Years ago, advertising was a one-way relationship. Magazines, billboards, and TV commercials peddled their wares to consumers who couldn’t click through to buy. But today’s publishers, advertisers, and subscribers all have one thing in common: a hand in digital consumerism — whether it’s the ability to switch between devices to complete a single purchase or customized commercials through an ad-supported streaming service.
The challenge has become cultivating the most adaptive, targeted IT infrastructure possible to entice the right demographics. We’re in a new era of media buying, and forward-thinking buyers are embracing a new model. Forrester Research tells us that the most successful buyers have been able to:
- Make data-driven decisions. These buyers believe that the party with the most data wins, buying every impression at the price most appropriate, based on anticipated outcome. eBay embraces this philosophy, bidding higher for remarketing impressions than untargeted impressions in anticipation of higher conversion rates and better performance.
- Embrace platform-based buying. Successful buyers understand marketing objectives and how different buying platforms can be utilized to buy, manage, optimize, and report on sophisticated, segmented campaigns. Simply put, different platforms are capable of different things. It’s smart to take advantage of that.
- Optimize in real time. Programmatic technology allows buyers to continually assess performance, test, and optimize, whereas display has traditionally followed a much less stringent and fast-paced optimization cycle. Successful programmatic buyers are “always on” in monitoring and optimizing programs, through both automated and manual optimization processes. Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technologies constantly assess available inventory, refine campaign optimization models, and make real-time bidding decisions, while campaign managers regularly review performance manually.
A look forward at the new model of media buying in 2017
Forrester also tells us that the old model of digital media buying (e.g., few sites to choose from, manual site-level buying and management, etc.) has given way to a new paradigm. Here are a few predictions about ad buying in 2017:
- Literally trillions of ways to reach consumers. With multichannel inventory and audiences — with billions of sites to choose from and more custom integrations to meet brand-building objectives — there will be more ways than we can even imagine to reach consumers.
- Centralized data. Marketers will realize the need to centralize and manage data via internal DMP (data management platforms). Today, DMPs have already become commoditized; in the future, we’ll see more of the same… but from a wider audience.
- Agencies will evolve to provide more strategic value through knowledge sharing and expertise of programmatic strategy and execution. This evolution will also help agencies facilitate deeper marketer-publisher relationships.
Get more information on the the future of media and the benefits of being data-driven in online media from our ebook, Creating Exceptional Ad Buying Experiences.