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The need for Transparency in the Programmatic Ecosystem

As an advertiser, how do I know where my money is being spent across the programmatic supply chain?

A lack of transparency in the industry has fuelled the need for a deeper look into the associated cost breakdowns of using Programmatic.

The ISBA Programmatic Supply Chain Transparency Report released in May 2020 provides us with clarity on cost attribution and next steps for the Industry moving forward.

What is the ISBA Programmatic Supply Chain Transparency Report?

The study analysed each aspect of the Programmatic supply chain, the costs at each stage and mapped out the different chains from start to end across 15 top advertisers in the UK market. Key insights are transferable and relevant to other geo markets.

It took over a year to obtain the data for this study due to challenges relating to constraints on data sharing, inconsistent data formatting and having to gather all this data from a plethora of supply chains. The 15 advertisers in the study had approx. 300 supply chains to reach 12 publishers. This in itself demonstrates the degree of complexity in the Programmatic ecosystem.

Advertiser Spend Finding

The study reveals that 51% of media spend actually ends up in the Publisher’s pocket, with 49% being attributed to agency & platform fees.

The issue here is that within this 49%, 15% of spend couldn’t be attributed – labelled as the ‘Unknown Delta’.

The need for Industry collaboration & standardisation

The ‘Unknown Delta’ highlights the problem with the lack of transparency within Programmatic. This stresses the importance for all industry participants to collaborate openly and to build a network where there is consistency around data, contributing to standardisation.

Jonas Jaanimagi, Technology lead at IAB has responded to the study and highlights that most of the required standards actually exist. Jaanimagi also talks about the adoption of these standards – “adoption requires more than simply deep product understanding and technical ability, as there needs to also be an accompanying commercial awareness of why they are important.” IAB have developed critical standards such as OpenRTB 3.0, SupplyChain Object, sellers.json and OpenData which aim to deliver integration, visibility & standardisation.

Direct Sales v’s Programmatic

Maximising Publisher revenue was one of the recommendations of the study which we at Paykel challenge, as that is not the purpose of Programmatic. Jaanimagi further validates our view as he states “to purely classify monies received by publisher as ‘working media’ as a standard convention is incorrect and remains a huge misunderstanding of a key difference between direct sales upon signed contracts and real-time bidding on open market inventory”.

Through Direct Sales campaigns, you are reaching people on a single website with basic targeting capabilities. Whereas with Programmatic, there is a diverse range of targeting options available to reach and follow your end consumer across numerous sites.

Programmatic delivers value!

Programmatic is driven by technology & data which is unlocked through selective partnerships with ad-verification vendors and DSP’s. Technology Partnerships across the supply chain provide value such as:

– Buyer Decisioning (power to buy impressions based on advanced audience targeting)

– The ability to overlay 1st, 2nd and 3rd party data sets to build attractive audience segments

– Controlling where your ad runs and blocking where necessary

– Increasing the probability of ads being Viewable

Recommendations for Advertisers

If you’re an advertiser considering Programmatic, it is important to carefully select a Media Agency who offers you transparency across demand side fees. This will ensure you have full visibility into where each dollar of your budget ends up.  Partner up with a team who is able to:

– Openly share details on their technology stack and partners (e.g. associated costs & value)

– Provide you with seamless reporting to allow for ongoing campaign monitoring

As a result of this study, Paykel hope that as an Industry we develop our knowledge of the standards already set in place and adopt these at scale to drive greater transparency within the market. In the meantime, we are happy to discuss supply chain transparency with all current and new clients.  Contact us if you’d like more information!

Contact - Sydney

Sources:

https://www.isba.org.uk/media/2424/executive-summary-programmatic-supply-chain-transparency-study.pdf

https://www.exchangewire.com/blog/2020/05/14/upgrading-transparency-standards-from-optional-carrots-to-mandatory-sticks-jonas-jaanimagi/