The Importance Of Advertising To The Right Audience

With all that we are facing on the daily given the pandemic, we could use some major boost. Especially companies, brands and even consumers need motivation – whether it is promoting new products, identifying target audiences (TG), getting the attention of consumers or even structuring workable online strategies. It is a sensitive situation.

However, it does come with a fresh set of opportunities. Brands or companies may have to look with delicate care to spot their prospects in the sea of digital audiences. A workable marketing strategy will not only compute the budget but also carefully define audience segments that need to be targeted.

More lasting impressions can be created if data forms the base of marketing. How? It helps you predict the behaviour of your target audience. Not taking your customer’s digital footprints into account when strategizing can put you on the back foot.

BPRISE realized this since it began buying inventory and serving ads two years ago. So, to better equip you, as a platform user (digital marketer or media planner), BPRISE got data integrations done. This means you can now attract prospects who exhibit characteristics similar to your existing customers.

Here’s What’s New:

Audience! Audience! Audience!

BPRISE’s integration with global data providers like Oracle’s Bluekai, Lotame, Dun & Bradstreet, ComScore, Visa, Mastercard, Forbes and a bunch of other powerful players, gives you just what you need to shrink your expenses while still reaching out to your desired audience segments.

This new power packed data integration gives you easy access to buying millions of impressions and also helps you narrow down your reach to those (prospects) that matter. An addition like this to a programmatic ad buying platform like BPRISE, came as a natural evolution after listening to the needs of our existing platform users (agencies and ad consultants).

Use Cases:

While you set your marketing cadence taking into account the happenings of the world, we also suggest that you keep an extra eye out on that campaign performance. Getting your inboxes stuffed with Excel sheets and reports may be inevitable but you need real answers about your campaign performance.

BPRISE’s dashboard comes fully equipped with real-time reporting on campaigns that are in-flight. Imagine that you have just launched a CPM campaign across Tier 1 Indian cities targeting online shoppers and audiences who use ecommerce apps.

While the natural tendency is to set the campaign live and wait for the numbers to soar, our Campaign Managers do it a bit differently. They not only monitor your campaign by the hour (or even by minutes sometimes!) and make necessary tweaks – while the campaign is live – in order to keep CTRs from falling. This of course, is part of BPRISE’s Managed Services – wherein we manage your campaigns from start to finish including campaign setup, launching, monitoring, optimizing and reporting.

A few one-line proposals for various industries…

Real Estate/Insurance

Reach out to HNIs spread across India or people looking to buy

Appliances

Advertise to newly weds or parents of school children

Entertainment

Attract users of popular video streaming apps with your ads

Travel/tourism

Run your ads by budget travelers, luxury travelers and frequent flyers

Hospitality

Grab the attention of individuals that frequent clubs, restaurants and cafes

Pharmaceutical

Reach out to health and fitness conscious individuals or healthcare professionals

MSMEs/SMEs

Advertise to decision-makers and high-profile CXOs

B2C Brands

Attract parents, people of different age groups/interests and behaviour segments like nightlife, football, cricket lovers etc.

For You:

Our newly fitted platform feature (audience segmentation) promises to deliver your ads to your most authentic prospect no matter where across the globe they are. BPRISE has upped it’s marketing feat with the Data Management Platform (DMP) integrations and is ready to serve you while you serve the best of what you got to your audiences; while keeping your marketing budgets in check but without compromising on reaching out to your TG.

We believe it is necessary that as a business you are as ready to deliver, for people will heal and the world will get back into motion. One segment at a time!

Forget all the digital marketing tech you know… Just as you forgot the phones of yesteryear

BPRISE Tech of the Future

For those of us who used a Nokia 3310 and a generation of Nokia phones thereafter, before we switched to iPhone and other brands, we know just how great those phones were. They got us through calls, SMS and even carried a couple of games. There seemed to be just one brand of phones, the indomitable Nokia.

Then came along Apple. Apple entered the arena with a game changer phone, with smart software, making ordinary phones smartphones. This redefined how people used their mobiles. It gave people a good browser to navigate the world wide web, a powerful hardware to support mobile gaming and an app store that contained tons of great and ever-increasing apps. Still, Nokia maintained a huge advantage over Apple for years - its distribution network and its relatively well priced products across the spectrum.

