User Identification in Programmatic Advertising and Other Challenges

Without a ‘proxy’ to accurately identify individuals, programmatic marketing is simply unmanageable. While cookies have been the proxy for identification, it’s time to ask about the future. Programmatic experts are yet to figure out a way, but if cookies are dying out, programmatic will surely face a threat.

The cookie seems to have been doing a great job. Reports from Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) found total digital revenue reaching $12.4 billion in the last quarter of 2014. Programmatic is basically a combination of different kinds of technologies that buy, place, and optimize advertising automatically, and hence enables highly profitable ad campaigns.

As the job of programmatic is to identify the right viewer and make that viewer see the ad, the first thing required is a real viewer. Unfortunately, some rogues in the web world are capable of misleading even the smartest software programs. Challenges like viewability and fraud are constantly troubling the world of programmatic. Most advertisers shy away from programmatic buying because of the looming presence of reputation concerns and fraud.

As of May 2015, the leading hurdles in using programmatic ad buying in UK and USA were statistically evaluated from a survey:

Leading Challenges in Programmatic Buying, 2015 (UK and USA) – % of survey participants

More than half the traffic on websites is essentially bot traffic. It has been estimated that more than $6.3 billion damage will be experienced because of bots. Hence, out of an estimated $43.8 billion, if more than $6 billion is fraudulent activity (fake clicks through a set of automated software programs), it is a huge loss for advertisers. Huge organizations with complete set ups operate with botnet malwares to extract millions of dollars.

For folks in programmatic, ad impression viewability continues to remain a huge challenge around online display ads. In order for an ad to qualify as viewable, a minimum 50% of its pixels should appear on desktop screens for at least one second. For video ads, 50% pixels should be viewable for at least 2 seconds.

These challenges may be confronted by micromanaging customized platforms. Advertisers need to use technology that maximizes outcomes. It’s not enough to seek impressions or aim at a single behavior pattern for producing the desired results. It is necessary to depend on technology that executes the numerous conditions correctly for ad-space selection. By using such a platform, advertisers with different needs can improve their ROIs in clear-cut ways.

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