Crafting an amazing digital creative is extremely hard. Dozens of people engage in creating a message, copywriting, designing, and much more. Their mission is to connect the brand’s message to the desired audience in the best possible way. But at the end of that process, it all comes down to execution and delivery, and that weighs fully on the media strategists and buyers; they determine the failure or success of the campaign.
To succeed in buying media you need to understand supply paths. There are sometimes hundreds of paths to reach any desired impression, some of them are not efficient enough, and some of them are a complete fraud. According to the latest research, 15% of ad spend “vanishes” as it enters the supply chain and only 51% of a bid goes to the publisher. Optimizing these paths is crucial for the success of any campaign, this is why we are seeing a rise in SPO.
The Path is The Destination
Supply path optimization (SPO) is considered to be a direct result of the Header Bidding technique’s increased usage, which meant pathways to a single opportunity increased manyfold. This new economy is very wasteful, creating an incentive for buyers to try and determine the best path for each impression. Implementing a smart SPO process could have a massive impact on campaign results.
Transparency into the supply path is a requirement for SPO. Without a clear vision of a process, it is impossible to make it more efficient. Initiatives like ads.txt and sellers.json have gone a long way in promoting that transparency. However, even with this increased transparency, it’s not always clear to a media strategist/buyer what immediate actions they can take to improve their campaign efficiency, meet their KPIs, and raise their results.
The (Supply) Path to Success
So, how can you create an effective programmatic media strategy based on SPO principles?
First of all, you need to understand your supply path. Know your buying journey and the vendors on the way to your audience. The good thing about buying programmatically, especially now, is that transparency is up for grabs. Make good use of sellers.json and ads.txt. There is no reason to buy from vendors that don’t have a sellers.json file or publishers who don’t have an ads.txt file.
Rank your partners by their past success for reaching campaign KPIs. Look at your previous campaign data and create a list of quality media partners. For example, if you bought video inventory through five different supply paths, check which ones delivered the best results and are cost-efficient. When looking at video performance, viewability and completion rates are key metrics you want to follow; the best creative out there will not bring any value if no one sees it. So when buying video, adding a list of partners you can trust on top of your domain list would increase the efficiency of the campaign.
Cut to the chase. Once you have a trusted vendor list, always try to get closer to the source. If you can create a direct relationship/PMP with quality, dependable, efficient vendors that bring you closer to the end-user, you can take a good supply path and turn it into an amazing one, which can have a game-changing impact on your campaigns, and help you negotiate the price over what you get in the open MP.
And of course, as always with digital advertising, test, optimize and repeat. Keep on the lookout for bad pathways and new quality vendors which will make or break reaching your campaigns’ goals.
The Importance of Relationships
It’s kind of funny that programmatic media buying is often thought of as eliminating the human aspect from the buying and selling of traffic when in actual fact, relationships still have a big impact on results. As technology rapidly evolves, so do tactics, and creating and maintaining a quality programmatic setup means vetting, testing, and building strong, long-lasting relationships. In the end, these are imperative for the future success of your campaigns.
If you’re a media buyer and want to learn more about Primis media packages then reach out here.