Late but great, Google arrived, and grabbed market share. Not as a gadget provider. Google brought software, an app store and then gave wings to manufacturers to craft a phone that could take on a Nokia or an iPhone at a price and product advantage that the manufacturers deemed fit. This essentially made the iPhone alternative, Android, affordable to a mass of people who wished for a smartphone but could not escape Nokia.

Circa 2020, as I write amid a turbulent COVID-19 phase, I cannot help but compare notes with this piece of history in a different industry - advertising technology.

Like Nokia, the staple display marketing software in the world was and has been Google AdWords (now rebranded as Google Ads) for two decades. Around a decade ago, a revolution happened when publishers and advertisers started demanding more transparency in the money being traded among themselves. This led to a framework being jointly built, called Programmatic Advertising. Naturally, companies jumped into implementing this framework.

Publishers implemented the framework on their websites and apps. Advertisers started buying media programmatically. Google too jumped in, by buying out a programmatic platform called Invite Media and merging it into their DoubleClick offering for Advertisers and Publishers. Programmatic media buying also ushered in a special feature (akin to the app store), the ability to make a deal with any data provider of your choice and importing those data segments into the programmatic platform for precision-based targeting.

This was revolutionary. But there was a catch.

It was and still is available only to brands and agencies that can afford to cough up a platform fee, commit to monthly big dollar spends with guaranteed annual spend commitments. Kind of the pricier iPhone of the digital advertising industry. So, anyone who could transact big dollars and pay a platform fee, gained access to this powerful platform. A software for the big businesses. The common man i.e. a vast majority of small, medium and large enterprises continue to use the trusted and efficient Google Ads platform. This population does not probably know what they are missing. Even Nokia of old had many games and a browser that rendered websites decently well. Of course, an iPhone was desirable, but that did not matter, Nokia worked just as well.

However, in the advertising business, it matters if you own a Nokia or an iPhone, i.e. are you on Google Ads or a Programmatic Platform. The big companies use data as the new age oil and get bigger. Simply because they can afford to. As a small, medium or large enterprise with limited resources or not wanting to get into annual commitments, your tools are the same. But the giants can always use the advantage of data to outbid you to reach the target audience at a lower cost of acquisition, even though they are spending a lot more for that audience and inventory.

So how do we build an Android like model in the digital advertising ecosystem? Simply put, how do we get programmatic (the software) and the audience (app store) to the manufacturers (ad agencies) at a price that is affordable and accessible to all?

Firstly, we take out the platform fee. This automatically makes the platform affordable. Add the fee when customers want to commit to higher spends and need guaranteed inventory.

Next, unhinge from the minimum spends requirement. Let everyone in.

Finally, add the app store to the mix. In this case, data providers. Make it easy for brands and agencies to find various data providers on a single marketplace, without the need to sign-up separately as being done today.

This approach essentially brings advanced targeting and a single place to buy inventory at affordable prices. At BPRISE, we have created this one-stop integrated platform to offer audience-based programmatic media buying, delivering ads across video and banner formats. You get to pick from over 75+ data providers, 30,000+ data segments (example aspiring home buyers, is a data cut for whom you can target home loan ads or new home ads) and a publisher inventory that spans the globe (by publisher, we mean websites and apps).

In current times when almost everyone is online due to the coronavirus crisis, and in the near future when online will become the preferred platform to connect, you will appreciate the advantage of filtering - right down to the website or app, Geo-location and audience to target your ad.

Now that you know why you should forget practices of the past, request access to our closed beta trial of the latest in marketing technology.

Purchase Digital Ads Using Software

Fundamentally what programmatic advertising means is, using software to purchase digital ad spots. Programmatic can be defined as the use of software-driven technology to automate the whole ad buying process or even automate parts of it. It is also sometimes called advertising done programmatically or programmatic buying or just programmatic.

#1 Promise Of Programmatic Advertising

Efficiency & simplicity: Because “programmatic” automates the ad buying and selling process with the help of software and technology they achieve better scale and speed than humans possibly can.

#2 Promise Of Programmatic Advertising

Precision & relevancy: Because “programmatic” makes it possible for advertisers to incorporate large amounts of data, they’re able to serve users with ads that are more likely relevant based on users’ behavioral, demographic, psychographic data and purchase intents.

