15 Questions to Improve Your Programmatic Advertising | Industry Insights | All MKC Content | ANA

15 Questions to Improve Your Programmatic Advertising


In December ANA released our ANA Programmatic Media Supply Chain Transparency Study: Complete Report. One of the most troubling findings is that only 36 cents or less of every dollar that enters a DSP effectively reaches the consumer. Frankly, that sucks.

Improving performance is a journey. Marketers need to care about this. They must be curious and proactive. Media is often the largest marketing expenditure at most companies. Marketers need to "lean in" and be more active stewards of their media investments rather than delegating that entirely to their agencies. They need to dedicate time and people resources.

Programmatic media is complex and murky. It's not easy to understand. I believe that many marketers are afraid to ask questions for "fear of sounding stupid." But silence is even worse. Our report encourages marketers to ask questions and suggests 15 specific (and in some cases, simple) questions. Send the questions below to your agency and have a conversation with them to understand the answers (and perhaps ask for some changes).

1. How many websites are being used for an average campaign?

2. How much of my media activity is on MFA sites?

3. Are we using inclusion lists?

4. Is context important?

5. When did we last update our media agency contract?

6. Should direct contracts with primary supply chain intermediaries be considered — DSPs, ad verification, SSPs?

7. Do we have a strategy for SSP optimization?

8. Do we have too much focus on "cheap CPM" deals?

9. When is my agency acting as a principal and what are the trade-offs of that for me?

10. Are my Private Marketplace (PMP) deals worth the premium and should we consider allocating more budget to Open Marketplace (OMP)?

11. Do we have a process in place to accurately measure ad quality and price in order to assess value?

12. Do I know how my campaigns perform on measurability, viewability, and IVT?

13. Should we be leveraging log-level data?

14. Do I know the sustainability impact of my programmatic activity and am I taking steps to reduce carbon emissions?

15. Are we staffed appropriately internally (on the client side) to be active stewards of our media investments?

The closing message in the ANA Programmatic Media Supply Chain Transparency Study: Complete Report is clear – ask questions, get answers, take action, and improve performance.

The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA. 

Bill Duggan is group EVP at ANA.