At any given time when you walk into my apartment, you will find a collection of do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, all at varying levels of completion. From sewing quilts out of scraps of old clothing to building funky new furniture, I’m always down to try new DIY projects. While I master some projects and fumble my way through others, the experience always ends up being a great time. What can I say — I’m a sucker for the opportunity to roll up my sleeves and teach myself something new. I find myself constantly seeking out new opportunities and applications in both my personal life and professional career.
I’ll save the arts and crafts tutorials for another time, what I really want to focus on today is how you can start applying your fine-tuned DIY skills to programmatic campaign planning.
Earlier in my career at SpotX, I lead our AdOps team as director of demand operations. In this role, I was exposed to many of the challenges our buyers face when planning and executing programmatic campaigns. Through creative problem solving and collaboration, our team was able to overcome any challenge we were presented with, facilitating the opportunity for our buyers to connect with their desired audiences. Below I have shared some of my favorite tips for success. After all, Lewis and Clark would not have been able to make such a name for themselves without the help of Sacagawea. I hope you find these tips to be a helpful guide and leave you feeling inspired to begin Exploring new strategies yourself.
2 ways to begin Exploring today
Expedite activation and regain ownership of your planning strategy to ensure performance results.
It seems as though there is never enough time to thoroughly strategize for upcoming campaigns. While taking shortcuts in the planning phase of the campaign can be tempting, you will inevitably end up paying for rushed planning decisions later on throughout the duration of the flight. Often those consequences result in resource-heavy, time-consuming optimizations that leave you scrambling to get your campaign back on track, achieve KPIs, and meet your buyer’s expectations. Focusing on your unique campaign strategy upfront is well worth the extra time.
Make the most of your programmatic transactions through a combination of 1:1 private marketplace deals as well as custom curated marketplaces. Plan for ample scale and proactively screen inventory you are considering for performance. I recommend dividing the campaign specs into two categories: your must-haves, and your nice-to-haves. Must-haves are made up of variables that cannot be altered. For example, your buyer’s creative duration is 90 second and must run on LDA compliant inventory. Nice-to-haves include more flexible variables such as the player size and/or device you are looking to reach, performance expectations, and content categories that index high for your ideal audience. Start Exploring by selecting all criteria that make up your must-haves. In real-time, you will see the logos displayed within the media owner section dynamically update. Next, begin to layer over your nice-to-have criteria and continue to monitor the recommended media owners displayed as you select additional filters.
Extending my previous example, initially, I may find 15 media owners support the ad duration and audience characteristics that I am looking to reach yet only 10 of those media owners have a record of viewability performance that will meet or exceed my buyer’s expectations. I would recommend starting a curated marketplace exclusively including those 10 media owners to kick off your flight with confidence. You have every right to set your standards high and I encourage you to do so.
To activate your campaign simply select the ‘request deal’ option displayed in the lightbox for each of the media owners you are interested in buying from, fill in your contact details, and click submit. If you are a new buyer on the SpotX platform, you will be placed in contact with a representative ASAP. The online form also works well if you are an established SpotX buyer, follow the same process online and you will be connected with your existing account manager in a flash. All of the relevant deal parameters have already been accounted for using Explorer, allowing you and your SpotX rep to jump to exchanging deal IDs and activating on behalf of your buyers right away.
Identify quality inventory at scale.
Many of the buyers on our platform are currently transacting in the private marketplace. What an incredible feeling it is to have your customized blend of 1:1 direct deals and/or curated marketplaces activated and driving results you can count on. The next phase of optimization is making the appropriate adjustments to ensure you are reaching the scale needed to keep your well-oiled machine in motion.
Kicking off your campaign with strict restrictions in place will yield excellent short-term results. The long-term challenge, however, is continuing to set high-performance expectations while balancing your efforts to locate enough scale to maintain a comfortable pace throughout the full duration of the campaign flight.
It is critical to monitor your campaign the first 24-72 hours following the launch of any new curated marketplace. Use this time to ensure you are reaching the audience desired, you are seeing strong performance from the inventory you have purchased so far, you are receiving ample bid opportunities, and furthermore that your average bid price is converting into impressions served at a healthy rate. If any of these areas indicate a need for optimization, it’s important to Implement revisions to your targeting and/or bid strategy right away. Continue to monitor and analyze the initial data until your campaign has begun to stabilize.
We understand that you have a lot of stuff to keep an eye on, you have a lot of clients to keep happy, and you often feel like you do not have enough time in the day to get it all done. That is why we are here to help! While you analyze each campaign and pull the programmatic buying levers behind your DSP, the folks at SpotX are dedicated to ensuring you the highest quality possible. You can breath easy knowing everything in our marketplace has been vetted by a team of professionals, is brand-safe, and fraud-free. This guarantee allows you to buy with confidence and dedicate your valuable time resources towards targeting the consumers who are eager to engage with the brands you are buying on behalf of.
Explore finding the perfect fit for your brands through testing new content and format combinations. For example, filter your results to preview what media owners would connect your advertisers with a Live/VOD audience who loves to consume sports content on mobile devices. Once you’ve identified inventory you are interested in, you may submit a form online, screenshot your results and shoot over a quick email to your account manager, pick up the phone and give us a call, or chat with them during your next scheduled call.
When you are ready to start introducing new media owners into your custom curated mix of inventory, be sure to add in new inventory in small groups, allowing you to closely monitor how performance is impacted. A more conservative approach to introducing new inventory will relieve you of frustrating, time-consuming whack-a-mole optimizations down the line to achieve the objectives of each specific campaign. After each new batch of media owners is introduced, continue to monitor the campaign to ensure you have identified the right balance of scale and performance.
Stay in communication with your rep to ensure you are on the same page with long-term campaign goals and budget planning. While Explorer is an incredible DIY tool, what you see online is a sample of our hand-selected premium inventory and there is plenty more where that came from! After you have done some Exploring, check in with your SpotX team to let us know how it is going. If you were not able to find exactly what you were looking for or you were not able to locate enough scale, request that your rep send you additional recommendations of similar inventory.
Remember to bookmark SpotX Explorer in your browser of choice and keep coming back! The inventory details are updated on a regular basis and new media owners are added each quarter. Additionally, you will find enhancements to the interactive search filters implemented regularly as the tool becomes more robust over time. If you are not finding exactly what you need, let your SpotX representative know what you are looking and help shape the evolution of the tool.
Are you making the most of the SpotX Explorer tool? Check it out today and discover ways to scale your existing curated marketplaces, tap into live event inventory, and find the perfect fit for your upcoming campaigns.
This article was written by Michelle Hendrickson, digital marketing manager at SpotX.