How to Identify a Good Programmatic PlatformApril 26, 2022
In our blog, we frequently talk about how dynamic and rapidly evolving the programmatic advertising industry is. And indeed it’s true. It isn’t uncommon even for people who are working in the digital advertising to feel stunned and overwhelmed by the number of programmatic solutions available on the market today.
So we are not really exaggerating when saying that it can be quite challenging to choose a programmatic platform or a tool given a huge variety of options. In addition to an extremely broad choice even among the best programmatic companies, what makes this process even more difficult is the need to take into account multiple factors that can affect your ad revenue and crucial performance metrics.
So how to evaluate programmatic companies and platforms to identify the best ones?
Actually we already had an article with tips and recommendations on how to choose a programmatic platform or a software solution. Today we would like to take a more general approach and talk about five key business components and processes that can serve as the criteria to look at in order to differentiate best programmatic companies from short-living businesses and products on this market.
In today’s world, customizability is a more or less universal virtue for web services and enterprise tools across the technology industry. But this aspect is especially valued in the programmatic advertising field. As digital advertising is very dynamic and individual, with different brands having unique goals and objectives when looking to buy ad spaces, it is safe to say that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution in the programmatic advertising industry. So when evaluating programmatic companies, you should keep in mind that the best ones tend to offer a large choice of customization options for their users and/or clients.
Transparency or the absence thereof is also an increasingly important in the modern-day environment side of business operations and technology solutions. In programmatic advertising, transparency is definitely a pain point. Advertisers started raising the issue of the lack of transparency in the industry on a massive scale in 2017, complaining about low visibility into the bidding process, undisclosed fees, various brand safety issues, etc.
And these complaints were not unreasonable. According to a research conducted by White Ops anti-fraud vendor and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) advertising trade group, in 2017 advertisers lost $6.5 bln because of ad fraud. In 2019, due to industry innovations such as self serve programmatic advertising platforms, this number was reduced to $5.8 bln. A study by Juniper Research, on the other hand, paints a much darker picture, estimating that advertisers lost around $42 bln of ad expenses across online, mobile and in-app channels in 2019. This firm also projects that in 2023 yearly losses will reach the $100 bln mark.
This is why best programmatic companies today are trying to offer as much transparency as possible. This includes providing full and info-rich reports about sales or campaign performance to publishers and advertisers, as well as sharing analytical data about audience engagement, awareness, willingness to take action, etc.
3. Work with data
Another distinctive feature of the best programmatic companies, these days and looking into the future, is the ability to work with data. Work with data comprises various processes and interactions involving data. From collecting and analyzing audience information for business insights to implementation and maintenance of data connections across different layers of a programmatic platform. As well as the utilization of the data collected.
The access to data is very important for modern-day programmatic advertising platforms for a number of reasons. For example, being able to follow the real-time information about their ad inventory and advertisers’ activity helps publishers to optimize their offers for maximum ad revenues. Data is what drives programmatic advertising, so software programmatic solutions should make it easy to evaluate the quality and sources of data used for targeting and other purposes.
4. Versatility and multi-functionality
What would also be wise to pay attention to in the process of evaluation of best programmatic companies is the level of versatility their platforms and solutions are able to provide.
There is a trend for consolidation and all-encompassing across the technology market niches. And programmatic advertising is not an exception. Best programmatic companies need to include a rich selection of tools, features, services and capabilities as part of a single platform. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should only be looking for large multi-functional platforms when implementing programmatic advertising flows. But reputable and successful programmatic solutions today are typically quite comprehensive, incorporating a wide range of features.
5. User privacy and data protection
Finally, user privacy and data protection is one more topic that gets increasingly more relevant in recent years. The importance of being able to protect the privacy and personal data of your audience is growing not in the least because doing this becomes more difficult. As modern-day systems and services across multiple layers of IT networks get more interconnected, they also exchange data more actively. As a result, data breaches and various privacy issues are not uncommon in the programmatic advertising industry. This is why serious programmatic companies put considerable effort into effective privacy and data protection nowadays, aiming to keep their own data and information or their users and partners safe.
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