Marketing | 05 MIN READ

5 Ways to Combat Programmatic Advertising Challenges

Programmatic ad buying is quickly becoming the norm, with AOL claiming that 92% of marketers are now using the technology despite persisting programmatic advertising challenges. Spend on programmatic advertising is increasing and thus is becoming a more mainstream form of advertising that advertisers feel is more accessible. This article will solve 5 of your biggest programmatic advertising challenges and to run more successful programmatic advertising campaigns.

1. Programmatic Advertising Algorithms

For advertisers and marketers, algorithms are becoming a more dominant part of their work. Algorithms rule the way that we create content, post content and now advertise. While robots are more efficient than humans (sorry humans) and often help to avoid contextual advertising errors. Unfortunately, algorithms sometimes get it wrong. In the best case, the ad will be irrelevant to the viewer. In the worst case scenario, your ad could end up showing on a website or web page that can damage your brand’s reputation or being entirely inappropriate for your target audience. While there is a lot of math and science behind algorithms, advertisers can still take steps to help prevent becoming victims to poor or inappropriate programmatic ad placement.

Advertisers should make sure that their targeting is well thought through. Only aiming for single keywords or behaviours often isn’t enough to produce the outcomes that you want. It is also essential to choose suitable programmatic advertising platform that fits your needs, and that will allow you to reach your target audience so that your can always provide relevant advertising.

However, as this market becomes even more competitive, we can expect Programmatic providers to build better targeting and better solutions, which is great news for advertisers.

2. Viewability and Impression Fraud

Some experts have identified ad fraud as the most significant programmatic advertising problem that needs resolving. Ad fraud had become such an important area that even companies such as Google and AppNexus have started selling “fraud-free” ads in the last couple of years. One type of fraud that programmatic advertisers are concerned about is impression fraud. Impression fraud is when ad impressions are falsely generated to inflate some impressions made causing advertisers to spend more money. Along with click fraud, this is not a new problem advertisers face. As far back as 2005 Google was battling with these types of bots and implementing measures to combat them. One way that advertisers can do to avoid advertising fraud is to opt for programmatic advertising platforms that offer transparency, have a good reputation and even enforce safeguards against ad fraud.

Viewability of ad impressions, in general, continues to be an important subject within online display advertising and is a significant challenge for programmatic advertisers. According to the IAB, in online advertising viewability refers to viewable ad impressions. The criteria for an ad impression to be considered viewable  is as follows:

Desktop display ads are considered viewable if 50% of their pixels are in view for a minimum of one second and for desktop video that standard is 50% for 2 seconds. Also, the standard stipulates that for larger desktop ad units, 30% of pixels in-view for 1 second constitutes a Viewable ad. Custom ad units and important ele ments of sponsorships are not consistently measurable today.

The viewability of ads is a challenge for programmatic advertising because inventory, for the most part, bought per impression. Advertisers will naturally only want to pay for the impressions that have been viewed by a human, and not for ones that are served but not viewed. Therefore, it is essential that for programmatic advertising to be successful and solve one of its biggest criticisms and strive for 100% viewability. This programmatic challenge is being addressed by institutions such as IAB and companies such as Google, who seem to understand the importance of striving towards 100% viewability.

3. Ads for All Screens

It’s no secret that we are living in a multi-screen world — and more screens are coming in the form of wearables. While programmatic ad buying has been very focused on desktop ads; it will be video and mobile programmatic spending that will help to grow the area. Why is this a challenge? Many advertisers are still using Flash banners that cannot be viewed on mobile, or ads that are not optimized for mobile and, therefore, make the viewing experience uncomfortable. It’s time for online advertisers to learn how to build responsive mobile ads in HTML5 to great campaigns that work on all screens.

4. Programmatic Advertising Knowledge

Programmatic is pumped with jargon and half-defined terms. If you’ve ever felt like you need a Ph.D. tackle programmatic, then you’re not alone. It’s not secret that advertisers and marketers feel like they lack in programmatic advertising knowledge, in fact, it seems that we know that it’s something important but not sure exactly what. Within programmatic advertising this is a challenge to solve. However, if solve it will lead to a much better industry full of experts and better advertisers which consumers will be able to reap the benefits of too through viewing better more relevant advertising.

5. Creatives for Programmatic

Whilst ad buying technology has developed a lot solve the past couple of years, for the most part, the creative building process hasn’t. Programmatic users are now realising that in order to make the most of programmatic’s powerful targeting technologies, then it is essential to create a variety of creatives. However, creating this many creatives manually is slow and incredibly expensive. Advertisers are now looking for programmatic creative solutions that automate portions of the ad building process and allow for changes on the fly, for example. Programmatic creative solutions will make programmatic ad buying more powerful than ever. There are already solutions available, advertisers just have to start using them.

Programmatic advertising spending is set to grow, and as the area develops theses challenges will be solve and more challenges will present themselves. Now is the time to start getting into the programmatic game if you want to give you brand the advantage.

Final Thoughts: Benefits and Challenges

There are programmatic advertising challenges, as there is with any revolutionary method or new advanced technology. However, the advancements that have come with the development of programmatic advertising certainly outweigh any short term challenges that can be solved by the industry, programmatic providers and those using programmatic advertising. The areas is still one that is clearly developing and maturing as more marketers and advertisers increase their spend on programmatic advertising. For now, here is how you can solve the challenges that programmatic advertisers face:

  • Get familiar with how programmatic advertising platforms and targeting works to make sure that you don’t fall victim to algorithms that go wrong;
  • Be aware of ad viewability. Do your research in the area and find out how your programmatic advertising platform measures ad impressions.
  • Choose an programmatic advertising provider with a good reputation that actively tries to prevent ad fraud
  • Built display ads with HTML5 and are optimised for mobile so that they can be viewed on all screens.
  • Before taking on the challenge of investing in programmatic advertising, make sure you have some knowledge in the area or consult someone who does. A poor lack of knowledge in programmatic can lead to campaigns that are not as successful as they could be with expert insight;
  • Programmatic advertising is all about buying relevant inventory that will reach your ideal customers. Optimise your programmatic advertising campaigns by producing a large amount of creatives that are personalised for all your different target groups so increase your click-through rate.
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