Traditionally online ads, like print and TV, were directly bought by sales persons, who negotiated on terms such as target audience, placements, the number of impressions and price after which both parties signed an insertion order. Direct sales or deals like these are still prevalent but now technology can be used to simplify or automate the process.

Wait, Where Does The Data Come From?

Programmatic comes with the ability to couple data with automation and this makes it possible to target audiences based on their behaviours, demographics, interests and other individual characteristics. Not only do you get to focus on where to place your ad with programmatic, but also on who sees your ad.

Programmatic technology equips advertisers to target segments of audience who are most likely to be interested in what they’re selling. When your system spots a cookie or mobile identifier that matches the targeting criteria you’ve set as an advertiser, you can bid for ad impressions automatically in real time.

The Role Of Data In Digital Advertising

You already know that publishers and social networks learn about keywords searched, types of content consumed and profile information of users with the help of cookies and identifiers. It is commonly practiced across the digital (ad) spectrum.

Wonder where advertisers get data from? If you’re an advertiser, you probably have your own first-party data that may include sales transaction data, CRM data, customer names, emails, types of products purchased, recent purchasers, and average order value.

Data aggregators are companies that become a third-party data source. Such companies often have demographic data points of users that are of value to advertisers. They have information like credit score, household income and purchase behaviour of users.

Plug in a programmatic platform and advertisers can target audiences using a number of data sources at the time an impression becomes available. Let’s say the cookie or other identifier matches your targeting criteria, then the ad buying system (a trading desk or demand side platform) will automatically bid on the impression.

Breaking down Programmatic Buying

Real-Time Bidding (RTB)

RTB is the use of technology in bidding for ad impressions in real time. Such auction-based buying happens on open ad exchanges or in private marketplaces. Any buying platform can bid in open ad exchanges for inventory that have been put up for auction, by numerous sites (publishers). 

Private marketplaces (PMP) are invitation-only RTB arenas in which one or a handful of publishers (“premium publishers”) make their inventory or audiences available to a certain number of buyers.

Programmatic Direct

When ad inventory is sold to buyers directly by the publisher’s sales-force without an auction it is called programmatic direct. Although human intervention may not be required in programmatic direct deals, it is more manual than RTB. Programmatic guaranteed deals can be made for reserved inventory at a set price. Unreserved inventory are sold at fixed rates i.e. buyers are given access to blocks of inventory at a set price. However, in both cases the ads are served and managed programmatically i.e. with the help of software.

Digital advertising will always be prone to change. But if you are willing to evolve with adtech, you’ll discover how efficiently technology can bring you results.

Buy Ad Impressions In Real Time From Publisher Sites

If you read our blogs often, you’re already somewhat familiar with the words DSP (demand-side platform) and programmatic advertising. Just to refresh your memory a DSP is the software platform that advertisers (or marketers of various organizations) use to buy ad inventory and impressions from a range of publisher sites based on the kind of audience that the publisher has. And programmatic ad buying or advertising means using a piece of software to purchase digital advertising. This sort of makes your DSP a programmatic software. Using a machine to buy ads is programmatic as opposed to traditional processes that would involve RFPs, human negotiations and manual insertion orders.

Real-time bidding is when you purchase ads through real-time auctions, but the programmatic software also allows you (as an advertiser) to buy a guaranteed number of ad impressions from specific publisher sites in advance. Buying in such a way is called “programmatic direct.” In short RTB is a type of programmatic buying.

Most B2C brands want to win the attention of customers and potential customers and there’s a price to be paid every time an ad is shown to a specific user. Advertisers bid using an automated platform (think DSP!) for an ad space on a specific website or an app. The auction takes place in milliseconds. The higher you bid, the better are your chances of winning the auction and having your ad displayed to your target audience.

How does RTB work?

  1. User visits a (publisher) website that has ad spaces.
  2. Publisher sends a message to the supply side platform (an SSP is a publisher facing platform) informing that they have an impression/ad space available.
  3. SSP then examines customer information (location, internet search history, age, gender etc) available and sends it to the ad exchange.
  4. Ad exchange conveys this information to the DSP and the auction/bid begins.
  5. DSP bids on the available ad space based on the parameters set by the advertiser.
  6. Highest bidder wins and has ad displayed to the user.

What are its advantages?

