What Is A DSP and How It Relates to Ads

Business woman working on BPRISE DSP Platform

Almost 50% of small businesses are already using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Unfortunately, not many companies realize there’s an easy way to automate their purchasing. By simplifying a piece of your PPC puzzle, you can spend more time on what matters most: your business.

That’s where a DSP can step in. What is a DSP exactly, and how can it help with your digital advertising?

You’ll have to read on to find out! In this guide, we’ll reveal everything you need to know about DSP advertising and how it can benefit your business. Read on to learn more.

What is Programmatic Ad Buying?

Before we dive into the question, “what is a DSP?” let’s discuss programmatic advertising.

Programmatic advertising is a broader term. It’s used to describe technologies that automate the digital ad buying process.

In some cases, that can mean automating campaign set up based on previous settings. You can also use programmatic advertising for rate negotiation, optimizations, and actualizations. By using programmatic advertising, you can streamline your processes, saving you time and money.

One way to launch programmatic ads is by using a DSP.

What is a DSP?

Now for the big question: what is a DSP?

DSP stands for Demand Side Platform. It’s an automated buying platform that allows users to purchase digital ad inventory. These users often include full agencies or companies that want to advertise their own brands.

The digital ad inventory available can include banner ad space on websites, in-stream videos, or mobile ads that display on phone apps.

There’s a chance you’ve heard of SSP, or Supply-Side Platforms. Also known as Sell-Side Platforms, SSPs are very similar to DSPs. They allow publishers to sell their inventory through an ad exchange.

SSPs require minimum bid requirements. This allows the publisher to maximize how much they’ll make from their ad space.

That begs the question, “what’s the difference between a DSP and SSP?”

DSPs are for marketers. SSPs, on the other hand, are designed for publishers. Both are involved in multiple ad exchanges.

The Ad Exchange

The ad exchange is a digital marketplace. There, advertisers and publishers can use real-time bidding to buy and sell ad space. The ad exchange announces each available impression in real-time.

Then, buyers can determine if they’re interested in that space before they make their bids.

How Does It Work?

Now that you have a broad concept of DSP advertising, let’s talk about the process.

With a DSP, advertisers and agencies can purchase ad inventory from publishers through:

  • Ad networks
  • Ad exchanges
  • Supply-side platforms

Usually, advertisers would buy ad inventory through independent networks. These can include Google, Facebook, other search engines, and other social media platforms. With a DSP, however, advertisers aren’t limited to a set platform.

Instead, advertisers can buy multiple ad formats (like video, mobile, search, display, and native ads) from multiple sources. Meanwhile, the user never has to leave the interface.

Here’s how it works:

  • The user visits a website online
  • That website sends the user’s information to the ad exchange
  • An SSP offers that user information to DSPs
  • Advertisers can bid for ad placement through the DSP
  • The highest bidder wins the ad

With a DSP, users can buy impressions across multiple publisher sites. The advertiser can then target their audience based on location, browser history, or other factors.

The impression price is based on a real-time auction through real-time bidding. Since it’s automatic, you don’t need to waste time bidding on prices. Instead, the impressions are auctioned off to the highest bidder.

The entire process takes seconds, allowing you to save valuable time.

The Benefits

If you’re on the fence about DSP advertising, there are a few benefits you should remain aware of.

First, a DSP offers transparency you can’t find in most forms of advertising. You’ll have a suite of reporting tools available, allowing you to review every detail. Then, you can optimize your campaigns and improve your ad efficiency.

In fact, your analytics will update in real-time. That means you don’t have to waste time and money making uninformed decisions. Instead, you can make decisions about the DSPs you’re using.

With DSP advertising, there’s also a wide range of ad formats available. Sticking to one format can bore your target audience. Instead, you can run an omnichannel advertising campaign to cover new formats.

Over 85% of consumers use the internet to search for local businesses. By using a DSP, you can reach those customers and reel them in!

Other benefits include audience targeting abilities and flexible budget shifting. The traditional ad buying process can leave you in the dark. In other words, you won’t recognize targeting or spending mistakes until you’ve already made them.

Why Use a DSP?

When advertising, you would usually complete a time-consuming process that can involve:

  • Advertisers (you)
  • Publishers (where the ad will appear)
  • The target audience

Then, you’ll waste valuable time sending emails back and forth to negotiate prices. In addition to wasting time, there’s also a chance someone will make an error along the way.

