However, proponents of programmatic say it makes the buying process easier, and the ability to inform buys with data drives value.
MediaMath CCO Mike Lamb lamented “the number of man-hours wasted on deals that deliver $100.”
Premium programmatic deals help reduce delivery problems, but they also cost more. “We’ve had to pay a huge premium to vault over that reserved inventory,” Lamb said of the agency’s foray into programmatic direct using Sonobi.
In its tests with the platform, MediaMath had to set up separate budgets from the open exchange. Because CPMs were three to four times higher in the premium programmatic environments, the learning engines would rarely choose a high-priced impression in a field with so much lower-priced inventory.
But the results encouraged Lamb. CPCs were roughly the same compared to open exchanges, but CPAs halved. “The buyers for whom these work the best are those that have deep business outcomes they want to drive, like multichannel retailers, [consumer packaged goods], financial services and auto,” Lamb said.
That’s in part because these deals generally bring in first-party publisher data, enabling more precise audience targeting. Those deals also tend to deliver in full. Sonobi’s platform overlays first-party data against site traffic, enabling precise forecasting of how many impressions can be delivered against high-value segments. That combination of data, scale and premium checks boxes for performance and brand advertisers alike.