  • Advertisers can bid for what they need:

Place bids only on inventories that best suit your campaign. This helps minimize the wastage of media spend on impressions that are not from your desired audience. Moreover the bidding process ensures that each impression can be bought based on the parameters set by the advertiser within the DSP.

  • Publishers get the maximum prices for every impression:

While DSPs bid for on behalf of the advertiser for an impression most useful to him/her, publishers also have the impressions sold at maximum prices based on the real time market demand. Ad Exchanges that facilitate the real time transaction enables publishers to reach out to lot more advertisers. This in turn ensures that publishers sell to the highest bidder.

Who does RTB benefit?

Advertisers – Target and bid more effectively based on the behavioural ground of the customer, which means no more wasted impressions.
Publishers – Gain maximum revenue because advertisers bid for max impression value.
Agencies – Spend efficiently, better control campaigns and achieve targeted results for clients.

Watch out for our next blog where we talk about the mechanism that automates media buying and ad placement in digital space – Programmatic Buying. 

Ads.txt & Ads.cert

When working (or like, surfing the web), I’m often shown ads of goodies I’d be interested in swiping my card for. There is little surprise as to how this show-of-the-most-cool-ads happens, as I work in an adtech startup! Nonetheless, when it comes to shopping online, I’m giving no “site” any benefit of the doubt. What I’m trying to say is that I am not willing (or even cuckoo enough) to enter my card details at a random site just because it displays the “computer mouse” I’m in need of. Say for example, I’m on one of the big retailer sites looking for a black Puma* backpack and I see the same bag displayed in an ad (at a discounted rate of course!) by “BuyGoodStuffForCheapHere.com”.

How am I to even know if a third-party, selling goods of a retailer, online, is an approved seller? From my example above, is “Buy Good Stuff For Cheap Here” authorized to actually sell Puma goods? Will I get an original product? Has Puma approved this seller? How would I know? These are a few questions that run around in my head every time attractive ads by various third-party sellers grab my attention.
*The product and company names are trademarks of its respective owners. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

I can also say that the same logic applies to brands buying ads programmatically. But, luckily for them, in late June, the IAB Tech Lab set up a method permitting brands to confirm that a third-party offering space on a publisher’s site is really approved to do so. This is called “Authorized Digital Sellers or ads.txt”. And as the name clearly suggests ads.txt is a simple text file uploaded to a publisher’s site listing the official sellers or resellers of the publisher’s inventory along with the publisher’s ID for buyers to match. Though it might be difficult for a publisher to list the unique IDs its sellers and resellers use to identify its inventory, it has been identified as an efficient means to fight fraud in the marketplace.

Given that ads.txt takes care of the authorization process, entities that are granted permission can access the designated areas. However, if an entity is not properly authenticated it can easily access areas it shouldn’t. Now, say for example, I order a super-duper expensive designer bag from a well-known ecommerce site. There are fraudsters along the way ready to swap my bag for a cheap one without the knowledge of my courier company. And since my transaction is happening online, I will need a way to make sure that that the bag is indeed the one that was sent by the store, i.e. I need to authenticate the source of my bag. What if the store were to send me a unique digital tag number imprinted on the bag and send the same to me via email? That way when I receive the bag I can verify that it came from the right source. Similarly, in the programmatic buying business, advertisers/buyers can now know of the authenticity of an inventory’s source with the help of ads.cert – an authentication initiative by IAB Tech Lab.

Ads.cert is a follow up to ads.txt by IAB Tech Lab and it uses cryptographic security measures to authenticate inventory.

Ads.txt can help authorize inventory sources and ads.cert can help authenticate the same by creating a “signature process”. Publishers can now incorporate cryptographically signed bid requests on showing the path of inventory thereby authenticating the inventory. This process will be able to certify units of inventory coming from verified publishers. This digital signature prevents fraudsters from tampering with the inventory simultaneously letting buyers verify a specific site’s inventory. Ads.cert can block any manipulations done to variables like device, domain, IP address, location to make it look like valuable impressions. Now everyone in the supply is required to provide and signature; this promotes good behavior and is a means of tracking bad behaviour.

I have simplified this further and prepared an infographic that lists why ads.txt and ads.cert is actually important to you if you’re part of the programmatic’s supply chain…

If you’re a publisher or an advertiser give us a ring to take your ad inventory game to the next level, well whaddya waiting for?