The marketing DSP process allows advertising and agencies to buy ads in seconds. Since the process is done so quickly, you can improve your efficiency and focus on bigger matters.

Choosing the Right DSP

When choosing the right DSP for your advertising needs, try to consider:

  • The data you want (first- versus third-party)
  • How many ad exchanges the DSP will access
  • Your budget
  • Your desired reach

You’ll also want to consider the DSP’s ease of use. If you’re unfamiliar with the interface, you might end up doing more harm than good.

With that in mind, it’s important to choose the right company to work with. Before you start using programmatic advertising, make sure to find the right DSP. They can walk you through training and help you maximize your advertising spending.

Instead of wasting money, you can use your DSP to reach more prospects than ever before!

What Is a DSP?: Your Guide to Smarter Advertising

To recap, what is a DSP? It’s your smarter, faster, easier method to great advertising. With a DSP, you can reach your customers without wasting your advertising budget away!

Eager to get started? Request a free trial from our team today.

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.

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. 

What Does Sequential Retargeting Mean For Advertisers

At BPRISE, we employ sophisticated programmatic advertising to best achieve positive brand recall and customer engagement for our clients. This doesn’t just mean stocking up on the knowledge and technology required to ensure hyper-personalised marketing on web and mobile. If anybody wants to get Sequential Retargeting right, then the first thing they need to do is have a sense of humour about it!

Funny Side Up

Sequential Re-targeting is a lot like delivering a joke. There is “The Set-Up”, where you familiarise your viewers with the basics and fundamentals of your products and services. This is what sets the tone for what’s to follow and gives the target audience an idea of whether they want to know more or not. “The Set-Up” is the proverbial stage of the early rounds of communication that get served to people online.

Next of course, comes “The Punchline”. This is the clinching moment in the user journey where a customer is convinced enough about the brand’s story and its offerings to finally crack a smile and make a purchase. Pow!

But this stand-up routine in digital advertising need not be a linear process. There may be people joining in on the fun while you’re in the middle of your ad campaign or product launch, or there are even those who leave right at the start without giving you a patient ear. How do you then make sure that everybody gets your marketing messages loud and clear? From the beginning, through the middle and all the way till the end? The answer is Sequential Re-targeting.

The “sequence” here doesn’t mean holding different group tours for people who visit you in batches and hear the same old sales speech. Regardless of what stage your product launch is in, the sequential re-targeting campaign starts, adjusts and evolves for every user at their time and place of engagement with your brand.

Automated Bucketing

“The Set-Up” takes time and skill. As mentioned above, the delivery and nature of sequential re-targeting typically changes for every distinct, new customer taking a seat amongst the audience. All first timers aren’t subject to the same “generic retargeting” and aren’t slumped into one single broad bucket. At BPRISE, our programmatic engine seamlessly segments the continuous influx of new visitors. This is not just based on demographics and location parameters, but also depends on the source of traffic, dates of user activities and expressed behaviours.

We are able to track users across the web’s many media platforms and segregate the hot leads from the cold ones. Through a funnel for delivery into BPRISE’s Premium Ad Network, Facebook ads on third party apps or websites, SMS and even email, we are able to mix notifications and track the chain of events to your target audience with computerized precision.

Old Wine, New Bottle. Cheers!

So, you’ve delivered the set-up and your audience isn’t anywhere close to hearing that punchline. And if you’re only building a name for your brand then there are other hiccups like being the first in customers’ minds while addressing their concerns about price, doubts, credibility and product quality.

What do you do? Go for what stand-up comedians refer to as a “Callback”. A comedian routinely tells a joke with a specific punchline and then, later in the show, tells a different joke with the same punchline. This gets a bigger laugh the second time around. Similarly, we help rectify the set-up and deliver freshness for the hard-to-impress crowd, till they are better positioned in the sequence to hear the same punchline.

We devised a callback for a car brand that found itself in that very pickle. The retargeting was broken down into small sequences like this:

Addressing Problem Number 1. Campaign ‘A’:

1st March: SMS campaign

3rd March: Email Campaign

5th March: Campaign on Facebook and Ad Networks

Addressing Problem Number 2. Campaign ‘B’:

15th March: Switch to a new campaign on Facebook and stop visibility on Ad Networks (only for customers who have been through Campaign ‘A’)

Addressing Problem Number 1 in a different way. Campaign ‘A2’:

20th March:New SMS campaign and Facebook Activation to users who didn’t convert from the first batch

Addressing Problem Number 3 for customers who are technically ahead in the sequence. Campaign ‘C’:

Look for customer re-engagement.

