Four Steps to Managing Programmatic Media Buys | Training Takeaways | All MKC Content | ANA

Four Steps to Managing Programmatic Media Buys

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Erin Yasgar identifies the four steps involved in managing a programmatic media buy, which are drawn from her ANA on-demand training course "Harnessing the Power of Programmatic."


In planning, you will need to consider what audience you wish to target (e.g., as defined by location, demographic data, etc.), which digital channels you will use, and the type of programmatic marketplace you will buy from (e.g., private or public), which will be influenced by your budget. You will also need to establish your delivery goals, whether those will relate to conversions, site visits, or what have you.

Proposal Evaluation

Once you have solicited and received proposals for your buy, you will need to assess their ability to meet your needs. Are the proposed channels compatible with your campaign's goals? Are the suggested creative formats available for creation and in the budget already? If not, how does that affect the budget? Is there an audience segment that is missing? Does the proposal cover all targeting options? Will the proposed impression levels allow for enough reach? Do the proposed CPMs align with your budget?

Ad Ops for Activation

The benefits of programmatic, including real-time reporting, efficiencies, and lower CPMs, depend on proper execution of ad ops. You will need to ensure that your creative elements have the correct sizing and weights and that your pixels and tags are in place. Pixels track and feed information on the campaign — such as items purchased and the most highly trafficked URLs — back to your real-time dashboard, enabling optimization. Tags, such as DMP tags, UTM tags, and attribution tags, also track information related to your campaign that is critical to optimization, such as which channels are driving traffic.


Programmatic gives you the ability to make real-time adjustments to your campaign to yield improvements in its delivery based on information on its various elements — information that's fed into the dashboards monitored by the traders who oversee campaigns inside the platforms. You don't want to just "set and forget" your campaign, as this would be to surrender one of the greatest advantages of programmatic media buys. A good trader is constantly monitoring elements such as bid rate, inventory quality, click-through rates, and conversions, and making appropriate adjustments to optimize performance in real time. Some questions to consider in the optimization phase include:

  • Are we staying within our CPM goals and pacing across the campaign?
  • Are we capping our frequency to prevent waste?

The above represents just a morsel from the banquet of insights and best practices available in ANA's on-demand training course "Harnessing the Power of Programmatic."



"Harnessing the Power of Programmatic." Erin Yasgar, global team lead, marketer and agency strategy at Prohaska Consulting. ANA On-Demand Training Course.

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