How to find the right Programmatic Advertising partner


This article was published in the Adzine on June 1, 2016. (AVAILABLE IN GERMAN ONLY)

The interaction of dynamic communication concepts, creative services, data management and media buying for a successful programmatic advertising not only requires a guiding hand in organization, but also a lot of expertise in the sub-disciplines.

We have put together a nine-point plan that contains criteria that should be taken into account when choosing your programmatic advertising agency:

1. Strategic Expertise with Development Potential

Given the fact that programmatic advertising offers the opportunity to create truly user-specific and data-driven advertising, campaign planning requires strategic expertise that enables a deep understanding of the customer's vision along with an effective and efficient combination of strategy, data and creative performance. In addition, a professional agency should also be able to further develop personnel and organizational structures if required by the client.

2. Transparency is not a Buzzword

Programmatic Advertising is always teamwork because of the necessary interaction of the sub-disciplines. Comprehensive transparency towards the customer is therefore essential. The agency should understand transparency not only as a buzzword and should avoid relying exclusively on media. The aim is to enable the client to develop a self-image for data-driven approaches through knowledge transfer.

3. The Integration of the Customer’s Systems

The integration of existing customer data structures, such as CRM and data management platform (DMP) systems, should always be a primary concern of the agency, not only because of the high data quality to be expected, but also for reasons of economy.

4. Proven Data-related Know-how

Comprehensive data expertise is a basic prerequisite for an agency operating in the programmatic advertising environment. As for qualified personnel, proof should be requested.

5. Experience in Data Analysis

Analytical understanding goes hand in hand with data expertise. With the help of data analysis, the agency should be able to identify, understand and correctly interpret highly complex interrelationships, depending on the alignment, structure and age of the advertising company. Analytical skills determine the quality of the information on the basis of which strategic, operative and tactical decisions are made.

6. Strong Diversification with Multi-channel Expertise

An agency that carries out programmatic media buying can no longer get by with just a demand side platform. The range of possible measures is too diverse, as is the consumption of media by the end consumer (both at B2B and B2C level). Proven expertise in the modulation of multichannel campaigns and cross-device approaches is required in order to efficiently use a large number of channels.

7. Independence for the Benefit of the Customer

Independence implies freedom of choice and means that the customer can act in a much more diverse and often faster way. No consideration has to be given to the wishes of third parties.

8. Driven by Innovation at the Data Level

Ask the agency about its innovation claim! If they don't have a reasonable answer to this question, they probably won't offer you future-oriented solutions either. There is an exponential growth in the data-driven environment. With more than 5,000 different providers and solutions, it is downright negligent not to put customers in the best possible starting position at a technical level. This is even the more relevant since the technical aspect in particular offers an opportunity to stand out from the competition.

9. Conformity with Terms of Values and Forms of Cooperation

“Act in haste, repent at leisure” ... Agency and customer should have the same understanding regarding their values and forms of cooperation. Care should be taken to ensure that the agency fulfills its guiding principles with the right staff. Keep in mind that a continuous development of a company’s success may be jeopardized when the agency is meek and mild about every demand of the client. In the absence of advisory expertise within the cooperation, the agency may finally be useless for the customer.

10. Stay Honest and Don't Gloss Things over.

"Actually, the goal would have been to establish the mandatory ten-point plan. However, point ten would have been merely window dressing. This, however, should have long since been outdated in Programmatic Advertising," emphasizes Siamac Alexander Rahnavard, Managing Partner of Echte Liebe, summarizing the core of the checklist: "Competence, honesty and teamwork are in demand when it comes to advising customers in the best possible way.

The programmatic advertising certificate of the German Federal Association of the

Digital Economy (BVDW) provides assistance when selecting a suitable programmatic advertising partner. The certificate ensures a high-quality standard in the fields of strategic advice and operational campaign management. For the first time, agencies were evaluated this year by a neutral authority in the following fields: Working methods (40%), customer satisfaction (30%), experience (20%) and commitment to the market (10%). The evaluation also takes into account selected customer projects.

Many of the points mentioned in the nine-point plan by Echte Liebe are also examined as part of the BVDW certification.

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