20th March: New SMS Campaign

20th March: New Email Campaign etc.

Everybody needs to be nudged differently. So, we made sure that the next time the customers logged onto the internet, the car brand was able to pick up from where each of them left off, just like old friends!

Now this can get complicated:

500 car showrooms X An average of 10 footfalls a day = A single day’s batch of data.

But with automated bucketing and tracking that we do at BPRISE, we easily spot and report which segment of which batch of prospects isn’t still laughing along and why. We understand the cycles, which sources offer easier conversions, their bounce rates and re-visiting patterns. This allows us to efficiently figure out where a shift in the marketing strategy needs to be carried out. The system lets us know if the marketing creative needs re-work, or if the retargeting should happen on a different platform or if the rhythm of the campaign frequency needs retouch. Once we spot a conversion though, that needle in the haystack is then promptly pulled out of the funnel to avoid wasting ad spends.

Speaking of which, I feel that the measurement of success in digital marketing shouldn’t be restricted to a metric like return on ad spend (ROAS) alone. Every sequential strategy should also be judged based on whether the engagement rates on ads improve, whether the returning visitors increase, and if the click through rates reflect precision targeting or not. The goal in sequential re-targeting is to serve smart and relevant ad experiences to guide prospects through their customer journey.

Programmatic advertisers typically chart out a funnel diagram as the trend, but I disagree. “Funneling” of layers of data and user journeys need not taper down to a small percentage of acquisitions. The user journeys under Sequential Re-targeting campaigns tend to look more like tributaries of many big rivers branching out into loops over time. All these users, however, are individually pursued to reach the logical conclusion delta of converted sales. That’s the trick.

If you have questions about sequential retargeting, leave a comment and I’d be happy to help!

 

Changes In Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm; Must You Panic?

If I were to get downright real with you, I’d say advertising with a “spray and pray” approach is not really ideal. You do not like ads on your social media pages that are drab and/or generic, basically irrelevant to you; I do not like them either. If advertisers/agencies want to get my attention today, it can be achieved by means of authentic conversations with solutions or product recommendations (read ads) that are truly relevant to me right now. Another approach which may be donned by the brands/agencies that are tempted to do so are controversial and/or polarizing content to win a glance from netizens. All said and done, I for one am down with Facebook’s News Feed algorithm update.

Tactics like clickbait and engagement bait are put to practice by certain groups or agencies; clickbait is any content that attracts and encourages visitors like you and me to click on a link to a specific web page (think of headlines like “You Will Not Believe How The Deliveryman Reacted To The Barking Dog” or “He Put Garlic In His Shoe And What Happens Next Is Shocking” et al.) and an engagement bait goads people into liking, sharing or commenting on their posts (think of headlines like “Like This If You Are An Aries” or “Share With 20 Friends For A Chance To Win The New Convertible” or “Comment Below Your Favourite Food Item” or “Help Us Find The Missing Child” et al.).

To address users’ feedback on clickbait, Facebook made an update to News Feed ranking to reduce clickbait headlines. With this update, people will see fewer clickbait stories and instead more of the stories that they want to see higher up in their News Feeds like those from family and friends. It must have been quite a relief for those that fell for clickbait when Facebook finally took care of that.

The massively used social network Facebook wants to get back to being a “social” network and are now tackling engagement bait (hallelujah!) on their News Feed. They are set to demote individual posts from people and pages that use engagement bait. Any post that goes against their News Feed value – authenticity – will get demoted. The teams at Facebook have reviewed and categorized countless posts to inform a machine learning model to detect different kinds of engagement bait. They claim that posts that use such a tactic will be shown less in News Feed.

Pages that use engagement bait to gain reach in News Feed need to watch out. Facebook will roll out page-level demotion that systematically and repeatedly use the above tactic. It would be wise of advertisers and publishers to adapt and avoid using engagement bait in their posts by accident.

It must also be noted that the days of reaching the right audience the organic way has dwindled and if you’re a brand and you want to reach the most potential customers, you got to pay! The ad rates on Facebook have risen by 35% in the last quarter alone and although John Hedgeman, VP of Product Management at Facebook claims that advertising on the social network will be “unaffected” considering the algorithm update, agencies disagree.

