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Three Common Pitfalls in Programmatic Buying

Lori Goldberg, CEO of Silverlight Digital writes for EconsultancyCEO Lori Goldberg writes for Econsultancy. 

In 2016, 73% of advertisers’ total display budgets were spent on programmatic. With those numbers expected to rise, advertisers need to pay particular attention.

While the nature of programmatic itself is to streamline and create efficiencies inside the buying process, marketers need to keep the most important piece of this strategy front and center: the consumer.

Without an eye for the nuance, or a thorough understanding of a few key components of programmatic buying, advertisers run the risk of making pitfalls that create negative experiences while wasting ad dollars.

Here’s a summary of three common pitfalls.

Not understanding the nuance behind the data

One thing that is incumbent on media planners and buyers is to choose the right data for each campaign. We’ve all had moments where we realize we’re being served an ad for something that is completely irrelevant — in fact, just last week I was getting ads for puppy food, even though I don’t own a dog.

Silverlight Digital - Pitfalls in ProgrammaticIn order to avoid this kind of misstep, it’s critical to understand where data providers are sourcing their inventory. At the most basic level, advertisers need to know if their data provider is a reseller or if they are working with first-party proprietary data and if that data is verified.

While most data providers believe that their data set is superior, it’s important to dig deeper to consider the nuances of the data set. Knowing what kind of data will make a great source for their campaigns can help marketers have a more sophisticated view of how their data can impact campaign performance.

For example, when working with registration data, having an understanding of the consumers’ motivations for being on that list can shed insights into whether or not that data set is the right set for the campaign.

If the end user has particular motivation to answer questions inaccurately (e.g. data from a dating website), campaign impressions might not yield the targeted user experience advertisers were hoping for.

Yet when we align data sources with the targets of the campaign, we can create powerful fuel for relevant ad experiences. For example, one of Silverlight Digital’s travel clients, a tourism department for a Caribbean island, has been able to source data from travel networks that partner with two of the most popular airlines that fly to the island.

Understanding not only what kind of data, but also the end consumers’ motivation for being part of this data set, tells us that they are likely to shop with these airlines and are likely to want to travel. Ultimately this is the ideal experience for both the marketer (targeting accurate impressions) and the consumer (great user experience).

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