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Display Advertising

Programmatic Advertising refers to buying and selling of a variety of ad types on websites in real time. It is the union of automation in ad buying, and data, which allows the buying and selling of digital media based on audience signals, making each impression bought more in target than ever before.

Programmatic Display Advertising - The Evolution From Then To Now

Previous to Programmatic Display Advertising, if an advertiser wanted to purchase ad space on a relevant website, the process was very manual. The client or agency would need to contact the individual websites directly and negotiate with a seller the amount of impressions they wanted to buy. The main metric for transacting Display ads online is a Cost Per Thousand (CPM) or negotiate a monthly rate for the ad space, much like a billboard ad on the side of the highway. The ‘M’ in CPM is actually the Roman numeral Mille which stands for Thousand. Being on one website alone may not be effective enough to reach your target audience. Once an advertiser wanted to scale to 100s or even 1000s of websites, they would quickly realize it became very time consuming, and complex to manage conversations and plan space on such a plethora or different websites. Ad display networks (Google Display Network) were created in order to aggregate publisher inventory into a single package. This allowed advertisers to have a centralized hub to buy ad space. It provided publishers the ability to sell off their inventory at a larger scale. In the beginning it was hard for advertisers to keep track of exactly which websites their ads were shown on. Some clients feared this lack of transparency would negatively affect their brand. Thankfully as the online ecosystem has evolved, the demand for more transparency has grown and now individual URLs can be purchased fully transparently, and at scale. Along came tools such as DBM (Doubleclick Bid Manager) and Google Adsense, which tapped into larger Networks such as Google Ad Exchange which allowed buyers to make real time bids for ad inventory across the display networks. Similar to how the stock market operates, the price of online ad space fluctuates daily based on demand from buyers in the market, seasonality, unique visitors on certain websites and demand for users with specific online profiles. At first this helped shift the balance of media buying power back to the buyer side, and allowed greater flexibility for the advertiser and more sales for the publisher. However as the technology evolved it has resulted in advertisers needing more technology logins to manage each campaign, and made it more expensive for buyers to manager their entire ‘stack’ of different technology platforms.

Programmatic Display Advertising


What is Programmatic Display Advertising?

Programmatic display advertising happens each time you load your favourite website, and each ad you see loads in approximately 100 milliseconds, which is extremely fast. When Consultus buys media on behalf of our clients, we determine up front the maximum amount of dollars we are willing to pay to reach the target audience. This is called a Maximum Bid. We can 100% guarantee clients that we will never pay more than the agreed upon bid prices. On top of this, Real Time Bidding works on the 2nd price bid model, which means that each time we win a bid, we will only pay 1 cent more than the second highest bid, allowing us to pass the savings directly back into the media buy and reach more people! For example, if we bid $10 but another brand only bids $7, the price we pay for that impression is only $7.01 allowing a savings of $2.99.

Three Types of Programmatic Buying

    • Open Auction: The purchase of ads through real time bidding at massive scale. Many large websites allow buyers to obtain ad space on their site through open auctions, with fully transparent URLs. This means a personal connection with hundreds of websites is not needed, and via the technology we can connect clients directly to their users.
    • Private Exchange: This is a 1:1 direct connection with a trusted website. They permit us to tap into their ad inventory directly allowing clients peace of mind they are only appearing on quality and trusted websites.
    • Programmatic Guaranteed: This buy type most resembles the traditional direct sales models. Consultus will speak with big websites directly and negotiate a set deal upfront, dollars to spend, CPM and numbers of impressions we get. The only difference is the deal actually runs via technology and does not need any signed paperwork like in the past. This model works best for clients who would like to appear only in select places, or lock up valuable inventory during busy seasons, such as FIFA World Cup or during the Olympics.