In addition to paying for genuine reach, agencies/brands/publishers will have to work their way with authentic content into the digital eyes of people to withstand the competition against treasured moments with family and friends.

After some major reading online and from my little understanding since working at this humble ad tech startup, I’ve got the following to say to agencies, advertisers, brands and publishers:

  • Concentrate more on the quality of the content that fortifies the key brand messages than the number of posts on your Facebook page.
  • Advertise on Facebook for raising awareness and for promotions.
  • Stop using engagement bait like “Like for Yes and Angry for No” on your posts as this will not promise reach anymore.
  • Rely not on Facebook posts with links to your blogs etc. for traction.
  • Deliver more live videos as opposed to pre-recorded ones; Facebook said that live videos have nearly six times the interactions of non-live ones.
  • Set up groups to educate people interested in your offers (products/services) as opposed to randomly bombarding people with irrelevant, generic content.
  • Speak about subjects that are growing and remember that social CRM is key!

In a nutshell, it isn’t the end of the world no matter these algorithm changes in News Feed; you needn’t panic. Instead, up the relevance of the content you display to your audience, tap into technologies like VR for enriching the user experience, make your content more human, cut the generalization, build on personalization and I can say you’ll be thumbs-upped by me for sure!

Life Of A Marketer

Who cares about “ad effectiveness” at 08:30 AM? Ah, my bad. What marketer hits the office at 08:30 AM, anyway? Of course, considering the innumerable tasks that a marketer oversees (sometimes, overlooks), performs (or preempts), the 24-hours-in-a-day-thing does not really work for them.

As someone who works in the Marketing Department primarily, I can tell that no marketer ever has “enough time” on them. All the pre-planned schedule goes for a giant toss and what’s more is that the coin lands on its edge more often than all of us care to admit. You may wonder what’s a marketer onto, that consumes all of their sane time. And if you’re a marketer, then this can be your “constructive read” (sic).

A day in the life of a marketer (let’s call her Jane!) concerns the working on the following…

Scene 1: Digital Marketing 

Jane-the-marketer, works her way through multiple creatives, multiple platforms, multiple log-ins, multiple campaign goals, multiple reports, multiple vendors on a regular basis. Although she’s a dedicated marketer, she finds it humanly impossible to smoothly transition between all the aforementioned “multiples“. Now, if her employer (i.e. the advertiser or brand or retailer) is kind enough to split her work by adding new members to marketing, it will mean that the size of the marketing team goes up, in turn increasing the firm’s ad spends. Does having a bulky team deal with multiple platforms and countless vendors ensure that the advertised products meet the respective real-time needs of its target audience?

You and I both know that one-ad-does-not-fit-all. We also know that quantity does not guarantee quality. It is the quality and appropriate fitting of an ad to a situation in the real-life of its target audience that counts. And it most definitely is not the mammoth-sized-ness of the marketing team that counts.

What if we could resolve these issues, for Jane (and marketers like her!) in one shot? How much of an ease would it be on brands (i.e. advertisers/retailers) if they could keep their marketing budgets from skyrocketing and still reach the right customers precisely when they’re in need of a solution/product? How does a relevant, ad-for-a-human sound like? 

Scene 2: Analysis

So, marketer Jane, successfully runs ad campaigns across the web and mobile apps and has received reams of data capturing the performance and reach of her ads. She consults a number of third-party vendors to analyze the data and tell her what all the numbers and graphs of data, means simply. A thorough analysis is possible only when marketers have all the information about their target audience’s preferences as consumers. Although Jane divides her time between consulting with various vendors and gathering insights from distinct sources, she’s still deficient of her target audiences’ offline preferences as consumers. What this means is that customers often walk into stores near them and grab what they really need, for a price. There are times, they hop into branded shops or retail stores more than once just to get product-related information. Is Jane even aware of this practice? Let’s say Mary visited A Shoe Shop a couple of times. She spent a considerable amount of time at the heels section but walked out of the shop each time without buying anything. This offline consumer behavior of Mary is invaluable to Jane. Because if Jane was aware of Mary’s offline behavior as a consumer, she could target Mary with an ad of a footwear right when she’d walked out of the Shoe Shop without having made a purchase? Hence relying solely on users’ online data sounds like one is building a lopsided launchpad for the advertising campaigns to take off from.

