from MANUAL to AUTOMITIZED digital media planning

The advantages of programmatic media buying are so many but we often forget that one of the key value is not only based on results and view ability but rather on AUTOMATING the buying process.  

I had the opportunity to listen to a great interview with Gabe Leydon, the CEO at Machine Zone (Link to Video, the video is 40 minutes long but if you are a media passionate its worth watching). Gabe talks about strict measurement and making each and every penny worth in driving APP downloads to a mobile devise with the perfect ROI.

Cost per Installs is his focus and the campaign purpose. Summing it up, ad served -> measuring -> results.

Have no doubts, these are all extremely important elements for a sustainable digital promotional strategy. Also read : Digital Marketing, Cruising Safe & Fast

Nevertheless, no one really talks about the important VALUE of automated processing in digital media management, solving complexity in negotiating, admin works, ad serving, optimization, calculating the results, purchasing processes...etc etc

I used to be in charge of an advertising agency from 2003 until 2009. I had an extended contact network with key media providers. I actually, until a few years back, kept all physical files with insertion orders containing signatures (many times sent by fax). In total 40 files filled with hundred’s of pages containing insertion orders and invoices. It almost filled up a whole room!

The process was to initially have the right amount of media providers (publishers) and we are talking about a total of 100 partners such as local classifieds, Google Search, large amount of Ad Networks, portals or any other type of verticals of all type of colors and segments.

Each and every of the provider needed to be contacted and usually it was done by long & sluggish presentations where the commercial directors would pass about 30 slides in fancy PowerPoint presentation and even paper folios to show the segment & audience of each and every site. It was a drag!!!!

The negotiation process used to be very standard. A CPM price ranging from 25 to 40 euros, and then there was the offering of the famous discounts. The rates kept stable but at the end there were discounts of around 80-90 %.

On top, and as a standard the agency received a 10-15% discounts. This was a normal praxis but in some cases some ad networks and portals would incentivize the agency by offering rebates on top. 

All of the things mentioned were very time consuming administration processes.

After the negotiation process with media provider, the insertion order would need to be signed and this was the beginning of a long process of setting up the campaign.

In the early days the process was very manual. I would have key account managers sending banners in gifs by emails to each and every provider and specification of the tracking URLs written in the mail. The providers would then upload the banners in their ad servers.

Not until 2005 we would use Third party ad server to at least be able to change the ads ourselves and optimize campaign on campaign flight and through simple and basic algorithms.

To make an understandable dashboard (actually it was a simple excel spreadsheet) was a long process and I would need a team just to handle the registration of CRT, and ROI figures from each and every banner, campaign and publisher. A real nightmare!!!

Now in 2016 we have a tendency to only talk about ROI (just as our friend Gabe)

I believe that we need to see the whole picture and embrace programmatic media buying to a very important element and that is how far we have come in media planning and automating the whole buying and campaign management process. It seems that only the old timers like me, the so called the “Rolling stoners of the internet” really appreciate the incredible benefits of programmatic media buying in terms of automatized processes to get things done in an efficient manner and that saves us all a lot of time.

Predictions tell that BRAND advertisers with important yearly marketing budgets will negotiate guaranteed pricing conditions on PRIVATE MARKET PLACES. In other words it’s not only RTB and “democratic biddings” in an open auction but also trading´s based on private deals on a fixed rate.

Nevertheless the difference is that this is NOW done straight from a centralized trading desk console and not any longer part of sluggish negotiation processes, insertion orders, and poor campaign management. All in one single PLATFORM. (illustration on how it used to be)


Not only is the handling of media perfectly automatized. It also includes numerous other advantages such as importing important tracking points in web & mobile and other crucial DATA points that will improve campaign results.

Programmatic buying has given us the adequate tools for this. First by simple retargeting campaigns, then audience building with more sophisticated DATA based campaigns, and now a complete set up with Ad Serving, Campaign Tracking & optimization, trading and DATA management in one single piece of technology, all AUTOMATIZED.

For more info : www.adform.com , @folQ_DigitalAds,andreas.akesson@adform.com

 

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