Highlights of ANA Programmatic Webinar Series – What Advertisers Should Do

June 24, 2015

By Bill Duggan

Over the course of the past few months, ANA has run a webinar series on the topic of programmatic buying to help ANA members get smart on the topic and better understand the transparency issues. Thanks to the five consultants who shared their wisdom: Andrew Altersohn, AdFin; Joe Weaver, Promatica Consulting; Jay Sears, The Rubicon Project; Matt Prohaska, Prohaska Consulting; and Michael Greene, Audience Science. We learned so much! Highlights below:

1. Knowledge is power. Marketers should ramp-up their programmatic intelligence.

    • Many marketers lack programmatic proficiency and internal talent.
    • Advertisers need to take greater accountability and be in the know.
    • Take control…it’s your money.

2. Understanding the complete supply chain is critical.

    • The foundation of understanding programmatic is understanding the programmatic supply chain.
    • Ask about the role of each player in the process. Know the partners of your partners.
    • Inquire about the flow of money between working dollars (to the publisher) and non-working dollars (to the various other intermediaries).

3. Understand the respective agency models.

    • Ask your agency how it makes money.
    • Ask if the agency holding company has an ownership relationship with any preferred vendors/partners.

4. Ask for inventory transparency.

    • Understand where your programmatic advertising is running. You wouldn’t “blindly” run your advertising in offline media such as television or print without knowing the specific networks or publications that carry your advertising. Why accept anything less in programmatic buying?

5. Safeguard your data.

    • Know how your first-party data is being used/not used.
    • Ask if your buying entity combines your data with other marketers’ data to improve your (their) buy? Ask if any companies that touch your data have revenue streams associated with your data.
    • Ask to see all data use T&Cs for anybody with a tag/pixel on your site. Ask what auditing rights are available

6. Ensure you have full rights/access to your transaction log files. Demand transaction logs be as universally available as ad server logs.

    • According to one presenter, transaction logs are the key to figuring out the allocation of money among the respective intermediaries. Every programmatic trade has a record — a transaction log and metadata including closing price. These records are rarely analyzed at the log level, but doing so could provide rich insight. 

More learning from the ANA Programmatic Webinar Series will be shared in future.


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