How to Buy Programmatically Post-IDFA

When choosing a programmatic partner, some factors are important to consider from an advertiser’s perspective. Some DSP platforms focus exclusively on ML capabilities, optimization algorithms and might forgo the importance of their supply chain.

In truth, one of the key starting elements to run programmatic campaigns is supply. Which inventory does a partner offer? What infrastructure supports supply acquisition? How diverse and scalable is this supply?

Infrastructure QPS as a qualifier, not a winner

When it comes to infrastructure, by norm, partners would benchmark their supply capabilities by how many queries per second (QPS) their infrastructure can deliver. Although a solid infrastructure is indeed a main driver to handle higher volumes of traffic, the actual value for the client-side lies in the capacity of coupling a reliable infrastructure, a good range of integrated supply partners, and enough supply signals to drive relevancy and performance. In sum, scale is not all; supply relevancy is.

The quality and direct access to supply play a crucial part in running programmatic campaigns. It determines that your programmatic partner can reach relevant users with engaging ad formats while keeping costs under control. Quality supply scalability and low cost of acquisition continue to be a delicate but possible balance to strike.

So, does buying programmatically change in these post-IDFA times?

Programmatic Supply in the Privacy Era

In an environment where user identifiers are not available, the advertiser is left with fewer data points they can leverage. In this scenario, supply quality and, most importantly, the amount of supply signals made available for your campaigns are key to target contextually. 

For supply signals, there are many parameters and bid requests that can pass from the publisher. The issue is that those signals would have to be more homogeneous if they were to be used for more sophisticated targeting of LAT users. Publishers need to make more of their supply signals available so that the ad tech ecosystem can analyze the quality of supply better to assure that the right impressions are being targeted.

As we move to a device ID-less structure without deterministic attribution, we shift to a probabilistic measurement environment that impacts both publishers and advertisers and causes ripples in CPMs and monetization streams.

These changes have far-reaching implications on how inventory is sourced and managed in programmatic and how we measure its efficiency. Increased transparency from both SSPs and programmatic partners is necessary as advertisers will require a certain level of assurance regarding optimizing their ads’ placement and hence the budget invested in campaigns. Knowing how inventory is being bought allows for the insights needed to continue ad impact measurement and context to revenue maximization.

This transparency demands that the different parties in the industry work together to keep each other accountable and add more simplicity to the process, especially while advertisers are still trying to adapt and run programmatic in a non-device ID environment. 

So how can advertisers work together with their preferred programmatic partner? When it comes to media buying, as a programmatic provider, we can drill down on our inventory sources and their quality to analyze and curate the supply for specific campaigns.

Supply and buying the right ad formats

Although bidding and purchasing in all types of ad formats might sound like a good strategy to run scalable campaigns, having it all is not the best approach for advertisers. 

Specific ad formats are more appropriate for certain types of creative campaigns. Other ad formats might not be so relevant. It all comes down to the nature and goals of each campaign. Advertisers are better served when a partner can provide the most appropriate supply and formats depending on the creative approach of each campaign.

Choose a partner that offers you not only incredible scale but can also consult and optimize the supply inventory used to your specific needs. When showing ads to users, we do not want to spam them and create negative brand equity. We strive to be relevant and engaging. 

Even a creative whose content is not fully spot-on can be entertaining and create a positive bond between brand and user from an engagement perspective. Especially in times when campaign performance is measured by impact vs. last click, we want to make sure that each impression makes an impression.

What does an advertiser need to keep in mind when choosing a programmatic partner?

There are a few critical criteria you should respect when choosing a partner:

🔹 Demand transparency. - Do not work with platforms that hide part of their supply chain, especially when running campaigns without device IDs. This exposes you potentially to fraud and other practices which diminish your ROI.

🔹 Look for consultants vs. salespeople. - Are they asking the right questions to understand your needs, or just how much budget you would like to spend? Results are not a function of the budget spent but how to achieve your goals.

🔹 Interview partners for the newest trends in programmatic. - Do they know what’s going on beyond their day-to-day? And, can they help you to run top-notch campaigns?

🔹 Ask for clarification on their offerings and USPs. - Drill down on what they claim they do best. There are too many claims. Get proof!

🔹 Reference checks. - Check 3rd party references to get insights from existing and former customers/partners.

🔹 Trial a campaign. - Test partners on creativity, service quality, and tenaciousness to get a challenging job done. Even if the KPI set was not fully met, you would get a sense of their customer centricity and tech capabilities, enabling you to decide on whether to explore a collaboration further.

Recap

Without user identifiers, supply optimization is the first step to ensure relevancy and scale in your programmatic campaigns. Advertisers will demand more control over supply decisions to ensure all their programmatic is run with accountability and a high level of quality.

Advertisers should look for partners that can help them carve this path, who are prepared and understand how old strategies can be revamped to this new industry reality.

Interested in knowing more about how we buy and how we optimize supply? Reach out to our experts at RevX. We’re open to discuss this further and consult you on your programmatic campaigns.

Marta Gaspar

Marta is a digital marketer and a content strategist with 11 years of experience turning ideas into prose and campaigns. She likes to stay updated on the mobile marketing scene and often writes about AdTech.