You don’t have to look beyond Google and Facebook to see the ubiquity of programmatic advertising. The “duopoly” owns more than 60 percent of all digital ad dollars and about 90 percent of all growth in digital ad spending, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
But if you think that’s the extent of the programmatic opportunity, that’s a huge mistake. Indeed, 65 percent of all B2B marketers are buying programmatically now. Even smaller niche B2B media brands have a big opportunity to generate highly efficient new revenue from programmatic advertising. It’s actually more than an opportunity. It’s an imperative. Old assumptions and old models (‘I have a strong sales team,’ or ‘My clients aren’t set up for programmatic,’) is a type of thinking that’s strategically dangerous.
Digital advertising is growing by double digits annually, and whatever your market, your customers are migrating to some level of programmatic buying. The reason is obvious. Advertisers use Facebook and Google in droves because of the targeting capability. They can target with enormous precision—based on demographics, synergy, geography, personal interests and many other factors.
As marketing becomes more automated, and media companies develop the ability to glean deeper and deeper information about their audiences, these trends converge to allow more account-based sales and more real-time selling. Media companies increasingly are perfectly situated to play a vital role in connecting buyers and sellers.
And it’s programmatic advertising, more than analog sales, which enables this. “Publishers are losing revenue from some of their largest advertisers as digital budgets shift to programmatic solutions,” says Scott Roulet, vice president of the new BPA Worldwide programmatic advertising exchange, which rolled out earlier this year. “Our media exchange provides a solution that will recapture those budgets. In addition to owned-and-operated inventory, publishers will leverage enhanced first party data across the exchange as an audience extension for their customers.”
What B2B publishers often lack is the internal resources and audience scale—along with data-management expertise needed to manage programmatic advertising initiatives by themselves. BPA believes that individual publishers can find new ways to compete in reach and impact for their clients by joining forces. In fact, BPA learned that most of its members were not currently selling programmatically. So in order to help preserve and expand their members’ cut of revenue, BPA created the B2B Media Exchange. The exchange is designed to allow media companies to increase digital revenue, expose their inventory to new customers, collaborate to obtain scale, enhance data capabilities and new operational efficiency.
Making sense out of advertising trends in 2017 means sometimes discounting all of the things you accepted as fact just a few years ago. Programmatic exchanges are not just for remnant inventory. Digital advertising is not a race to the bottom for low CPMs. Your clients—whatever the market—are more sophisticated that you think, and are more receptive to programmatic than you may assume.
All of those things are either no longer valid or are less valid than they were a few years ago, and the things we take for granted now may well be transformed in just a few years. All of which makes BPA Worldwide’s initiative so timely and important. It may well be that programmatic, in the years ahead, is the core driver for B2B advertising. Critical questions will need to be sorted out involving endemics and non-endemics, brand value, data protection, DMP characteristics, and more—even the value of third-party auditing in a new world of analytics.
The B2B Media Exchange is the natural place for your company to start the conversation.