The Future Of Digital Media Buying . . . Is Now! Embrace Programmatic Buying To Increase Efficiency And Reduce Waste
Posted by Joanna O'Connell on September 26, 2011
As anyone who reads my research knows, I am the resident display ad technology geek on the Interactive Marketing team. I am fascinated by all things acronym-related, from DSPs to DMPs to RTB. And my experience co-launching Razorfish’s “agency trading desk,” ATOM Systems, in 2008 taught me a lot about what matters — and what doesn’t — in rolling out an audience-centric programmatic buying strategy, and what steps to take to set clients up for success.
Well, I thought it was time to share this story in my new report, The Future Of Digital Media Buying. It explores how digital media buying is dramatically transforming and outlines the steps marketers must take to succeed in this new digital media buying world.
The long and short: laser-focused, programmatic media buying is now a reality and that’s a good thing for you. Here’s what’s driving the opportunity:
- Audience targeting opportunities are now myriad and diverse — ranging from targeting based on search query data to targeting based on personality type to targeting of a marketer’s own offline database online. The buying community is no longer limited to contextual targeting, or even basic behavioral targeting (remember the days of “auto enthusiast” targeting, where your media partner targeted users who’d visited auto content twice in 4 weeks? Powerful stuff.)
- The rise of ad exchanges and real-time impression level bidding, and all the tools and technologies now available to take full advantage of it, has also been a game-changer. Buyers now have unprecedented transparency, granularity, and control in their buying. DSPs (centralized buying platforms for real-time buying and optimization), an acronym that didn’t exist 5 years ago, are becoming such a hot topic I am in the midst of doing the first ever DSP Forrester Wave!
But change doesn’t come without growing pains. And everyone in the media buying community — from ad networks, to agency media planners and buyers, to the clients they serve — is feeling it. The days of media buying based on haggling over the phone on price, and entering media buys into Excel, are giving way to data-driven, real-time, platform-based buying and optimization. And not every buyer has the necessary skills or tools to succeed here. Marketers need to take a hard look at their current roster of partners and assess whether or not they have what’s necessary to take full advantage of the opportunity on their clients’ behalf. If they don’t, marketers should look elsewhere.
So what should you do to get started? The most important first step in wrapping your head around the opportunity is to educate yourself. Start by learning about the acronyms (DSP, DMP, RTB, ATD) and understanding what role each vendor/partner type plays in this new ecosystem. Then you can begin laying out a programmatic buying road map for yourself. Any growing pains you experience along the way will be worth the effort: you’ll extract more efficiency, reduce waste, and gain invaluable insights in the process. And you’ll be well positioned for the future of digital media buying, certainly better than those marketers who don’t embrace it.
I’d really love to hear from you, the Forrester community, on this topic! Send me your thoughts, comments, and experiences please!