More bang for your buck: The state of programmatic in NZ 

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Written for M+AD by Arnaud Calonne, Yahoo Platforms: The marketing world’s most efficient future is all about ‘strengthening the dollar’ through technology – simply put, today you get more bank for your buck by embracing technology ecosystems.

This is where programmatic advertising and software to purchase digital ads come into play for businesses and agencies. If you aren’t already buying media in real time through an automated platform, you will be soon.

The state of programmatic
Last year, the IAB Online Advertising Report revealed the total digital advertising spend to be just under $900 million in New Zealand, with just over $24 million of this allocated to programmatic advertising.

How will this growth happen? Here at Yahoo Plaftorms we’re currently seeing the below themes, which we feel will have a direct impact on growth numbers nationally.

1. Reach efficiency
Tier one agencies are moving their clients towards programmatic advertising to gain more reach and greater efficiency, accessing consumers at scale – any time, anywhere. In fact, brands are starting to use data management platforms to segment their audience and better target consumers through data as well.

2. Private marketplaces
We’re also seeing a rise in private marketplaces – a safe environment for brands. This enables advertisers to target the right users for them across premium inventory. For example, to target Yahoo’s premium inventory you can use the Brightroll Exchange, that provides high-quality video, display, and native ad inventory.

3. Deterministic data
More and more, verified data is becoming the preferred currency for marketers, as this logged-in data has proven to be more accurate in measurability when compared to inferred data. For example, when using the BrightRoll DSP you can access Yahoo’s logged-in demo data to reach consumers across all ad exchanges.

4. Adtech costs
The cost of advertising technology and the lack of expertise in this field continues to slow down the uptake. Most automated platforms will ask you for a minimum monthly investment which prevents a large number of SMBs from using the technology. In addition, the lack of specialists to train and onboard teams is a real issue in the current market in New Zealand. This needs to be made a priority.

5. Multiple technology solutions
In addition to the above, the rising number of DSPs and adtech players in New Zealand make the eco-system understandably hard to navigate, particularly if you are not in it. To make things easier for businesses looking to invest in programmatic, reach out to vendors for advice.

Transparency and brand safety
The fast pace of programmatic advertising growth brings with it a number of challenges around transparency and brand safety. Brands in New Zealand need to have a white list strategy in order to be successful.

What is white listing? To help paint a picture let me share a case study example. Until a couple of months ago, the bank JP Morgan Chase’s ads were appearing on 400,000 global sites, targeting users at scale – following their browsing habits rather than targeting specific publishers.

You would think that it is the right way to go, but now more and more brands are finding their ads popping up next to toxic content like fake news sites or offensive Youtube videos.

After investigation, the bank found that out of the 400,000 web addresses where their ads were running over 30 days, only 12,000 (or 3%) led to an activity beyond an impression. On top of this, only 5000 sites (1.25%) were deemed appropriate by the brand.

Now they’ve decided to advertise on pre-approved sites only, a strategy known as ‘white listing’ at the risk of missing out on audience reach and efficiency.

There are many global and local publishers with great quality content that need to be whitelisted at the expense of reach, if brand safety is a key concern.

As a business you are paying for an ad to be served, so it’s important to understand if it was viewed by a human eye and/or was fraudulent. It’s important to partner with a vendor that can help answer these questions and ensure brand safety.

Programmatic isn’t hard
Buying media in real time through an automated platform allows marketers to reach their audience at scale.

However this doesn’t guarantee the brand will appear in a brand safe environment; it could be seen against toxic user generated content. There is no single solution that is 100% bulletproof and trusting the technology alone is not a viable solution. Ultimately, marketers have to work with a trusted partner to ensure effectiveness.

Today, there are a number of automated platforms you can use to reach consumers online, in the right way for your brand. All the DSPs available in New Zealand have access to the same display inventory so there are a number of providers to choose from.

Do your research and ask the right questions, including:

  • Do they provide a local support team in New Zealand – a team on the ground to help you with face-to-face training?
  • Can they provide a scalable solution, moving from a managed service to a self-service?
  • Do they provide full transparency?
  • What is unique to the platform or what added value do they bring? For example, first party data and location based targeting based on devices IDs.

Once you find the right partner to help your business take that next step, it isn’t hard. Now is the time to embrace programmatic.

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