Don’t Get Caught Out When Using Programmatic

Programmatic advertising is a fantastic brand- building marketing medium that is well worth investing in, yet it can be a confusing marketing tool to configure if you’ve never used it before. Often for businesses it makes sense to get an agency in to help with it but how do you know they’re truly delivering what they say? Below, we’ve listed a few points and questions which you should be keeping at the forefront of your mind when choosing an agency to work with.
What is it costing you?

When buying display advertising it is bought on a cost per mille (CPM) or cost per one thousand impressions basis. A lot of platforms will optimise to a cost per click or cost per conversion goal, but fundamentally you are paying for the number of impressions served. CPM is a far more robust means of measurement than CPC or CPA (as a served ad may or may not drive a click or conversion). Although it does fluctuate slightly due to technicalities, it’s a universal measurement.
If you are paying a flat rate for media, it’s important to know up front how many impressions you are going to get for this money thus giving you a CPM. Agreeing the number of impressions as well as a cost up front will help keep agencies honest and delivering to an agreed level throughout the duration of the campaign.
Another important cost-related question to ask is what level of commission your agency is taking. Most programmatic campaigns will be charged on a commission level, this is sometimes paired with a set-up fee. Here at Bernie transparency of costs & commission is extremely important to us. That’s why we offer industry leading, ethical propositions with the client in mind.
How premium is your inventory really?

The reach of programmatic is one of its biggest sells, however it can sometimes be its curse. Your ads can appear on a huge range of sites; however the quality of these sites will differ if not managed properly. Sometimes lower quality sites will deliver a good number of impressions at an excellent CPM; this can trigger the system to push large amounts of your budget to here, as it sees it as a top performing placement. However, this site may not be the kind of thing you want to associate with your brand consistently. A lot of agencies will try to hide this by being vague when feeding back site performance and only mention the high-quality sites your ads have appeared on. When receiving feedback on sites you need to ensure you are getting the full picture i.e. get the bad news, not just the good:
– If you are appearing on a great site like The Guardian, Mashable or MSN then how many impressions did you see on these sites?
– Which site delivered most of your impressions?
– Can you get a full breakdown of sites with impressions? Are any of these sites now blacklisted?
Landing Pages
So many agencies will charge to create landing pages for your programmatic advertising. These will be used to help measure conversions, be it sign ups, downloads, bookings etc. Many agencies will also pass these on to a developer who will charge your for covering all bills. We suggest going direct to the creative agency for your landing pages as you are sure to get a lower price.
Account/Project Management
This is another regular extra. Having the agency manage your account/project is something that is essential. So, with this extra it isn’t really an option for many people. However, you want to make sure that your agency isn’t taking the piss. This is something that all business owners will be well practiced at, but when you are unsure about the service you can sometimes have the wool pulled over your eyes. If you have an agreed hourly rate you need to make sure that you are getting what you pay for.

The first thing we do at Bernie is inform clients that they should request a monthly report and detailed run through by the agency.
When deciding on your agency you want to make sure that they are transparent, fair and know their stuff. How you can ensure this is making sure they give you detailed information and questioning it as much as possible. Additionally, always bear in mind that there may be extras, you want to decide on these wisely and always carryout your own research into the service that you are looking for and also the agencies that you are using/considering.
If you’d like to speak to Bernie about adding programmatic advertising to your marketing mix drop us a line at or give us a call on 029 2116 7960 ?

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