Evaluating Programmatic Technology Solutions

This is a follow up to webinar, “Making Programmatic Work for You” on May 25th. Recording will be available on our website for download within 24 hours. 

Programmatic display is a hot-button strategy in digital advertising in 2016. While it’s a compelling channel to invest your ad dollars, it presents a whole new set of challenges—especially when it comes to deploying the right technology for your company’s goals. How can you make that crucial first investment in buying programmatic media that will create value and justify your investment? With the increasing number of technology partners and features in the marketplace, making that initial tech investment in programmatic display can be an arduous process. As we did in the webinar, let’s walk through how to make the most of your technology selection for deploying your display advertising strategy.

Evaluating Technical Solutions

Identifying Your Technical Needs

1.Identify marketing objective and obstacles 

  • KPIs

The structure of campaigns are determined by KPIs. If you can pinpoint your brand objective, you can then focus on the tech platforms that are a better choice for achieving those goals.

  • Obstacles

It is important to know any internal limitations your brand has on the get-go before you spend time in viewing and selecting ad tech platforms.

  • Tech capabilities

Make sure your partner is really solving a solution for your brand that you currently aren’t solving.

  • Brand Needs – Brand Awareness or Direct Response?

For example, if you are running a brand awareness campaign, will this technology provide you with the ability to reach the target audience of your brand? We as a team have been able to find great performance on prospecting campaigns because of the data partners we’re currently integrated with.

2. Become well versed in the programmatic lumascape 

A lot of these partners specialize in one thing and are really good at it, which is why it’s always best practice to have a diversified portfolio.

There are many different touch-points and paths an advertiser can user to land to its final inventory space. It’s not necessarily best practice as investors to rely and fixate all of our costs into one brand. The more eggs we have in our basket, the less we rely on each one of them but more on our portfolio as a whole.

lumascape3. Tech decision impact your bottom line 

Tech decision affect:

  • Performance

Performance is directly related to available capabilities. For example, we recently were able to market to specific regions our client services which wasn’t something they were able to do before. We were able to do that because of what tools our DSP was integrated with as well as the type of inventory that was available to us.

  • Flexibility

Make sure you have the flexibility to build the program you want and add in or take away different tech capabilities based on your program’s performance.

  • Budget

Ensure you are getting the highest value for your ad dollar. We’ve been focusing on how we’re able to find a high value user at a low cost. This means you’re able to purchase more inventory for a more targeted audience focus with that same ad budget.

4. Evaluate multiple options 

How will these technology pieces will fit in with your current program?

One of the biggest difficulties we’ve had is not only onboarding a new partner, but learning how it integrates with another one we are currently using. It can potentially be time consuming if that integration isn’t there.

How do you do this?

  • In-house team

What does this take to staff an in-house team? It’s important to think about all the resources you have available to fully vet these partners out, keeping your brand goals in mind.

  • Agency

How to evaluate the right fit? It’s really important to know how the agency can add new value and really drive results for your team by achieving your own brand’s marketing objectives.

Selecting the Right Tech Partner

Technology Integration

  • How does this new technology add to your current program?
  • How well can your current tech stack measure new technology?

Will it add or detract? You won’t know until you measure it

  • How well does this new piece align with your marketing goals and objectives?

Onboarding Time

Time is a HUGE resource

  • Negotiation
  • Contracts
  • Logistics

When migrating platforms, you may run into some of these pitfalls:

  • Data loss
  • Performance Normalization
  • Billing/Accounting Logistics
  • Lost money due to broken contracts

It can be very painful to detach from a partner.

Evaluating the Economics

Find the happy-medium between having a simplified ad stack and utilizing the available tech.

Ad Dollars Incentivized

  • Centralized ad buying and measurement

Demand side platforms centralize ad buying and measurement to allow for attribution modeling and smarter, real-time investing.

  • Cost transparency

Access the highest value users through the lowest cost premium ad inventory


How is your new partner making money?

  • Fees?

Is it a margin?

Flat management fee?

Usage fee?

  • Fixed or Variable?
  • Incentives?

**Free rarely exists in media

Risk vs. Reward

It’s important to know the time and monetary investments you have available

  • How much risk are you taking on to onboard this new platform?
  • What are the minimums?
  • What size investment are you making in one technology piece?
  • What are your team’s capabilities/will they be able to leverage these platforms to their full capabilities?

New vs. Existing Tech

Bottoms line…

Is it worth it?

Sherveen Shingu About the author
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