The Overall Benefits of Programmatic Advertising

    • KPI Management: Clients have goals to achieve, and through Programmatic we can be more flexible and targeted towards achieving those goals than ever before. Whether you prefer a low CPM, Reach + Frequency management, looking at Cost Per Clicks, ensuring Viewabilty goals or ROAS – Return On Ad Spend, programmatic technology can allow your brand more success than ever before.
    • Campaign Optimization: Allows our advertisers flexibility to spend media budgets both large and small, while keeping in mind brand goals. Ongoing reporting and making tweaks on the fly will ensure the most effective media campaign possible.
    • Greater Insight: Advertisers now gain more transparency into their online audience than ever before, and this will allow us to target their ads more effectively. Included here are exactly which URLs your ads ran on, the type of people who interacted with your brand, how many people actually saw your ad, and how many then clicked on it and took action. Some reports can even show who saw your display ad, them Google searched your offer!
    • Brand Safety: Bot traffic is one of the biggest causes of wasted marketing budget for advertisers online. Thankfully as brands spend more online, the evolution of brand safety has multiplied exponentially. Each piece of technology we use has build in brand safety features such as: Bot scrubber, URL transparency, Viewability, Content Blocking so you never appear near content negative to your brand, Negative Keywords, to avoid showing ads on pages you would like to avoid, such as Car Crash. Whitelisting is also a popular option, which means your ads only ever serve on URLs which you understand, or a personal list of sites you approve. Never anywhere else! At Consultus we take pride in our clients and want to protect their brand as our top priority. We monitor reporting daily to ensure ads never appear next to questionable content.
Programmatic display advertising provides a tremendous amount of audience and campaign data for brands to make more transparent buying decisions. To date the focus has been on technology and how to make the most of real time bidding and programmatic-direct in order to improve efficiency. The challenge for advertisers has always been the ability to fully understand their target audience using the full Consumer funnel in order to effectively optimize marketing spends. In general the funnel goes Awareness, Consideration, Intent, Loyalty. Why is Data important? Data can come in three main forms, 1st party, 2nd party and 3rd party. This is generally collected in the form of cookies from Internet Desktop or Mobile Web, and Mobile Device IDs powered by Apps. So with all the hype, what is the truth behind online data? First off, for data to be legitimate, it must be anonymous. Non-PII – Personal Identifiable Data. Laws are in place to protect consumers and all advertisers must follow these procedures or else face severe consequences.  Consultus Digital is 100% compliant with all current laws in North America and takes data privacy very seriously. 1st party data is great, because it is your own! As a brand, perhaps you have a CRM system, or email list, collecting dozens of data touch points. This can be made anonymous, modeled and merged online to send effective messaging to these people who already know you. 2nd party is when websites collect data directly, and use that data to model advertising campaigns. Some brands even partner with websites to model data, which powers their own ad efforts. Lastly is 3rd party, where aggregators like BlueKai place pixels across thousands of websites, and create online profiles for dozens of behaviours. This data is for sale and can be used to power your brand to reach the effective audience. Ask us more on how we do this effectively! In the end, all of this effective advertising ties back to the discussion around brand measurement. Advertisers can finally understand if ads were seen and if they reached the right audience. They can learn what audiences thought about ads and if these ads changed perception via brand lift. They can also review what audiences did as a result of seeing their ads. In the area of attribution, it's now possible to analyze the purchase path from initial impression to conversion, to understand the various segments of audience touch points most frequently leads to your desired action.

What is Attribution?

Attribution is the science of determining how effective your ad campaigns are. What is important to your brand, and how did your media help drive these goals? This is determined through a mix of performance metrics for display, video, search and social media campaigns. Understanding and choosing the best attribution model will ensure that all advertising campaigns are given credit for the conversions that they contributed to your website. Having the correct attribution model is crucial. Choosing the wrong model could result in loss of revenue for the advertiser. It also helps for brands to take a step back and think, what are the most important things I want to achieve from my media mix?

The Different Models of Attribution Include:

First off, what is a conversion? Generally considered the most important KPI online (KPI = Key Performance Indicator), a conversion is when a user takes a desired action on your website or social page. This can be a purchase, email list sign up, request a test drive, Like a Social post, or simply watch a video. The actual conversion action is tracked with a Pixel, a small 1x1 size piece of code, which fires when that certain action loads. This is how reports can attribute the total number of conversions which happen on your website. So how are these conversions attributed to your online media?
    • First-click: All credit for a conversion is given to the first touch point or digital marketing channel a user interacts with Example) A user sees a banner ad online, clicks the ad, then makes a purchase on your website. Every ad this user sees after the purchase is not counted towards the attribution.
    • Last-click: All credit for conversion is given to the last touch point or digital marketing channel a user interacts with. Similar to First Click, this model disregards any other touch points the user interacted with previously. Example) After Googling your brand and visiting your website, a user saw a Display ad on their favourite website, clicked the ad and made a purchase on your website. The initial Google search is not counted for Attribution.
    • Linear:  Credit is spread evenly across all clicks in the path to customer conversion. Example) YouTube Video, Social Post and Display ad all receive 33% for a conversion.
    • Multi-Touch / Weighted: We decide what the best conversion touch points are for your brand, and give them a custom weight accordingly. This is the most evolved and preferred attribution method. Example) Campaign starts with Youtube videos, 20% weight, Display receives 20% but Search which drives the most conversions equals 60% weight. This would be considered a full funnel attribution model and can help clients understand their success online.
Many advertisers have historically based metrics on just the first and/or last click. These methods are ok, but they do not provide the true insight of which ads influenced the final conversion. Consultus is pushing clients to become a lot savvier when it comes to identifying the right metrics when looking at conversion data. The industry is moving away from first and last click models due to the more evolved models that provide a true window into a customer’s path to purchase, Multi touch pathways need to be considered in the ever complex media ecosystem. Let’s discuss what metrics can help push your brand forward!

Benefits of Multi-Touch Attribution

The multi-touch attribution model in programmatic display advertising allows marketers to understand and credit multiple touch points along the buyers journey within not just one campaign, but take those learnings and re-use them over and over again. Multi-Touch is the only model that shows the true customer journey, from top of the funnel engagement to the point of conversion. Using a multi touch approach allows the advertiser to credit the ad that influenced the final conversion.
  • More Data: This will allow the advertiser to identify more insight on their audience, and understand what ad is most relevant to consumers at each phase of the buying funnel.
  • Budget: Having a clear understanding of how a marketing campaign is performing enables advertisers to allocate the budget more efficiently across upper and lower funnel buying stages. It also shows that not all dollars can be allocated to Conversion targeting only, brands must still participate in the upper funnel branding to entice new consumers to explore their brand.
  • Cross Channel Influence: When running display ads in conjunction with paid search ads, data has shown to lower cost per acquisitions by 48%, compared to running a standalone PPC – Pay Per Click campaign. Multi touch attribution campaigns will show the influence display and search have with each other resulting in more transparent performance tracking. We now have the ability to reach online users in such a variety of ways, we only grow our business by helping you grow yours!

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