Back to Basics: Programmatic Is More Efficient

Contributed by Amanda Benoist, Marketing Content Strategist at Goodway Group Strategy on Blackboard It used to be easy to follow a consumer’s buying process. They saw an advertisement. They went to a store and talked to a human being about the product. They decided to buy the product or not. The fact that the digital landscape has changed everything in the way that we buy isn’t debatable. The Internet has made the process much more complicated with a million micro-moments that can be the difference between a new customer and a missed opportunity. The question is, has your media strategy kept up to date? In this “Back to the Basics” blog series, I’ll help you understand the basics of programmatic advertising and share several reasons why you should redefine your media strategy with programmatic. Today’s topic? Why programmatic buying is more efficient than traditional ad buys. Simply put, programmatic lowers the time investment for your media buyer. Traditional ad buying requires calling a lot of different publishers manually, negotiating a rate and signing an IO, running separate formats to see what works best for your audience, and trafficking multiple tags. Programmatic allows you to streamline all of that into a single platform, increasing the speed and efficiency of finding and optimizing toward your audience. You simply can’t do all this with one media buyer anymore, and if you try, you are going to get left behind. You might be thinking, It’s only more efficient because it’s all remnant inventory that no one else wants. The reality is the origins of programmatic advertising were based in real-time bidding, which often allowed publishers the opportunity to sell ad space that was left over after selling directly, but this is no longer the case. All types of inventory are available programmatically, including premium sites. Today’s programmatic is much more than just banner ads and basic real-time bidding. There’s the foundation of programmatic serviceslike display, mobile, and videoand then there’s media that goes well beyond and strengthens your agency. It’s no longer unheard of to buy a site like the New Yorker or  the Wall Street Journal programmatically, as well as pre-roll on Twitter and hyperlocal mobile inventory. When you aren’t dealing with each publisher individually or even each network, you can focus on audience strategy and optimization. With programmatic, you can reach inventory on millions of quality sites with millions of high-impact users, expanding your audience diversity beyond what can be achieved by manually going to a limited number of publishers. It’s a one-stop shop to access global inventories across display, mobile, and TV, but more to come on the benefits of cross-device advertising in our next “Back to the Basics” blog post. For more “back to basics” training, see these posts about how programmatic takes advantage of big data more effectively, why programmatic enables more sophisticated targeting, and why the future of programmatic looks promising. A seasoned marketing pro with years of experience on both agency and client teams, Amanda brings valuable insight and solutions to today’s challenges in strategic communications, digital branding, and social media management. As marketing content strategist for Goodway Group, Amanda transforms complex digital media topics into easy-to-understand resources to keep all advertisers and marketers at the forefront of understanding the evolving programmatic landscape. Her favorite part of the job? She gets to share our compelling story with new audiences each and every day.

6 Ways Ad Agencies Are Falling Short

In this iMedia Connection article, Jay Friedman, COO of Goodway Group, explains six areas where agencies have room to improve. His suggestions include how to handle high turnover, results measurement,  valuing work, client communication, partnering and outsourcing, and better planning and strategy. But taking his advice doesn’t involve a complete agency-model overhaul, just a few tweaks, so you can better control the client relationship, retain employees, enjoy greater profitability, and build a more complete and successful agency.

Clinton and Trump Digital Media Campaigns by the Numbers

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The presidential debates are now over, and we’ve got less than three weeks to go before the election. Regardless of which side of the aisle you’re on, everyone can agree that this has been the most interesting and unusual campaign in recent history. Goodway decided to take a look at how Clinton’s and Trump’s presidential campaigns have played out in terms of paid digital media. We used data from Pathmatics, a competitive analytics ad tech service. They use web-crawling technology to scan ads and provide data, such as estimated spends, how impressions are sold, and much more. We initially evaluated the campaigns over the past year. Clinton’s campaign spent approximately $24M during this time period, almost double the Trump campaign’s $13M. However, when we analyzed the data, $12.1M of the Trump campaign’s spend occurred in the past two months. We limited our data to this timeframe to be able to better compare the two campaigns head to head. During this time, the Trump campaign outspent the Clinton campaign by 3 to 1. Pathmatics provides daily impression and spend levels, so we took this information and calculated an estimated average CPM. Clinton’s CPM of $8.64 is a bit higher than Trump’s at $6.79. We found the difference intriguing and took a deep dive into the data to try to figure it out. Clinton has spent 84% of her budget on site-direct buys, which often command higher CPMs than ad network or programmatic buys. Only 47% of her campaign’s impression share is going to direct buys, which indicates that this inventory is expensive. Trump’s numbers are telling a different story. He’s spent 69% of his budget on direct buys, with 27% of the impressions going to direct. This also indicates that he is paying a high CPM for these impressions. However, Trump has a 65% impression share going to ad networks, with only 28% of his budget spent on ad networks, indicating a low CPM. There could be many reasons why Trump has far more impressions in ad networks than site-direct buys, but a good guess is that the Clinton campaign booked direct buys in advance, and Trump placed his buys far more recently, when perhaps less direct inventory was available. We also took a look at the top sites by overall spend. Clinton’s top adverting sites from the past two months are nytimes.com and politico.com. It looks like Clinton has been playing to her liberal base and also trying to reach out to a politically savvy audience. Trump on the other hand is favoring more mainstream media with his top two sites, aol.com and youtube.com. It seems like Trump’s strategy is to try to reach the general population. Finally, the last stat we evaluated was programmatic buying. Only 1% of Trump’s budget went to DSPs, and Clinton didn’t spend any money on DSPs. Given that programmatic is now the dominant method of buying display media, we hope the next presidential election cycle shows a higher percentage of DSP buying.

