Media Buyers have a difficult job, whether it’s the hours, heavy workload, or demanding clients – being inundated with choices when it comes to martech vendors doesn’t make things any easier. Working in adtech over the past 10 years, I’ve seen just about every tactic there is to demonstrate uniqueness, create value and bury margin. Navigating through the noise is complicated and can lead to brands and agencies investing in the wrong technology, which is not easily undone. I’ve outlined my top tips below to help brands and agencies navigate the volume of martech vendors and make smarter technology investments.
1. CPM pricing = Transparency
While many vendors offer “Performance Pricing,” transparency matters. Nearly all media that vendors acquire are bought and sold on cost per mille (CPM). Make sure you’re prioritizing high performance, viewability and visits, but don’t be misled by fancy pricing models that distract from the effective CPM.
2. Self-service matters even if you want ‘managed’
Everyone has a different definition of self-service. Make sure your definition matches that of the vendor, and at the very least ensure that you have some level of access to see, inspect, and monitor the actions of campaigns. Nobody is going to provide the same level of oversight as those within your company.
3. Workflow consolidation comes at a cost
Technology workflow consolidation platforms have recently become an emerging trend amongst media buying vendors. Consolidation can bring with it ease-of-use, improved billing and reporting, but it comes at a cost. Most consolidation platforms limit your capabilities to the one or a few vendors chosen on the back-end. Make sure you retain the freedom to select your own vendors as your business grows and evolves.
4. Understand the limitations you impose
Make sure you understand the goal behind the mandates you put in place with vendors. Working with third-party measurement and validation companies are okay. Holding vendors accountable to a CPA, CPL or ROAS, fine. Implementing impression caps, sure. It’s important that you recognize that many of those objectives can factually contradict each other. Be aware that third-party measurement and validation tools almost always have limitations that may conflict with the objectives of the campaign.
5. Remain open to new ideas
Media buyers don’t have it easy, and have a right to remain skeptical of the many options out there. However, as technology emerges, it’s important to remain open to new ideas. Every so often you will come across a new company that is genuinely pursuing something unique and knowing how to recognize value amidst the noise will lead to much smarter technology investments.