Six Tips on Evaluating a Programmatic Partner: A Keynote at the Arizona 2018 MarTech Summit

As more and more programmatic solutions enter the marketplace, it has become increasingly important for brands and advertisers to be aware of the differences and benefits of their programmatic partners. At the recent MarTech Summit in Phoenix, the keynote presenter spoke directly to these brands, advertisers, and agencies on six tips to consider before entering the partnership. At R&R Partners, our programmatic media team agrees that the below tips are crucial to evaluating partnership.

  1. Transparency: Does your partner provide transparent information on reporting, data usage, and deal terms?
    • Ask questions to understand exactly what happens within your partners’ DSP. The more questions, the more integrated and aware your partner will need to be.
    • Understand what information can and cannot be shared with you. Some negotiations and deals may not be shared due to partner policies.
  2. Quality Inventory: While programmatic DSPs give you access to unlimited inventory (ad spots) across the internet, you need to ensure that your ads are being shown in quality placements.
    • Review site lists: Review, on a regular basis, the sites that your ad is being delivered on. You have the right to remove and adjust which sites are bought.
    • Viewability: Can your ad be seen? Is it above or below the fold (requiring a scroll or not)?
    • Fraud protection: Does this site have issues with bots or click fraud? Use a partner who can hold the DSP and the SSPs responsible for any fraud found, and ensure that the DSPs and SSPs you work with are both WhiteOps and TAG certified.
    • Be wary of any performance that seems “too good to be true” – it very well might be.
    • Be aware that quality supply may cost more.
  3. Demand advanced bidding strategies from your partner.
    • Think through and develop a strategy with your partner that goes beyond a standard line item.
    • Ask your partner to submit strategies for bid expressiveness, combinational bidding, and multi-line bidding to find more valuable users based on their propensity to convert.
  4. Big data
    • Find a partner who will proactively guide you on all things related to data.
    • Consider cultural/legal issues like GDPR, Cambridge Analytica, etc.
    • Consider privacy and policy changes that can be at the forefront of industry developments.
  5. Get over bad metrics.
    • Look beyond standard performance metrics like click-through rate.
    • Work with a partner whose focus is on metrics like ROAS, lift, actions taken.
  6. Keep up with the pace of change.
    • Staff up − programmatic specialists are becoming harder to find and more in demand.
    • Look for partners who have developed advanced POVs.
    • Remember, it’s not only about simply having a programmatic partner, but also knowing that that partner is going to be smart and innovative at the moment of the bid.

R&R Partners works diligently to educate and recruit staff who are forward thinking and strategic so that we can ensure the best programmatic partnerships possible. Keeping all of these considerations in mind, R&R will always continue to put growth and industry thought leadership at the forefront of our development.