Guide

7 Potential Pitfalls of Programmatic Display & How to Avoid Them

Make the most of display advertising – find out how to spot potential problems with your display campaigns and how to overcome them.

Programmatic display offers a wealth of opportunity. To utilise display advertising to its full potential, you need to know how to avoid the common pitfalls. In this guide we’ll tell you what to look out for and how we deal with these challenges.

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The opportunity presented by digital display advertising is huge – but many brands are either nervous to get involved or don’t feel like they’re getting the most out of their media spend.

There’s risk in display, as there is in any investment, but here at Coast Digital we believe that risk is worth the reward.

In this guide, we’ll look at 7 potential pitfalls you should be aware of when approaching programmatic display, and what steps we take to avoid them for our clients. Find out about:

  • Ad fraud
  • Brand safety
  • Viewability

and much more…

Simply fill out the form below to get your free pdf copy, or read the guide online further down the page!

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7 Potential Pitfalls of Programmatic Display & How to Avoid Them

  1. Programmatic Display
  2. Brand Safety
  3. Ad Fraud
  4. Viewability
  5. How We Protect Our Clients
  6. Attribution Modelling
  7. Transparency
  8. Closed Box Syndrome
  9. Service
  10. Let’s talk…

 

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Programmatic Display

The opportunity presented by digital display advertising is huge – but many brands are either nervous to get involved or don’t feel like they’re getting the most out of their media spend.

There’s risk in display, as there is in any investment, but here at Coast Digital we believe that risk is worth the reward.

In this guide, we’ll look at 7 potential pitfalls you should be aware of when approaching programmatic display, and what steps we take to avoid them for our clients.

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eMarketer have reported that more than 80% of digital display ads will be bought programmatically this year.

 

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1. Brand Safety

When it comes to display, brand safety goes beyond simply what you are saying – you also need to consider what you’re being seen next to.

The power of programmatic display is it’s ability to find relevant users wherever they are online. However, if there are websites you wouldn’t want your brand to appear on then you need to be sure your display provider is taking the right steps to prevent some potentially harmful associations for your brand.

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Questions to ask:

  • Which sites have my ads been shown on?
  • Which sites have been excluded?
  • What technology are you using to protect my brand?

 

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2. Ad Fraud

Ad fraud is when false traffic is sent through your ads in order to charge you for the clicks or impressions.

The issue here is that you’re meant to be paying for legitimate impressions and traffic from your target audience. Ad fraud takes your money and gives you nothing in return.

Ad fraud is a growing problem – if you don’t ensure your provider is protecting you, you’re more than likely going to lose out.

Advertisers will lose an estimated $19 billion to fraudulent activities in 2018, equivalent to $51 million per day – BusinessWire

 

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3. Viewability

When we talk about viewability, we’re talking about how many of the ad impressions you’re paying for have actually been viewed by real people.

Some of this comes back to ad fraud – an impression served to a bot is not a viewable impression.

However, it’s not always about who the impression is served to. It’s sometimes about the site that impression is served on – for example, the ad could be hidden from users on the browser.

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Want to know more about viewability?
Read our blog article: Viewability – Why it’s Important for Brands & Agencies

“Programmatic has levelled the playing field. Our clients with smaller budgets and spends can now compete in this highly lucrative arena – in ways that weren’t possible before” – David Wharram – CEO, Coast Digital

 

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How We Protect Our Clients

We use the latest and greatest technology to ensure our display clients can rely on their brand being treated the right way, that our impressions are viewable and that the traffic we receive is legitimate.

Expert quality monitoring

 

Brand safety partnerships

 

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4. Attribution Modelling

Due to the fact that display is often a top of funnel activity, it can suffer when you apply traditional Last Click attribution modelling to your activity.

Users may not convert the first time they see your display ad, but if that display ad inspires them to later search for your brand and convert from a PPC ad then which piece of activity deserves the credit?

Being able to close the loop on this is vital, as it allows you to make intelligent business decisions down the line – after all, if you don’t know what your display activity is contributing to, then you can’t assess what to do with your media budget.

attribution modelling

Various attribution models exist that can help you understand the impact of your display advertising, including:

  • First click
  • Linear
  • Position based
  • Time decay

Want to know more about attribution modelling? Watch our free webinar: Attribution Modelling 101

 

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5. Transparency

While the possibility of ad fraud puts a question mark over where and how ads are served, there are also questions to be asked about the fees your display provider is charging you.

This comes down to reporting – the campaign reports your display provider supplies you with need to do more than show you the results of your campaign, they need to show you what you’re being charged and for what.

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Questions to ask:

  • Do I understand what I’m being charged?
  • Do I understand what I’m getting for that money?

 

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6. Closed Box Syndrome

The systems that make programmatic display can be fairly mind boggling, but the reality is the AI at the heart of it all can drive some impressive results.

However, that doesn’t mean it should be a hands off process. Human expertise still has a role to play in the delivery of the best possible results.

While you can input all your variables into the system, close the box and then only come back once the campaign is completed, if you’re really going to get the best results for your money you want a human expert improving things along the way.

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Questions to ask:

  • What has been learned from the performance of the campaign?
  • What optimisations were made during the campaign to improve results?

 

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7. Service

While it might seem that putting your budget with a big agency will get you the best results, the reality is your money will likely get lost amongst bigger numbers.

As we’ve mentioned before, between ad fraud, viewability and the temptation to let the machine do a ‘good enough’ job, its easy to see how you won’t get the best results for your money without a dedicated team overseeing your campaign.

That’s why you need to make sure that whoever you choose to run your media budget is going the dedicate the necessary time to make the most of it.

“It amazes me how much time and effort goes into analysing programmatic performance but so rarely is the ability of the person operating the tech questioned (or in some cases even seen). The difference between a good trader and a poor trader is one of the biggest reasons why a campaign will or will not work” – Wayne Bloodwell (Founder and CEO of the Programmatic Advisory)

 

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Let’s talk…

Our dedicated experts create programmatic display campaigns that deliver

Programmatic display can feel like a bit of a minefield, whether it’s your first time or your hundredth. However, with the right team running your campaigns programmatic can also be extremely profitable. You just need the right experts, dedicating the time and due diligence necessary to deliver.

So, if you’ve never done display before and you need someone to build you a strategy from the ground up, or if you are currently running display campaigns and you aren’t seeing the return you’re looking for then we can help.

You don’t need a massive budget, if you’ve got £5,000 media spend then we can get you the results you need.

Find out more – get in touch today.

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