To counter the growing concerns among client circles around brand-ads being served with extremist content, several of our agency partners have noted an interest shifting towards working with a programmatic TV platform.
Having had executed in that medium, I would like to share the eight factors by which I assess the viability of a vendor in the programmatic TV platform realm.
1. True Automation
The core advantage of a programmatic TV platform is the ability to optimize quickly and achieve campaign objectives. So it would make sense if the planner overseeing the campaign achieved a semblance of work-life balance, which means the platform needs to be automated on the buy and sell side. If the platform has dashboards alone, it’s not worth it.
2. Coverage Range
Achieving cross-screen engagement makes perfect sense, so beyond over the top TV and connected TV, the programmatic TV platform should have linear TV as well. It makes for really creative engagement campaigns as well.
3. Absence of Walled Gardens
Get it in writing what you will spend on the system and what will be delivered to the content creator or publisher. Many times these exchanges have intermediaries that siphon off significant quantities of ad dollars, justified as support systems. Some exchanges expect minimum budgets, which can hurt your experiments when it doesn’t add up. Enter ELI5 mode when dealing with the rep.
4. Beyond Demographics
The targeting capability in the chosen programmatic TV platform needs to be able to go deeper with the intended audience, beyond demographic segmentation. Wherever possible, inquire about the methodology behind the platform’s psychographic and behavioristic segmentation capabilities. There will be some assumptions on their part, but having that in writing and refining it on a timely basis will be your job. The platform should also be able to layer in your first and third party data without compromising the integrity of stakeholders.
5. Instantaneous Blacklisting
When content is not brand friendly, you must have the power and authority to have it blocked from your campaign ad spend indefinitely. Not temporarily, but for good. Doing so disincentivizes the platform to deal with said creator, and signals the creator that their content is unappreciated. Vote with your dollars.
6. Media Ratings Council
Every digital marketer worth his salt watched the speech by P&G’s Marc Pritchard. While there are more verification companies beyond the MRC, the vote of confidence from P&G has solidified their brand equity. It would be best for your programmatic TV platform vendor to have their claims on the audience, reach, capabilities, and claims verified. Doing so not only puts your internal team at ease but also the client.
7. Pipeline Clarity
As stated above, no walled gardens. Further, the programmatic TV platform needs to display the agreed schedule and the pipeline through which the ad dollars travel. The better the visual representation of this data, the better.
8. Opportunity Hacking
When a programmatic TV platform is truly all of the above, in that its automated, transparent, targeted, and made for marketers, then it also looks for lost opportunities and suggests them based on data collected from remaining participants.