In this opinion piece, Jessica Miles (pictured), country manager, ANZ at IAS discusses the importance of finding inefficiencies in your supply path and optimising outcomes in the world of programmatic campaigns.
A recent JAPAC report by OpenX showed buyers are investing more heavily in programmatic than publishers see revenue gains via the medium, with 72 per cent of buyers reporting an increase in programmatic spending compared to 56 per cent of publishers reporting an increase in programmatic revenue. Agencies are particularly bullish on programmatic, with 12 per cent reporting that they had boosted their programmatic spending by over 75 per cent.
As more brand advertising spend flows into the programmatic ecosystem, players on both sides of the industry are beginning to rebel against complexity and demand transparency and efficiency across the supply chain. Over the past few years, media buyers have put a microscope up on their supply paths to ensure that each dollar of ad spend is as impactful as possible.
The digital advertising industry, especially ad tech, has its fair share of challenges. From the plethora of vendors involved in the ad serving process, potentially “clipping the ticket” whilst arguably not adding significant value to the quality vs value of the actual media bought. As we face financial headwinds and a potential recession, marketers must justify their ad spending decisions at every step. Who are you buying the ad from? How much of my spending does the publisher receive?
A simple yet effective solution to these questions is Supply Path optimisation (SPO). If you Google the meaning of Supply Path optimisation, it tells you that SPO is about simplifying the supply chain between advertisers and publishers by cutting out unneeded intermediaries and reducing redundancies. In marketer lingo, SPO is about making smarter choices about which auctions to participate in and which ones to ignore.
SPO has gained popularity, allowing media buyers to focus their bids on the most efficient, scalable and transparent supply paths. As advertisers push for greater transparency in their programmatic buys to ensure that they get quality inventory from their ad spend, SPO becomes clearer. Integral Ad Science’s (IAS) Perfecting your Supply Path research found that 95 per cent of ad buyers are implementing or planning to implement supply path optimisation technology in 2022.
Let’s take a look at how marketers and digital advertisers alike can harness the power of supply path optimisation to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of programmatic advertising campaigns:
When it comes to buying leading ad formats, programmatic is the undisputed choice
The Majority, i.e. 71 per cent of ad buyers, currently buy social video ads programmatically. This also means that most ad buyers execute half or more of their advertising budget using programmatic technology, especially video in social and mobile environments. SPO helps to ensure transparency in the ad buying process, thus extending the impact of a buyer’s ad spend.
According to our research, 95 per cent of ad buyers are implementing or planning to implement supply path optimisation technology next year. Of these, 54 per cent say maximising audience reach and scale is the primary benefit of programmatic advertising.
Monitor global insights to ensure high performance
To implement an SPO strategy successfully, it is important to keep track of global and market-level media efficiency. Leveraging market insights to inform strategies allows marketers to change their global strategies and adapt to current trends. As brands connect with consumers, marketers must leverage global relationships to drive local efficiency.
Leverage quality & financial data in partner negotiations
As a marketer, the pressure to deliver value on your ad spend has never been greater, and with the right data, you can ensure you are getting the most out of your publisher partnerships. The right SPO data brings greater transparency, enabling marketers and publishers to negotiate partnerships effectively. Advertisers should be mindful of media partners they partner with since the cheapest media partner isn’t always selling the highest quality inventory. This is especially true when using an SPO tool that only looks at cost.
Media buyers want to find the sweet spot between cost and quality to ensure they are only bidding on the impressions that will deliver outcomes, and they want to find these impressions at the most efficient price. 42 per cent of ad buyers say the lack of transparency is the primary challenge with programmatic advertising; IAS’ Total Visibility, an industry-first solution, provides full programmatic supply path transparency with real-time and impression-level financial reporting to help advertisers optimise their media spending.
Analyse data to set realistic programmatic goals
We live in a day and age where data is the answer to all questions. Similarly, for digital advertising campaigns, brands and agencies must create quality and financial benchmarks for their programmatic strategy. Interestingly, the IAS research found that brands and agencies do not see eye to eye when it comes to who should take responsibility for monitoring media quality. When asked about this, 47 per cent of brands and 38 per cent of agencies agree that brands are responsible for day-to-day SPO activities; by contrast, 29 per cent of brands and 38 per cent of agencies believe that agencies are responsible for these tasks. This disconnect highlights the importance of greater alignment between media buyers to fully achieve the benefits of supply path optimisation.
Therefore, brands and agencies must work together to optimise digital ad campaigns based on the quality and financial benchmarks agreed upon in their respective strategies.
As programmatic advertising continues to evolve and grow, so will the solutions that help ad buyers see the transparency in the ad-buying process. This will help marketers make better decisions when implementing digital advertising strategies. Until then, the onus rests with brands and agencies to communicate effectively with each other and partners alike to harness the true power of SPO.