Finding the perfect match: What to look for in a technology partner

Chris Le May 2015[1]

Chris Le May, Country Manager UK & Nordics at DataXu

Consumers don’t stick to one channel, so your marketing shouldn’t either. Although mobile is taking a larger chunk of advertising budgets each quarter, it’s often still looked at in isolation. In this increasingly connected world it becomes essential though that marketers understand the whole customer journey and adapt the way they engage with their target audience accordingly. By using a programmatic approach to marketing, advertisers can better engage with prospects and customers, understand their path to purchase, optimise content, develop better buying strategies and glean actionable insights.

The first, and maybe the hardest, step to implementing an omni-channel programmatic marketing strategy is to find the right partner. Here we’ve listed five characteristics to look for.

 

Essential partner capabilities[1]

Figure 1: Essential Partner Capabilities

 

  1. Engage customers throughout their customer journey

The mobile phone is a consumer’s most personal device. Recent Ofcom statistics show that 62% of UK adults own a smartphone and a third of mobile users make purchases on their device. So what role does mobile play in the path to purchase? Working with an omni-channel programmatic platform helps marketers answer this question and more. Your technology partner should be able to measure which channels, in which sequence and with which creative messages were most effective. These real time insights can then be used to inform future campaigns.

  1. Activate data across an entire media plan

Mobile is a significant part of any modern marketer’s media plan and huge volumes of mobile and tablet inventory, alongside display, rich media, video and social media are available to buy in real time. There are different ways of accessing this inventory and your programmatic partner should be able to not only execute your open exchange buys, but also your private exchange and ‘direct’ buys. Find a platform that offers buyer controls to let you define inventory quality so that you only purchase inventory that meets your criteria.

  1. Transparency is key

True transparency is one of the promises of programmatic. We’ve broken it down into three main types and a good partner will offer them all:

  • Media transparency Find out where your digital ads are being served and who is engaging with them. Ask your partner for full domain or site-level reporting that includes impression, click and action counts. This shows you how effective mobile is compared to video or display and how channels can work together.
  • Management transparency – Request confirmation that the campaign setup and targeting requirements are being met. True programmatic platforms will have a user interface they can show.
  • Tactic transparency – Know which campaign tactics, such as Retargeting or Prospecting, are spending, performing and scaling. Marketers should not just know that their campaign is performing, but why it’s performing.
  1. Programmatic expertise and education

Compared to display or TV advertising, mobile is a relatively new marketing channel and when it comes to programmatic marketing, mobile marketers are often ahead of their peers. The latest IAB UK study revealed that 37% of mobile ads (display and video) are already being traded programmatically. As digital spend, and programmatic in particular, carries on rising, the need for continued market education is clear. Keep this in mind when choosing a technology vendor as they’re often seen as the experts, the trusted advisors. Don’t underestimate the importance of having a partner that has the training, service and support you need to succeed – in your time zone!

  1. Innovation on a global scale

In such a fast moving industry, brands and vendors can work together to create unique solutions that drive the whole industry forward. The opportunities for more personalised, one-to-one communications are huge, especially with location based offers on mobile devices. So as a final check, make sure your technology partner is investing in the future – it’s not just about what they do today but what they can build tomorrow. Have they got the capabilities to execute global campaigns in local language and currency? How much are they spending on R&D? The answers to these questions will give you a good indication of how much they’re investing in innovation.

Written by:

Chris Le May,

Country Manager UK & Nordics

at DataXu

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