Do all programmatic traders wear glasses?
Well, I do. Along with my glasses, I’ve also worn many hats in the advertising world, and as a former programmatic trader, have touched everything from ad trafficking, tagging, inventory management, and data visualisation to setting up, monitoring, and optimising multiple campaigns on different demand side platforms (DSPs).
Programmatic traders are often the backbone of digital campaigns. Besides requiring in-depth knowledge about how to optimise ad strategies on multiple DSPs, they need, more than anything else, to deeply understand a client’s needs and always have their business in mind.
While I am no longer a programmatic trader, the last 12 years in adtech have given me a unique perspective on the media industry’s rapid progression and evolution. Some may find it overwhelming, but the challenges we face in advertising are what keep me going to work every day. Navigating the cookieless future, new and exciting channels, and how to continually measure the impact of what we do are just some of the many ways we strive to keep ourselves updated with the constantly changing world of adtech.
An evolving media landscape also means that a wealth of programmatic partners have emerged over the last 10 years. And with media strategies becoming more complex than ever, it’s more important than ever for businesses to choose the right programmatic partner.
The challenges that programmatic traders face
A programmatic trader’s goal is to increase efficiency and transparency for both advertisers and publishers by seamlessly buying and optimising digital campaigns using AI and machine learning.
However, many programmatic traders might say that they are still far from this holy grail. That’s because even though traders are trained to know the ins and outs of programmatic advertising, the day to day usually entails “pushing buttons” on DSPs and working off of spreadsheets. The nature of the job is rather manual, and takes traders away from being able to add value by advising on campaigns and educating clients or providing more in-depth, actionable audience insights.
Another key challenge is that digital teams often have amazing audience strategies, and it is up to traders to reach these audiences via the DSPs they use. But targeting limitations abound depending on which DSPs are being used by the business. It then becomes an arduous task to build numerous targeting lines, each with a different set of data segments with the aim of mimicking the planned audience reach solution, usually with subpar results.
And finally, a trader’s productivity is hampered by the sheer amount of new tools and programmatic platforms to learn and use. This is where AI technology in adtech can be a real boon.
Adding value to programmatic trading with the right AI-powered adtech
For programmatic traders and, in effect, all professionals working in digital advertising to continue creating more value in the future, they must rely on technology to do the heavy lifting. At the end of the day, it is the outcomes that matter. Digital advertising doesn’t have to be hard.
Due to how manual a lot of programmatic platforms are, traders have become obsessed with clicking on too many buttons, creating more strategies to reach the right people, compiling 18-tab weekly reports, and in most cases, not even getting the results that are really needed.
When pulling so many levers in a job, there’s no question that AI does it better than humans.
Ara®, Quantcast’s AI and machine learning engine, operates on a dataset of about 20 petabytes every day. It creates a custom predictive model for every campaign based on live data, analyses its real-time audience behaviours, factors in campaign objectives, and autonomously tunes 10,000 variables every minute to optimally bid on each impression.
Instead of resorting to loosely classified, or even stale, third-party data segments, Quantcast leverages fresh, accurate, and reliable first-party data from over 100M+ web and mobile destinations.
Quantcast’s user interface is designed for intuitiveness and ease of use. New users can be onboarded and start setting up their first campaign within minutes. In a recent study conducted by Forrester Consulting, the Quantcast Platform halves the time spent by digital media team traders on planning, activation, campaign management, and reporting tasks, freeing them up to work on more strategic initiatives.
As programmatic trading evolves, AI can only continue to help programmatic teams save time and reduce costs in optimising campaigns. And far from eliminating trading jobs completely, evolving algorithms must be guided by human intelligence in order to advance. By connecting AI and human intelligence, programmatic trading teams can eliminate time spent on consuming repetitive tasks and add more value to their businesses.
Check out our most recent ‘Passionate about Programmatic’ interviews with Ben Alpren, director of adtech and digital services at Miroma Group, and Ben Foster, managing partner at The Kite Factory. You can also read about 5 Tips to Drive Programmatic Success.