1goldenRSpree7, a digital media consulting and programmatic implementation firm that has been acquired by MediaMath end of last year, published ‘10 Golden Rules’ for programmatic media buying any marketer should keep in mind.

Especially, since there is just as much risk of fraud in online marketing as in the conventional media planning. The risk, however, can be reduced most reliably when the full value chain is made transparent.

Programmatic campaign planning, and in particular the rapid developments in data collection and processing, make digital purchase strategies seem to be non-transparent at first glance. But the developed complexity poses for advertisers at least as many opportunities as challenges, as the technology allows to optimize automated campaigns more detailed with defined tools.

Here are Spree7’s useful "10 Golden Rules" for a quality-focused, programmatic purchase:

1. Avoid package bookings: Seemingly cheap package solutions, run-on-network bookings, or non-transparent URLs offer more gateways for fraud than bookings, whose origin is clearly identifiable and based on an individual item level. It should always be possible to verify placement, frequency and duration of controlled advertising materials.

2. Involve digital security experts: There are by now highly specialized providers for programmatic campaigns that check commercials automatically based on quality, context and visibility. And it really pays off to invest in quality: Providers, such as e.g. Integral Ad Science, identify bots and block suspicious advertisements automatically before they are traded.

3. Apply manual planning deliberately: Media plans, on the basis of programmatic advertising technology, are not created in a completely automated way. As the first step, the inventory that’s suitable for bookings should be defined by traders and analysts. Further, planning tools support programmatic experts a priori in minimizing inventory of minor value or non-human traffic. The technology itself is a planning and purchasing mechanism that does what the conceptual designer predefines and the additional value is created by creative designers and optimizers.

4. Focus on global technology with local expertise: Global scalable solutions with broad available inventory and data offer a maximum range of commercials and auctions. Connected local vendors then add the human expertise a high-quality programmatic campaign should not go without and the technology provider should be able to demonstrate that offers can be continuously enhanced and be open-minded about the integration of external tools.

5. Choose open technology: For campaigns that want to live up to holistic expectations, the number of technology attainable channels - such as display, mobile, video, or social media and special advertising forms (such as e.g. Native Advertising), are highly relevant. Therefore, stay tuned on trends and continuously expand your offers. A handful of providers, for instance, even started already to combine channels such as print –formerly not able to be automated - with programmatic purchasing platforms.

6. Demand and use a high transparency level: Marketing decision-makers can expect to get informed in detail by the agencies and internal experts on every link in the programmatic value chain. The usual suspects involved are a media agency, a technical supplier, an inventory aggregator and, at the end of the chain, the owner of the inventory. On request, it should be possible to gain knowledge from every advertising delivery, each data segment, inserted targeting, or used tool.

7. Retain control of your data: Data is the gold of each campaign, valuable for current and future campaigns and expensive in the collection. Accordingly, it is crucial to be able to use the data obtained exclusively as a competitive advantage and use technology independently.

8. Assess direct contacts properly: Fast and good customer service is the lifeblood for time-critical bug fixes, as well as technical standards and content support. Therefore, consider that providers who offer only anonymous email support, generally can’t meet the concerns of many advertisers.

9. Dense knowledge updates have priority: Marketing technologies are developing rapidly and demand much more from those in charge of digital marketing than before. In order to line-up campaigns close to the reality of the consumer, it is worth to invest in meshed knowledge updates regarding digital marketing.

10. Self-service of media buying as a development option: Some advertisers are already investing heavily with the aim to manage campaigns in-house or for training of their CMOs and COOs. Companies that pursue such a plan should check therefore, when considering a programmatic service, if the possibility of a self-service solution is offered in addition to the campaign management.

By Daniela La Marca