The complexity in digital advertising today can be blamed for everything from a lack of transparency to unwarranted cost elevation and malicious fraud.
The challenges are most evident in programmatic advertising, which eMarketer predicts will capture more than 83% of U.S. digital display spending this year. There are so many players handling individual pieces of the programmatic supply chain that some are inevitably “bad ones who destroy value," in the words of IAB President and CEO Randall Rothenberg.
Siloed buying and media management have added further complexity and cost, making it harder to prove the efforts are working towards a coordinated outcome that serves an advertiser's overarching business strategy.
The programmatic specialist, the addressable TV buyer, and the experts in so-called walled garden platforms may work in tandem, but with divergent KPIs.
Add in the further complexity of myriad premium publishers in multiple geographies with varied requirements, languages, and standards and it's no wonder eMarketer also notes a slowdown in the rate of growth in programmatic.
How Simplicity Will Add to Growth
It's time for that to change. The agencies, platforms, partners like Xaxis who serve marketers need to be experts in handling advertising technologies in order to drive results that serve clients' business strategies.
We can stop using complex and obfuscating jargon — brand vs. performance, micro-DSP vs. DMP and SSP, cost-per-click vs. engagement scores, mass buys vs. incremental reach — and start speaking the language of business.
We are not delivering programmatic, nor technologies, nor marketing KPIs. We are making them work in concert to serve the clients' needs and deliver business outcomes. Clients should be charged based on those outcomes, not incremental media spend.
Instead of becoming a line on a media plan, we need to understand clients' needs and propose solutions. We need to deliver real results that serve the larger goals, encompassing the most efficient forms of messaging in the most effective ways possible across every platform and every screen.
By focusing on business outcomes, we simplify what we are offering to clients. We remove barriers to understanding and add clarity. We are not offering marketing KPIs nor technological lingo or steps along the advertising supply chain. We are offering simple value that any executive can understand. We are offering ROI.