There’s a plethora of companies out there to look into when it comes to your programmatic needs. So how do you know which one is right for you? Doireann Ó Brádaigh, commercial director for programmatic marketplace The Trade Desk, has pulled together five must-knows when it comes to finding the right partnership.
In business, true partners can be thought of as two people dancing together. Hopefully the result is poetry in motion, and not crushed toes.
The same thinking can be applied to choosing a kick-ass partner in today’s programmatic marketing era.
With the plethora of options out there, and a multitude of business models behind them, marketers face a daunting challenge choosing the best partner.
Here are five rules to help you get started.
1. Look to aligned incentives
As agencies move into programmatic waters, they may be tempted by the siren song of the all-in-one solution, or technology companies who represent both agency and publisher. It’s impossible for any company truly representing both sides of the coin to have an honest conversation with its customers. This misalignment of incentives for the all-in-one platform means that the agency is always wondering if they’ve been left holding the bag.
2. Make sure there is room for the service layer
A technology platform doesn’t replace people — it allows them to exercise their expertise instead of just taking orders. The best way to tell if your programmatic partner is leaving room for you to provide a service layer to your clients is to see what kind of visibility you’re given into how the tech works. Are they counting on your success? Or are you running up against them in your pitches to new clients?
3. Look for room to build on top of the technology
In the same vein, a best-in-class tech partner lets others bring their own differentiators to the party. Part of an agency’s role is to act as the service layer. But increasingly, it’s important to consider what gaps in the stack remain — what else can an agency and a DSP do to complement one another?
4. Think ahead to guaranteed media, not just RTB
There would never be a case where an advertiser would set aside budgets for AFL Grand Final creatives without having an airtight agreement that their ad would run as promised. RTB and guaranteed media are coming together faster than anyone predicted, so finding a programmatic partner that is betting big on private marketplaces and the forward market is key.
5. People still matter
A strong programmatic partner will meet you every step of the way — from educating on technical capabilities, to supporting training and onboarding, to pushing data-driven insights up the marketing chain. The tech is hugely important, but so are the people.