Wouldn’t it also benefit if you could understand what happens across web, app and stores? What a winner of a deal if the marketer’s ad platform could serve as a one-stop-solution to all of the ad campaign needs? What if the marketer could enjoy the luxury of not having to consult a multitude of vendors for campaign results and customer insights? What if the analysis helped marketers with target lookalike customers? And what if the marketing platform was automated so well that it understood brands’ customers as well a human marketer could?

Scene 3: Targeting & Retargeting

Targeting Prospects

Jane markets products/solutions to prospects as ads over the web, mobile phones and even apps. But given Jane’s limited knowledge of her prospects’ offline consumer behaviour, her ads do not completely resolve their real-life, real-time problems. This results in the ads becoming somewhat irrelevant to her target audience and thus gives way to unimpressive CTRs. Targeting without insights is like driving without the headlights on.

Wouldn’t marketers be able to provide genuinely useful solutions/product recommendations to potential customers in the form of ads had they been aware of the customers’ real-time needs? Imagine all the gains (for the marketer, for the advertiser/retailer and for the customer) when an ad is truly apt for a customer and solves one of their immediate problems?

Retargeting Potentials

Marketer Jane finds that numerous visitors have looked up her brand’s products online but have left without buying anything. Abandoned carts are one of her main concerns as a brand marketer. And she offers discounted product recommendations to her customers in order to win them back. However, customers could have skipped buying the product online given a number of reasons. The product could have been too pricey for them, they could have been browsing just like that, they couldn’t have found what they’re looking for or maybe they wanted to check the same products at a brick and mortar store. Insights that are derived exclusively from an individual’s online activities will never constitute genuine “customer insights“. A customer’s activities are not limited to their online conduct alone and the sooner marketers tap into customers’ offline preferences and consumer needs as well, the better!  It is quite the combination of online and offline customer data that constitute true customer insights. 

What would make it absolutely easy for marketers to join the dots with customers’ online and offline behaviour and figure out their precise needs? What if all the abandoned carts would suddenly overflow with products of happy patrons?

Scene 4: Conversion

Marketer Jane hits the bull’s eye with her marketing campaign for she sees immediate hike in sales. Let’s say Jane’s ad convinced Mark to buy her brand’s shoes. But does this mean that Jane’s done for the day? Forget the tens of documents she’s got to edit and release! A successful sale or a conversion calls for brands to build on the patron’s interests as a consumer. Brands partially achieve this with the help of loyalty and membership cards; but this practice does not capture all of the user’s online and offline consumer traits. Building a profile with the help of web analytics and proximity-based analytics for every patron will not only help marketers retarget them with relevant content but also help them establish a database of lookalike customers. A lookalike customer is anyone who resembles one or a group of the marketer’s paying patrons. They’re basically prospects that marketers can target on. Also, lookalike customers are external to the database of customers that the advertiser/retailer already has.

Once analytics helps marketers with valuable insights about existing customers, targeting lookalike customers becomes easier. Marketers can target lookalike customers with fitting ads based on the success of their previous ad campaigns.

Insights from Mark’s conversion will help marketers up-sell and cross-sell effectively. Targeting a lookalike customer therefore (say Joe) will not constitute a shot in the dark because Jane has historic data to substantiate the possibility of Joe (who is a lot like Mark as a consumer) converting!

What if marketers could target lookalike customers as soon as their inventory gets restocked? Nothing like the ability to up-sell and cross-sell relevant products to patrons; how do marketers achieve all this?

Having a simple but powerful ad platform that not only optimizes marketers’ reach with ads that are truly relevant to the brand’s customers, right when they’re in need is quite the evolution in marketing. This evolution will not only bring down the firm’s marketing expenses but also allow the brand to have an efficient, slim marketing team. Which is why, marketers, rather advertisers/retailers that are quick to adopt the same could save considerably. Predictive analytics ad platforms like the one BPRISE offers, gathers information and learns user behavior.

If marketer Jane, were to use BPRISE’S programmatic platform, she’d be able to accomplish everything right from marketing, to targeting, to analytics, to sales, to retargeting, to conversion, to up-selling/cross-selling and looking for lookalike customers, all using a single dashboard. This unified ad platform cuts the need for marketers like her to jump between platforms and wait on countless vendors saving the marketers’ time   and money immensely!  If you’re a brand that’s looking for answers to the above questions, get in touch with BPRISE asap. Oh, also if you’re the marketer who’s concerned about ad effectiveness at 08:30 AM, we’ll definitely be worth your time!

 

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?