information about your ad inventory and advertisers’ activity helps publishers to optimize their offers for maximum ad revenues. Data is what drives programmatic advertising, so the solution should make it easy to evaluate the quality and sources of data it uses for targeting and other purposes. The protection of user data and privacy is also a crucial consideration. 


Technical support


The quality of technical support is another important characteristic of programmatic solutions, especially for publishers with limited experience and knowledge of this field. Make sure that the tool has reliable technical support available to answer your questions, address potential issues and assist you with fixing them. Check which ways to communicate with technical support are available. Some programmatic solutions may only offer email support while others have 24/7 live chat and phone support. It is also advisable to check if the platform has sufficient documentation, FAQs and user training materials. 




Finally, check the programmatic advertising solution for the support of integrations with other, third-party tools and platforms that you are already using or may use in the future. Such integrations may include third-party data sources, analytics tools, anti-ad fraud instruments, etc. 


Final words 


Don’t have time to choose and test various programmatic solutions trying to find the one that best matches your business needs and goals? Outsource this headache along with all the other challenging aspects of your ad operations to professionals with proven expertise in the ad tech field. 

This is us! The pubGENIUS team consists of highly experienced specialists who are well-versed in the best practices and trends of the industry. We know how to utilize innovative technologies and ad unit types to optimize websites and applications for individual publishers. We will make sure that your web properties are using the most relevant monetization methods and your ad inventory is set up and operating with maximum capacity at all times. 


Get in touch with pubGENIUS Team to get free consultation 🙂