Programmatic advertising is making a profound impact in how marketers reach and interact with their target audience. It is estimated that $48 billion will be spent on programmatic advertising in the US this year. The technology is expected to dominate the digital display ads transaction in the next couple of years.

As programmatic rapidly becomes the norm in the digital marketing world, marketers should seriously consider the numerous opportunities and benefits that this technology offers.

In programmatic advertising, technology or computers automate the process of selling and purchasing of digital ads, which results in greater efficiency. With consumers constantly connected to their mobile devices, the greatest challenge to marketers today is how to reach and engage the audience for optimum results. Implementing a programmatic strategy along with other digital marketing strategies enables marketers to engage a wider audience. This ensures the best results and ROI.

Whether you’re already using programmatic or you’re just exploring it, navigating programmatic can be complicated. The foremost challenge lies with selecting which programmatic solution suits your requirements. With numerous programmatic ad buying platforms, picking the most suitable can be stressful, confusing and time-consuming. There are just so many different options available that comparing them can be quite cumbersome.

Does the platform give what I need? Does it meet my budget? What are its guarantees? Is it effective?

6 Essential Aspects to Check When Evaluating a Programmatic Advertising Platform

When evaluating and comparing programmatic advertising platforms, there are six aspects that you need to check.

Cost

One of the major considerations when evaluating a programmatic platform is the cost. Does the platform require a high minimum? Is the pricing open for negotiation as your advertising needs increase? Also check if you’ll be required to pay upfront training fees. It’s also important to discuss the actual cost of media. Usually, DSPs collect a mark-up on media spend that ranges anywhere between 15% and 25%. While others charge a flat CPM for the media spend. It’s vital for you to know what exactly you’re paying for.

Ask for detailed explanation on the pricing so you won’t be surprised when you get your first invoice.

Audience targeting

Choose a programmatic advertising vendor that is capable of advanced targeting to be able to effectively carry out your digital marketing strategies. Inquire about the different targeting features that your potential platform offers. Does the vendor allow you to use Private Market Places or Direct Deals? What are the data partners they work with to ensure brand safety and audience targeting? Does their program allow you to use email list and first party CRM data? You want to maximize your investment, so make sure you don’t leave any stone unturned, particularly in audience targeting.

Transparency

With fraud being a major issue in the world of digital advertising, you want to pick a platform that guarantees maximum transparency. Transparency with regards to real cost, placements, and inventory is foremost. When evaluating a potential digital ads platform, get as much information about inventory sources, the transparency of their placements, and breakdown of actual media cost and markup.

Programmatic is a major investment. As such, you want to work with a vendor that you fully trust. Check their goals to see if they align with your brand.

Data integration

Not all programmatic advertising platforms offer the same data integration and technology.  You should choose a vendor that offers a technology that is suitable with your marketing goals. For instance, a B2B client with a localized target audience would not benefit with a platform that offers very specific targeting intended for chains and franchises.

Study the data integration or technology being offered by a vendor and see if it would contribute to your digital ads strategies.

Support

For those who are new in the world of programmatic, a reliable and responsive support is vital. You want to know if your account comes with a dedicated account manager. Will there be readily available support for any account issues, concerns, or troubleshooting? Do they have live customer support or just ‘bots’ sending canned responses? Ask about their response time. Check if they have FAQs or ‘Help’ sections.

A programmatic advertising will prove useless if you can’t maximize their features due to technical problems.

Performance metrics

Tracking the impact of your marketing campaign is vital. To give you a clear picture of how your programmatic ads work, you need detailed information about basic ad tracking, conversion tracking, views, etc. Some platforms also offer advanced tools and reports that give you detailed information on the effectiveness of your marketing campaign, in terms of ROI.

Final Thoughts

Programmatic can be tricky. If you’re new in this field, you might find choosing the best platform overwhelming. But don’t worry. The pointers above can help you decide which programmatic vendor will be most suitable to your digital marketing needs. You just need to invest some time getting to know every potential programmatic ads platform.