Since the earliest days of advertising, marketers have looked for ways to make their ad dollars go further. But they’ve been plagued by wasted impressions, redundancy, and lack of measurement capabilities. Despite advances in technology, many businesses still find themselves asking the same question: How can we use ads in a more cost-effective and efficient way? New research shows that one answer lies in a consolidated approach to buying media.
With the arrival of the web, marketers commonly engaged in direct relationships with publishers in order to reserve premium digital ad inventory. And as they’ve become more tech savvy, they’ve also embraced programmatic auction buying as a more efficient method of reaching people at scale. Here’s the problem: These two approaches aren’t optimized to work side by side. By using separate systems instead of a single, streamlined workflow, marketers are losing out on performance and efficiency.
To quantify the benefits of consolidating these two media buying approaches, Google worked with Nielsen and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and found that buying media with a single tool enables marketers to reach more unique users (for the same investment in impressions) and saves time.
By using separate systems instead of a single, streamlined workflow, marketers are losing out on performance and efficiency.
Improve reach efficiency
Google worked with Nielsen to measure 10 campaigns run by large advertisers in regions around the world. We wanted to see how a siloed ad-buying approach with traditional reservation deals and programmatic auction buys managed separately stacked up against a consolidated approach with both traditional reservation deals and programmatic auction buys managed in a single platform.
With a consolidated approach, brands can control how many people they reach and how often they reach them during the purchase journey. This also translates into a better experience for consumers because it reduces overexposure.
The consolidated campaigns were run using Programmatic Guaranteed, which allows buyers to use programmatic ad technology to reserve inventory directly with publishers.
Pete Kim, co-founder and CEO of MightyHive, a programmatic-solutions partner for brands and agencies, said Programmatic Guaranteed is helping its clients “reduce inefficient, manual work and recoup wasted ad dollars that occur with siloed media buying.”
Across the 10 campaigns studied, Nielsen found that when brands consolidated their campaigns using Programmatic Guaranteed, they experienced an 11% increase in reach efficiency. That means that for the same impression investment, they reached 11% more unique consumers.
Nielsen found that when brands consolidated their campaigns using Programmatic Guaranteed, they experienced an 11% increase in reach efficiency.
In a separate study, BCG closely evaluated the ad buying and selling workflows of 40 agencies, advertisers, and publishers around the world. These companies used both Programmatic Guaranteed and traditional reservations to transact direct media buys.
BCG found that there were significant time savings for all parties when using Programmatic Guaranteed versus traditional reservations, after the upfront work necessary to streamline and simplify workflows was completed.
From insertion order to billing, media buyers in the study spent 29% less time on setup and ongoing campaign management with Programmatic Guaranteed compared to traditional reservations. And media owner study participants spent 57% less time on setup and ongoing management compared to traditional reservations.
Programmatic Guaranteed vs. traditional reservation: 57% time savings for publishers and 29% for agencies among study participants
From a process and workflow standpoint, managing multiple types of ad buys in parallel for the same campaign creates operational waste for agencies, marketers, and publishers. They end up duplicating work on budgeting, forecasting, creative reviews, and other tasks. Collectively, this “extra” work adds up to a substantial amount of time that could be spent on other higher-impact initiatives.
With greater reach for buyers and increased efficiency for both buyers and sellers, consolidating ad buys is clearly the winning strategy.