Essential Steps For Starting Out In Programmatic

DELVE  /  
July 8, 2016
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Do you recall the excitement, anxiety, and perhaps trepidation you felt before jumping into the ocean for the first time? The unimaginable was waiting for you. While the first dip in the big, blue sea is many years in the past for some, the daunting feeling of tackling the unknown is ever-lurking, especially when the word “programmatic” appears. The complex vernacular, landscape, and applications have kept many at bay, but today we are going to simplify the complex and review five essential steps for getting your feet wet in the sea of programmatic.

  1. Define and refine your target audience. Be specific when it comes to who you want to reach. Actual people who possess the desired behaviors and affinities are more important than name-brand websites.
    Tip: Use data from past converters to identify the most profitable target audiences.
  2. Create key performance indicators that map to each funnel phase. Yes – driving business goals and return on investment is crucial, although not all funnel stages are meant to do so. Make sure you are not using the same metrics to measure and identify success.
    Tip: Upper funnel tactics should have the highest viewability and highest unique reach. Consider using viewability, unique reach, and lift, as KPIs.
  3. Identify data sets for activation. Programmatic allows you use the same data set across your entire media buy! You can use your own data (first party) or identify common attributes of your target prospects to target and buy against.
    Tip: Identify milestones (new home), as well as behaviors (relocation) that take place before or during the shopping phase.
  4. Select a management model. Map out your current and goal state for programmatic. Even though you are just getting started it’s important to have an end state goal in mind. Do you want to have an in-house team? Do you want to work in partnership with a programmatic agency or strategic vendor? Set your end state goal, and start chipping away at it.
    Tip: Talk to a friend or a non-competitive brand or agency about different management models to gain clarity on which is a good fit for now and in the long run.
  5. Utilize HTML5 creative assets. The days of only consuming content on one platform are long gone. To avoid the pitfall of only having creative that works on desktop, ensure all of your creative is HTML5 so that it can easily be rendered on mobile, desktop, and over the top devices. HTML5 allows your creative message to reach your target wherever, whenever.
  6. Establish Transparency. In order to determine what’s working, what’s not working, where the efficiency gains are, and general campaign diagnostics, you will need to establish reporting transparency for data, media costs, vendor management fees, conversion reporting, viewability, and more. Transparency is critical for success and growth.
    Tip: Work with partners and vendors who provide logins and training for their programmatic solutions.

If you have more questions and need further help braving the open, wavy waters of programmatic, just drop Delve a line.

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