Advertisers’ body releases guide to help optimise programmatic adspend

By our News Team | 2022

Organisation says its recommendations will help marketers to make informed decisions on the value of each technology and service offering.

Programmatic media buying is a common element of the modern marketing mix, but it can be a complex process fraught with inefficiency and less-than-optimal ROI.

Now the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) in the US has introduced its first guide to help CMOs streamline the programmatic media-buying process.

The ANA said the recommendations included in The CMO’s Guide to Programmatic Transparency could generate US$8-billion to US$16-billion globally in savings each year that could be reinvested to help drive business and economic growth.

Programmatic Buying

Hybrid: Photo by HubSport blog

Subtitled “A Step-by-Step Guide to Help CMOs Maximize Their Investment, Written by the World’s Foremost Experts,” the guidelines were created by the ANA’s CMO Global Growth Council and assembled by more than 30 contributors and partners.

“It has been estimated that for every dollar spent in programmatic channels, less than half goes to showing digital ads,” the guide states. 

“It has been estimated that 40 to 65 percent of every dollar spent programmatically goes to the publisher; the balance is spent on the services, technology, and data that power programmatic buying. Without visibility into all the cost drivers of a programmatic campaign, advertisers lack the data to make informed decisions on the value of each technology and service offering.”

The guide states that the key objective for marketers is to control the purse strings in the programmatic process and establish leverage by demanding transparency from their agencies and digital platform partners. To achieve that goal, marketers should:

  • Crawl: Know who they are working with and what they are paying for.
  • Walk: Understand the functions and benefits of what they are paying for.
  • Run: Leverage the functions and benefits of what they are paying for.
  • Fly: Maximise the performance of each technology to ensure alignment with current and future business needs.

Each of those steps is elaborated upon in the guide with prompts, including questions to ask, standards to expect, standards to enact, potential outputs, suggestions for internal reflection, and post-phase considerations.

“Most companies are paying more than they have to for their media supply chain,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. “This is due to factors such as the rapid development of programmatic ad buying, a lack of transparency, the overlap of many providers and services, and the complexity of the process itself. This guide will help marketers overcome those obstacles and significantly reduce their programmatic costs.”

Based on the successes achieved in improving programmatic buying efficiencies for their own companies and industries, the guide’s authors recommended that marketers take these steps:

  • Gather all existing bills associated with the media supply chain.
  • Break down the expenses to the most granular level possible, aligning the bill items to the programmatic cost items.
  • Reach out to suppliers to understand the line items that are not broken down to a granular level.
  • Create a process to get access to this data on an ongoing basis.
  • Make formal requests for the data that is not broken down.
  • Prioritise the things that can be addressed first, such as agency and platform fees.
  • Establish a process for tracking all progress.

The CMO’s Guide to Programmatic Transparency can be accessed on the ANA website here.