Brands naturally have hesitations before pouring investment into new marketing channels, but many concerns holding them back from using programmatic simply aren’t based in reality.
It’s easy for anyone exploring the use of programmatic ads for the first time to fall prey to some pretty common myths. They may view programmatic as too low in quality, too complicated, too fraudulent, or too limiting. It’s true that programmatic ads have limitations — just like on any other channel — but many of these reservations are grounded in misinformation.
So without further ado, let’s run through three of the most common programmatic myths and why they shouldn’t stop you from making the process a part of your advertising mix.
1. “The only kind of programmatic inventory is low-value.”
Many believe that programmatic inventory represents the unwanted remnants that publishers couldn’t manage to sell directly, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
It’s true that programmatic inventory varies widely by price and quality, and there’s plenty of low-cost and/or low-value inventory on these exchanges if you want it. However, advertisers can also buy extremely valuable inventory from publishers with huge audiences.
The fact that advertisers can buy guaranteed impressions directly from publishers through Programmatic Direct proves that the channel is anything but a repository for otherwise unsellable ad space.
You can also bet the industry’s excitement over Twitter’s ambition to go programmatic is driven by more than just low-quality inventory. While competitors like Facebook and Snapchat have opted to keep their exchanges closed, Twitter plans to offer advertisers greater control over their ad spend.
Still not convinced? Remember that you can use viewability as a targeting parameter, which ensures that you only buy inventory that’s more likely to be seen. Programmatic may feature a huge variety of inventory, but if you know how to manage it, the channel also gives you the necessary control to avoid buying inventory you’re not interested in.
2.“Programmatic is compromised by bot traffic and ad fraud.”
Like most other channels, programmatic advertising isn’t completely immune to fraud. Publishers hire armies of bots to view ads on their websites and then turn around and promise brands that their ads will reach legitimate users. But there are ways to avoid bot traffic and get an accurate picture of what you’re buying on a programmatic exchange.
The right programmatic vendor can mitigate the impact of fraudulent inventory. This partner knows about best practices like Ads.txt — a file used by publishers that lists all of the “Authorized Digital Sellers” of their inventory. A good partner will also understand the programmatic environment specific to your industry and use whitelists to buy from publishers whose inventory is both legitimate and relevant to your audiences.
3. “Programmatic is too complicated to add to my advertising mix.”
Of course, just because you have greater control over your programmatic ad spend doesn’t mean it’s easy. Companies new to digital marketing encounter an immense amount of inventory and split-second transactions and they come to the conclusion that programmatic’s barrier to entry is simply too high.
There’s no getting around the fact that programmatic is complicated — but it’s not too complicated. That’s where an effective partner comes in.
A good programmatic partner can simplify the entire buying process; all you need to bring to the table are a few broad campaign objectives and your target audiences. A good partner will turn that information into a strategic, custom media plan that clarifies how your agency will reach those target audiences, as well as the format of each and every programmatic ad.
When it comes to digital advertising, it’s hard to find a simpler solution than that.