3rd Nov 2016CMO
Tim Geenen - Director, Strategy & Innovation, Bannerconnect
In-housing programmatic operations is appealing to a lot of brands who want to get more control over their campaigns, more transparency in media trading, data and audience insights, and often reduced costs. However, there are also several challenges to overcome, such as finding, hiring and training programmatic experts, managing huge amounts of data and having access to the right technology to get the most out of your campaigns.
When getting started with programmatic, it’s common for new entrants to outsource to independent and experienced trading desks or agencies. However, as brands mature and gain a greater understanding of how programmatic works, it becomes a more significant part of their marketing strategy and they often want to bring this speciality in-house. The best way to leverage the most benefits out of in-housing programmatic while mitigating the challenges in getting started is to implement a hybrid model of in-housing and outsourcing. This means your in-house programmatic efforts are supplemented and supported by a programmatic specialist agency to help guide you through set-up and implementation, as well as data science, tech licensing, and building prototypes.
Before proceeding with setting up an in-house programmatic team it’s crucial to understand what you want to achieve, and why it’s better in your own hands. With a lot of planning, preparation, and a helping hand to guide you through the difficult ad tech terrain, you can get better returns on your advertising. You then need to create a strategy for building a team, what kind of expertise you need and how you will go about achieving your goals with programmatic. When setting up a trade desk, you can typically expect it to take at least six to twelve months before you start seeing the desired uplift in effect on your advertising and costs.
Invest in people
While programmatic is intrinsically tied to data and tech, it’s impossible without the right people. Be prepared to adapt your company culture to appeal to the kind of people you want on your team. Specialists thrive when working with other specialists. Even though the expertise of several specialists might lie in different areas, these people are often able to work autonomously at a high level then bring their work together to drive the project forward.
Keep your specialists sharp with a continuous training programme. Give your team the resources, workshops and education they need to be the best. It could make the difference between making your trade desk profitable within six months or six years. Fostering a continuous-improvement mindset will ensure that your team maintains a high level of knowledge and prepares them to constantly be ready and adapt to changes in the industry as innovations and tech developments change the game.
Identifying the best candidates and training them to maximum efficiency can be a big challenge. It’s especially important to partner with a programmatic expert or consultant who can help you build the best team and impart extensive programmatic knowledge. Team up with an agency that offers in-house programmatic consultancy that can help take your team from infancy to programmatic masters, with specialists who come to your office and work alongside your team.
In an industry as young and ever-changing as programmatic, experience and hard-wired skill is few and far between. This is one of the reasons you should always be in recruitment mode; don’t leave it to chance that you’ll be hiring when the A-player is looking for a job.
Know your technology
You’ll basically need to learn a second language to master all of ad tech’s abbreviations and jargon just to understand what everything is and how it works together. Before you decide on what tech is going to bring the most value to your business, you’ll need to decide on what your in-housing goals are. For example, you might simply want to purchase media in a more effective way. Or perhaps you also want to incorporate offline data to complete the customer journey. It may be that you value storytelling and want your vision brought to life.
After deciding which kind of tech you need for your set-up (DSP, DMP, ad server, viewability tracking, dashboard, fraud protection), you’ll need to figure out licensing. This includes legal documentation, such as MSAs and SLAs, as well as what privacy regulations you need to be aware of. The hybrid in-house/outsourced programmatic model comes into its own again here. Your programmatic specialist partner is likely to have a lot of experience and expertise in negotiating better deals on licensing fees, and can take the admin-heavy work of contracts and documentations so your in-house team can focus on creating more value in programmatic buys.
Harness the power of data
Making decisions without data is guess-work. But quality in data can vary greatly, which hugely impacts the decisions you make. Collecting, storing, maintaining and organising large quantities of data is something you must consider, as well as the various sources and silos data exists in. Data science is integral to extracting maximum value from your data, translating numbers into insights. To use data effectively, you must also be able to unify your data sources and uncover connections between the various sources and analyse it to yield actionable insights.
While there are clear benefits in in-housing your programmatic operations, employing a hybrid model that leverages the experience, precise expertise, and industry relationships of a specialist programmatic agency will see you minimise the time and costs in getting your trade desk from conception to profit. At Bannerconnect, we strongly believe in empowering brands and their people to quickly become effective with their programmatic operations. We offer training, data science, technology implementation and prototyping customised to fit the needs and goals of your business and are on hand to consult your team on how to achieve better branding and performance with your campaigns.
Contact Bannerconnect to make your in-house programmatic efforts more effective and profitable today!
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