The Pain of NO GAIN: When Programmatic Becomes Problematic

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It’s Friday afternoon. You’re sitting in your office in Brooklyn, wrapping up your week surfing the web, scanning the national sports news sites. As the Director of Media for a top sporting-focused ad agency, you want to see what ad campaigns your competitors are serving up this weekend. As you’re surfing, you notice as you often do, that while most of the ads are hyper-targeting you, a 35 year old single male, you’re only being served a combination of about 10 interstitials, banners and a few video ads. One of the ads you’re served is a video ad for baby diapers, A FEW TIMES, so you’re being wrongly targeted. What’s worse is that some of these are your agency’s ads!

Your creative team is paid well and usually works overtime, sometimes creating between 10-20 ads (Banner, Native, Interstitial) a week . For the past 2 years you’ve been harnessing the power of programmatic advertising to not only streamline ad buying, but to cut costs. While you’d like to think you have your targeting down, you still only have 13 unique ads being served to the same demographic.

The Power of the Moving Image Gone Wrong

The use of video advertising is a rather new addition to your ad portfolio and you quickly learn, it’s even becoming more costly and is cutting deeply into the bottom line. You advise your ad team to make only five 60 second video ads for that new ad campaign for Gillette, at a huge expense. You choose to buy ad space on 50 of the top sports outlets programmatically, targeting 5 different audiences, numbering in the hundreds of thousands.

Now, remember you only have 5 video ads. Those 5 ads scheduled programmatically are bound to hit the same targets at least 2, 3, or even 4 times during their pre-weekend surfing session. Much of the time they will not even be viewed once. This is a major pain point for you and countless number of agencies. Your head is exploding. You wish there was an easy answer to this dilemma. You want to go beyond spraying your 5 ads and praying for some views, engagement and conversions.

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Bridging the Gap

As you well know, one of the top benefits of using programmatic is that agencies can hyper target their audiences and purchase ad space that will reach hundreds of thousands of specific targets. While this all sounds great in theory, agencies usually waste this enormous marketing reach by serving a single video ad. You already know one of the reasons why they only have a single video ad. It’s darn expensive!! But, also serving the same video ad to the same target or even worse to the wrong target to begin with, pretty much ensures that your ad won’t be viewed. Even once. This is bad news for your clients, and you’ll probably be the one taking the blame. Again.

With the exorbitant cost of creating so many video ads so that you have enough in your inventory, so they are not served to the same target, you’ll be bankrupt within a short time. Fuhggedaboutit! You need to..you want to bridge the gap between the benefits of programmatic advertising and creative. How do you do it? Is it all just a pipe dream?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on how the digital marketing community, collectively can turn this nightmare into a dream. Please feel free to comment below.

 

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