Celebrating a Win for the Underdog

the-drum-digital-trading-awards-2016Everyone loves the underdog. It’s why Rocky, Rudy, and The Karate Kid are household names. It’s also why empowering our partners to get recognized for their exceptional work day-in and day-out is just one way Goodway helps regional agencies to create not just valuable campaign results but to build a competitive edge. For most, rooting for the little guy is less about seeing the unexpected upset and more about cheering on the everyday heroes who just won’t quit. They are the scrappy, little-known fighters from the middle of nowhere who are willing work harder and smarter than their competitors to stay ahead. In the ad tech business, the same philosophy applies. As a bootstrapped, independent programmatic partner to local and regional brand agencies, we have to outsmart competitors in order to secure the best inventory and talent on behalf of our clients. What we have is a deep understanding of what adds value to local market campaigns and an unbeatable resilience to see our partners succeed. What’s more, in our years of working with regional agency partners, we’ve seen them provide an unparalleled level of personal attention and shared commitment to advertisers and their campaigns year after year. Still, it’s always exciting to watch the dark horse swoop in to steal the show, which is exactly what we did at The Drum’s 2016 US Digital Trading Awards. Goodway Group took home awards for the Most Effective Programmatic Media Partnership and Grand Prix (Best of Show) at the inaugural awards in New York City. Selected for the complex, multi-market, multi-audience Visit Pensacola tourism campaign along with our regional agency partner Appleyard Agency, the recognition shows that when we work together, everyone really can dream big and win. As we continue to be inspired by each of our 100+ amazing regional agency partners, these awards are truly a win for all of them. These are the stories that stick with us; so without further ado, it’s our pleasure to share the winning ‘Driving Pensacola Tourism through Digital Innovation’ campaign case study.

The Rise of Programmatic TV Explained in 5 Graphics

TV advertising is big business! With over 100 million households accessing traditional paid TV subscriptions, it’s no surprise advertisers are willing to shell out upwards of $70 billion each year for ads. It’s also a fairly predictable process since the traditional TV buying and selling model hasn’t changed in decades—until now. Programmatic TV is poised to transform the way TV is bought and sold. What exactly is programmatic TV? Simply put, it is an automated process for buying TV ads combined with data-driven technology to target consumers at the individual household level. Traditionally, TV ads are bought manually through upfronts, requiring emailed or faxed requests for proposals, insertion orders, and trafficking. Programmatic TV applies instantaneous efficiency models from digital advertising to TV ads served across devices, as well as linear TV ads served across over-the-top (OTT) boxes. Beyond efficiencies for advertisers and media networks, programmatic TV has the potential to be a win for brands and their consumers. Advertisers will be able to target viewers with ads specifically tailored to their interests, cutting out the noise from universally friendly or irrelevant ads. Here’s a quick look into what the programmatic TV marketplace looks like today and how it will rise in the years to come:

Cord Cutting Is Accelerating

table-pay-tv-viewer-and-nonviewer-share First, let’s set our minds to the right channel. According to a recent eMarketer report, a growing number of U.S. households are cutting the cable TV cord. By 2018, one in five US households will not subscribe to cable or satellite TV, a jump of 5.7% over four years. That rate is expected to accelerate in the years to come as cable and satellite providers steadily lose customers to connected TV options, like Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube.

A Marriage of Necessity

According to AdWeek, “The list of legacy media players making alliances with digital companies continues to grow. Disney put $400 million into Vice, NBCU invested $200 million into BuzzFeed and another $200 million into Vox Media, and Turner put $15 million into the tech site Mashable.” As more and more name-brand networks partner up with digital TV platforms in order to stay relevant to their viewers, they’ll be looking to take advantage of connected TV’s experience in programmatic advertising. Once networks hit efficiencies of scale within digital video buying, it won’t be long before the bean counters look to mirror the results within linear TV.

The Word on the Street Is Getting Louder

google-search-trend-programmatic-tv-history Think it’s all just hype? Google currently features more than 118,000 search results for “programmatic tv.” More than just a passing fad, Google research shows an upward trend of search history since late 2012, and Google’s Keyword Planner shows a 9,900 percent change in average monthly searches since September 2012. Similar terms, such as connected TV and addressable TV, are showing parallel results.

