Personalized Video and Transparency in a Programmatic Market

Jeff Hirsch June 12, 2015
Personalized Video and Transparency in a Programmatic Market

Programmatic advertising is growing rapidly around the world, and particularly in the UK. A forecast from Socintel360 indicates the UK programmatic ad market will be the third largest in the world based on the countries it tracked. When it comes to programmatic video, the IAB Europe predicts growth at an 82 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) across Europe from 2012 to 2018.

The quick growth can be attributed to the many benefits programmatic buying brings to advertisers, from better targeting to real-time adjustments. As more marketers look to deliver relevant, personalized ads, programmatic offers the only way to identify a target viewer and serve an ad personalized according to that viewer’s attributes, all in real time.

In order to fully reap the benefits of data-driven programmatic targeting, we must first overcome several key challenges, one of which is transparency. A study by AppNexus, IAB Europe and WARC found that nearly 92 percent of professionals across Europe feel that the relationship between buyers and sellers of digital inventory is not completely transparent. As automation transformed the ad buying process, advertisers were presented with more unknowns and new complexities, sparking questions about true costs of media buys and where ads are running.

Transparency stems from the quality of partners – from agencies to tech vendors and so on – you choose to do business with. In today’s digital advertising world, there cannot be just one source for media buying. If you are focused on building comprehensive engagement with your customers, you will need multiple buying sources, in and out of the programmatic world. It’s up to you to choose partners that help you build value based on your definition of it while providing the level of transparency you need.

At SundaySky, we’re able to deliver the value and strong results we do because our SmartVideo technology couples the creative execution and media buy together to deliver real-time, personalized video ads:

  1. SmartVideo technology decides which user to target and when is the ideal time to target, then bids on inventory.
  2. Once the bid is won, SmartVideo technology then determines which creative assets and scenes to include in the ad, and delivers a personalized ad relevant to the viewer at that instant.

Decoupling the media buy and creative functions would lead to a steep decrease in performance. With this full-stack approach, we’re able to track, measure and optimize against many parameters that influence the media buying decisions, ad selection and ad content decisions. We can implement a 1×1 pixel to send user data variables back to our master data repository in real time to optimize not just when to buy and how much to bid, but also what to show and how to best present it to each individual viewer. For instance, these variables include:

  • Recency since user visited the site
  • Number of pages viewed, last page viewed, time on site
  • Cart started, cart stage, cart complete, products in cart
  • Time of day
  • Day of week
  • Product and product category
  • Placement (exchange, publisher & URL)
  • Contextual information about the video the user is about to see
  • User information (e.g. geolocation, IP)
  • Device information (e.g. OS, browser, version)

When both the ad creative content and the media buy are informed in real time by demographic, contextual, behavioral or geographic data, optimal efficiency is married to deeply relevant and effective personalized video ads. Take a look at a personalized video ad from Cox’s SmartVideo Advertising program and view the full consumer experience here:

No matter the approach you take or technologies you use, your partners should care as much about the quality and image of your brand as you do. We focus on delivering the best possible advertising experience in digital video and buy only in-stream, user-initiated, non-skippable pre-roll ads to ensure both a great brand experience and outstanding performance. We work with our customers to agree on target sites, blacklisted sites and can always provide inventory transparency with URL-level data.
If vendors are unable or unwilling to provide you with CPM pricing and inventory transparency and work with you in a way that makes sense for your business, it’s time to find a new partner.

Do you have more questions about programmatic advertising? Want to learn how to lift conversions, sales and revenue with a personalized video advertising program? Tweet me at @jkhirsch.

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