Buying Programmatic Video? Remember 2 Words: Transparency and Control

May 27, 2015 — by Guy Yalif    

MediaMath is committed to creating an open ecosystem for digital marketers which allows them to customize their marketing stacks and drive outcomes against their unique business goals. Our consumers are marketers and advertisers, so in an effort to educate marketers about the most impactful trends, help them navigate the landscape, and share the unique perspectives of our partners, we’ve asked the CMOs and heads of marketing from partner companies to share their thoughts on their particular pocket of the industry.

Guy Yalif, VP Global Marketing, BrightRoll, a MediaMath OPEN partner, shares his thoughts on programmatic video advertising in our “Keep it OPEN” Series.

Programmatic buying is a powerful way to invest in video ads — as long as you have control and transparency into where your campaigns ran and how much you paid. When you’re buying video inventory, you’re usually trying to stir consumer emotion, shift consumer perception, and ultimately drive consumer action. To achieve that, you need more than amazing creative. You need to pair your creative with great science to efficiently put your message in front of the right consumers. That’s what programmatic, if done right, will help you do.

Buying programmatically using a DSP (Demand Side Platform) makes it easier to put your message in front of more of your target audience more efficiently. You can reach your audience wherever they might be consuming media, across publishers and across screens. Because each impression is optimized using all the data you have, programmatic helps make your video investments work harder for you.

For programmatic to deliver your campaign efficiently, you need to know that your technology provider is operating in your best interests. That means that it looks across all publishers, exchanges, and other supply sources, finding inventory that connects to your target audience as efficiently as possible. If it is considering anything other than your goals, your results will suffer.

To that end, your DSP should have no incentives, legal rules, or information that would cause is to act against your best interests. It should optimize to your best outcome, defined as the KPIs you’ve decided are most important. You never lose sight of your campaign results, and your DSP shouldn’t either. The term we use for solutions like this is “media agnostic.”

How can you tell if your programmatic technology platform is media agnostic? Transparency and control.

Anyone who is buying programmatically needs transparency into their video inventory buys and control over those buys. Earlier, I mentioned that one of programmatic’s strengths is the ability to optimize in real time. Without transparency into your results, it’s hard to fully optimize.

If your technology is media agnostic, you’ll know where your ads run and how much you’re paying for them. If you want more or less inventory from a particular publisher, exchange, or supply-side platform — or more or fewer impressions from a particular audience — your programmatic platform should make it easy to do so. You should then see exactly what inventory your message appeared on and how much you paid. Another way to understand if your technology is working in your best interests is to ask about all of the charges, up front and add on, you might pay. Ask yourself: are these charges aligned with your interests?

Ultimately, as a video media buyer, you should test. Did buying through one partner deliver better results than another? Were you able to reach the audience you were looking for? In short, did you achieve your desired results? If so, chances are, your platform is media agnostic and working in solely in your best interests.

Here’s a list of questions to ask about your programmatic video buying platform. These should make it easier to identify whether or not your platform is media agnostic.

● Can I control where my ads appear and which supply sources are used? Can I exclude specific sources?

● Can I see exactly how much I paid for media? Can I see exactly how much I paid in order to run my media, including all ancillary charges?

● Did I see great results on the KPIs that are important to my business?

● Can I see exactly where my ads are playing?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you probably aren’t getting enough of the central benefit of programmatic video — better results with greater cost-efficiency. Programmatic video can’t deliver that powerful advantage without complete transparency and control.