The Ability to Accurately Measure Cross-Device

chart-online-tv-devices With watchers spreading their TV time nearly evenly between traditional remote controls and the computer mouse, advertisers must be prepared to reach consumers on whatever device they are using. What’s more, those who are watching on their TV sets are likely multitasking, according to a new eMarketer report. Well over half of U.S. Internet users multitask with smartphones or computers while watching TV. As a result, advertisers will soon demand the ability to measure TV with the same effectiveness and accuracy that we do in other types of programmatic campaigns. Precision in cross-device video targeting, optimization, and viewability metrics will be critical to achieving programmatic penetration in the TV media market.

The Future Looks Bright

chart-us-programmatic-tv-ad-spending Today’s programmatic media is way beyond banner ads. Yet, programmatic TV has been slow to take hold. Only one percent of TV ad spends in 2016 were purchased programmatically. While this seems low, consider this: Iit represents $710 million of a $71 billion industry, and programmatic TV spending is expected to grow to over $4 billion by 2019! Others go so far as to estimate that programmatic will represent 17% of TV budgets in just two years. Regardless, if either reports are even close to accurate, the future for programmatic TV looks bright.

Fall Forecast: Holiday Programmatic Spending

Group of friends sitting outdoors with shopping bags - Several people holding smartphones and tablets - Concepts about lifestyle,shopping,technology and friendship Too soon to build your holiday wish list? Not according to over 35% of Americans who will start their holiday shopping before the end of this month, according to a new survey by BlackFriday.com, which is why many advertisers are already in holiday mode, building campaigns for the busiest selling season of the year. For those looking to take advantage of efficiencies in programmatic advertising to incentivize holiday shoppers, it’s not too late to build the perfect digital marketing mix for every potential consumer on your list. Not sure which tactics should be on your nice list and which will give you nothing more than a lump of coal? We’ve got you covered. Check out these three tactics to unwrap a high performance programmatic ad strategy this holiday season. Make mobile your new holiday tradition. Mobile penetration isn’t just changing communication habits; it’s evolving consumer holiday shopping behavior. Whether they are looking for great gift ideas or checking if the hottest toy is on their local shelves, shoppers will use their smartphones for more than just directions to the store this season. With total holiday sales expected to be over $884.50 billion in 2016, it’s more important than ever for retailers to reach consumers while they research holiday gifts. According to a Nielsen study, 72% of consumers used a mobile device to narrow down the options, and 60% used their smartphone to check local inventory. Once they’re in the door, a staggering 82% of consumers continued to use their smartphones in store to help them make purchase decisions, according to research from Google. And when they do buy online, more than 39% of shoppers will look to their smartphone to make the purchase during the holiday season. Quick Tip: Make sure your creative is mobile-ready in the top 3 on-the-go ad sizes: 320×50, 300×250, and 728×90. Go home for the holidays, with hyperlocal ads. During the holiday shopping season, many of us become creatures of convenience, visiting the stores we’re closest to in order to avoid crowded parking lots and long checkout lines. Smart advertisers use proximity to their advantage, targeting consumers when they are close to their store’s location. Since 85% of consumers say they’d be more likely to shop in stores that provide coupons and special deals personalized just to them, advanced programmatic geotargeting can be especially useful for holiday campaigns with dynamic creative. Serving in-store promotions or product-specific ads to consumers within the perimeter of their store locations, advertisers can target those most likely to interact. With programmatic geotargeting, marketers can combine audience data filters and contextual layering with location signals to deliver hyper-relevant ads that resonate with individuals. Quick Tip: Large retailers with beacons in place can communicate relevant value-added services with shoppers during crucial in-store momentsfor instance, sharing the location of free gift-wrapping stations to those near a checkout lane. Don’t be a turkey and wait until the last minutepace your ad spending. It’s no surprise that programmatic prices will rise as advertisers compete for consumers’ attention during the top holiday shopping days. CPMs for display inventory typically rise during the five-day period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday and in the last days leading up to Christmas. And in 2015, Thanksgiving was the highest ranked among digital shopping days. Ensuring campaign delivery during these high-cost weeks means proactively pacing your spend and continually optimizing your bids to overcome the imbalance between supply and demand. Zig when others zag. Don’t forget to also minimize buying during prime price spikes for ongoing campaigns that are not holiday-specific. Ramp those campaigns back up after Christmas when CPMs drop to capitalize on performance. Quick Tip: December 21st has become a top holiday season digital shopping day for last-minute buyers. Be sure to save campaign budget to target these eleventh-hour customers with hyper-relevant promotions, like free expedited shipping upgrades.

The Value of Recognizing Programmatic in the Advertising Industry

The advertising industry has recently undergone a huge growth spurt: With the rise of programmatic, we can get the right creative in front of the right audience at the right time like never before. Campaigns succeed, campaigns fail, and now we know. That’s because today we can measure results; we can measure everything. In this article, Goodway Group’s Brody O’Harran, EVP of Sales, explains why blending technology and creative not only makes advertising more effective but makes our industry continue to innovate and evolve.