Can Greater Transparency Increase Mobile Programmatic Advertising in 2019?


By Inbar Chap, Chief Business Officer, Appreciate

Though there were many efforts to clean up the programmatic media buying ecosystem in 2018, most notably the growing adoption of Ads.txt, there is still work which needs to be done.

Issues like bid caching and the continued concerns about supply chain transparency, including media rebates and other pricing issues, as well as fair and honest data usage practices, continued to test the industry last year. When one issue appeared to be solved, more immediately appeared.

Therefore, to encourage marketers and agencies to increase their investments in mobile programmatic advertising, the programmatic solution providers should focus on the following—

1. Give customers access to the dashboard with all of their data:

One of the key benefits provided by mobile programmatic tech vendors is access to marketer data. Through integrations with multiple partners, including exchanges, attribution systems, and DMPs, programmatic tech vendors have a bird’s-eye view of the marketer’s campaign. Therefore, programmatic vendors need to be sharing access to this data with their agency and marketer clients to enable them to see the data for every single impression served, including publisher, section/vertical content area, page, geographic targeting, creative, ad unit, exchange/platform, etc., just like marketers/agencies see when they buy TV, radio or print.

Marketers and agencies should also be able to monitor campaign performance in near real-time according to any marketer KPI. In fact, mobile programmatic vendors need to make open, accessible and migratable data part of their offering.  They don’t lose anything by giving customers access to their data – they gain customer trust.

2. Be transparent about your traffic acquisition:

In 2017, P&G’s Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard famously said: “we don’t want to waste time and money on a crappy media supply chain.”

Two years later, though things have improved (for P&G), there is still more work to be done, particularly for marketers smaller than P&G.

According to research from media agency TRUTH last year, 79% of programmatic ad buyers are worried about the levels of transparency in their supply chain, while 77% agree that a cleaner media supply chain would free up money for better advertising and innovation.

Due to the many documented issues with fraudulent or simply bad traffic acquisition, mobile programmatic technology providers have an obligation to be as transparent as possible by providing all available information about the publisher, exchange, geographic targeting, ad types, connection, and ad categories. By being transparent, providers ensure that the programmatic buying experience is positive, which ultimately will help them win a greater share of that marketer or agency’s business.

In addition, mobile programmatic vendors need to be transparent regarding the auction process – how much was offered for each bid as well as the prices of the winning auction. Real transparency begins with programmatic auctions, so programmatic vendors need to show their clients complete details about each bid/publisher as well as the clients win rate while providing the actionable reason why the client is not winning in each auction.

3.  Be open about automation and optimization:

Though mobile programmatic technology companies have every right to keep their proprietary technology proprietary, this should not stop them from providing marketers and agencies with necessary information regarding how automation technology and optimization algorithms work. Programmatic technology companies should provide customers with relevant best-practices that will enable their clients to maximize their efforts and improve campaign performance without divulging their secret sauce. For example, Appreciate enables marketers and agencies to A/B test between manual and algorithmic optimization so that they can see the difference enabled by the machine learning technology and understand how best to work with our technology to generate the best campaign performance.

4.  Give your customers control:

Mobile programmatic tech providers can win more business by giving their customers control over as much of their programmatic advertising as possible. Let marketers and agencies start and stop campaigns whenever they want, and let them choose which ad units and creative will run on which publishers. Instruct them how to work most effectively with your automation and optimization technology and how best to bid on impressions programmatically.

Mobile programmatic tech vendors can take it one step further by enabling self-service campaign management that will provide end customers with even more control.

Ultimately, by giving marketers and agencies complete data access and unencumbered control from a transparent mobile programmatic partner, they will gain the true benefits of programmatic advertising – safer and cleaner campaigns which are more cost-effective – and everyone will win.

About the Author

Inbar Chap is the Chief Business Officer at Appreciate, a programmatic mobile bidding platform, where she manages teams supporting the company’s growing client base while expanding awareness of their unique in-app DSP worldwide. Inbar started her way in the digital world in 2003 at DSNR where she acquired digital advertising ecosystem know-how during the industry’s formative years, and served as a major force for constructing and managing the companies within the DSNR Media Group (DMG). When she’s not engaging with digital media and programmatic advertising, she’s enjoying her time with her husband and three boys.


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