We’ve come a long way from ancient advertising. From traditional Egyptian papyrus signs to print, television and most recently the era of internet marketing. Since the evolution of multi-channel marketing, people have been bombarded left and right with various brand promotional messages. Favorable or not, is a different discussion altogether but the question here is their relevancy. This is where technology, in the form of new age concepts like automated guaranteed, a type of programmatic advertising, comes to our rescue.
To introduce, programmatic is an automated process of media buying and reaching your target audience that is defined by a set of attributes and demographics. Going deep in it, we have been working on a series of articles (Programmatic ads, RTB, RTB vs Programmatic ads and types of programmatic) on parts of programmatic advertising. One of the many channels of media buying to reach the right audience is automated guaranteed (otherwise called programmatic direct). Let us explore it here…
The many-named ad
Automated guaranteed (AG) has different names that are used interchangeably but much in need of an industry level consensus. They are, programmatic reserved, programmatic direct, programmatic guaranteed and programmatic premium.
Evolution of automated guaranteed
Automated guaranteed follows the traditional direct sales process model called direct orders. The only difference here is the process and the platforms automated. Automation eases the harrowing need of prospection, price negotiations and deal acceptances for publishers and advertisers, enabling an environment of efficiency and certainty.
The growth of online advertising in the last two to three decades has been phenomenal with the simultaneous evolution of media transactions. With the launch of real-time bidding, a type of programmatic, which made a fundamental shift in the way things work was a turning point. As programmatic grows with needs transforming on both sides of publishers and advertisers, a need in process innovations also began.
Then entered the ‘automated guaranteed’ for stakeholders who vouched for fixed prices and guaranteed inventories. A simple tweak to traditional media buying with automation. A process where publishers have an option to reserve their ad inventories on their site for selected advertisers on a premium or through a specific set of criteria via negotiations.
Modern day direct order
Direct order campaigns involve higher operational costs and increased efforts when compared to AG. So why stick to the manual process when AG offers a better ROI and easier method of handling deals?
Here the advertisers directly participate with the publishers in the media buying process. Package deals of ad inventories/spots on sites, negotiations that include RFP’s and further sales processes are carried out automatically through ad tech platforms and an officially fixed price.
The advertiser defines a set of criteria on general targeting attributes in which targeted users may visit a particular website or a page on that site. Then the advertiser proposes to acquire a certain ad inventory over a period of time or based on the number of impressions on that website. If available, the publisher provides the proposed number of ad inventories in a package.
Targeting of users in this type of programmatic advertising is not very sophisticated, as the targeting capability is lesser when compared to the popular programmatic ad concepts like Real Time Bidding (RTB). So this is not a user-based targeting, rather targeting users on generalized criteria. For example, sports car advertisements are displayed in an automobile blog website in the sport car review segment.
How it is carried out?
- Automation helps the advertiser develop ad campaigns by choosing the inventory and ad placement for a pre-defined number of impressions.
- Keep the creative ready for publishing before making the deals.
- After choosing the right inventory, the money value for the sale is exchanged and the campaign is set to go live automatically on the set date with the decided creative.
- Apart from a transactional relationship between the publishers and advertisers, publishers offer packages that ensure better mutual benefits.
- In fact some publishers offer ad packages as sponsored posts, brand promotions and tie-ups for a co-branding strategy with bigger brands. This attractive unique selling idea would usher in more value for the inventories that they offer.
On Buyer’s point of view
AG provides full transparency of the process to buyers on the inventory and ad placements under negotiation and the pricing. On the other hand, the publisher/seller knows about the buyer and what their advertisements are about. With the high quality ad inventory available, the buyers can opt for scheduling and launching their ad campaigns on a later date i.e., on a reserved basis which in turn results in better efficiency.
On seller’s viewpoint
In sellers or publisher’s perspective, there are less connecting platforms which in turn means less middlemen in an automated guaranteed transaction. Buyers know the sellers, website, ad price, placement, etc. Here the seller’s hand is in a better position as the only information they need to know is who the buyer is and if the set criteria is satisfied- the seller can accept the deal.
Prior to this technology, the sales team would go through a manual sales process and concentrate on repetitive tasks lacking any value. But now thanks to automation, all the repetitive mundane tasks have been replaced by technology. Sales resources can now invest that time on building strategic relationships with clients and reap long-term benefits.
Realizing the benefits of the automated buying of inventory is becoming the trend. And that is soon to be the norm in digital advertising rather than just a trend, the shift is evident very much. Trusty relationships between publishers and the advertisers in this field can be improved through more education of what is the technology and real-time experience of working on it. It’s just a matter of time and effort spent on getting acquainted and befriending technology.
Great days ahead!