Precise content and target are key for successful programmatic ad delivery.
Precise content and target are key for successful programmatic ad delivery.

How do you create a content plan around programmatic ad delivery without putting the integrity of your media brand at risk?

Data will need to flow through the veins of a media organisation like oxygen to a person.

An advertiser wants to reach a particular person, and all around you are platforms that are building pools of those very people and learning about their intent to buy.

Directories are able to build “in the moment” groups of people who are actually looking for products. Search engines offer a similar picture, and social media platforms know the person and his likes, dislikes, and habits.

Imagine an e-commerce platform that has lost a sale at the basket and knows that there is a consumer highly likely to spend imminently. Would it be able to monetise that customer by allowing his data to be purchased by a third party after its own re-targeting has failed?

The point is that publishers are hiding behind the principle that their content is the best in the business and a premium touch point with consumers.

However, deriving sustainable revenues from it digitally is challenging. Paid content online is a minefield of uncertainty while the majority of print publishers are fighting circulation decline in print.

If you believe that you can get consumers to pay for your content online, you don’t need to worry about any of this.

General news holds no context to hook a user up with an advertiser. General features have the same problem – the latest car review in the newspaper just happens to be the most recent, but can it really be used a true indicator of intent to buy?

People accessing that same review long after it was first published may indeed show more intent beyond browsing, especially based on the manner of their arrival at that article.

One thing is for certain: Publishers with professional editorial teams are the best in the business at writing content. The potential to generate good revenues from it online are there, but it does require a slight change of tack.

We all know that the editorial and advertising teams are rather at odds, each paying each other’s wages. A symbiotic existence is required and each has its own digital transformation to make.

For programmatic advertising to really work for a publisher, the needs of the advertiser need to be satisfied upstream through the needs of the consumer.

If your advertisers (and hopefully they are grouped by sector) are looking for their next customer – who might be looking to spend money on garden furniture, for example – you’ll need reliable content that can firstly attract them and secondly be suitably informative so that it would apply to their needs.

Only then can you be confident that targeting them with relevant advertising after they have left your site is likely to pay off for your advertiser.

Writing one story isn’t going to work either. Over time and in line with your customer base, which one presumes has synergy with the reader base, you will need to build attractive and specific evergreen content that builds a material data set that can inform the ad serving infrastructure while helping sales teams to articulate the opportunity.

In the United States, you will be told that you require a data scientist holding a Ph.D. In Europe, the industry will say you need a director of data – and everyone will think you are talking about e-mail addresses.

One thing is for sure, you need a vision and a plan that truly understands your market(s) and really gets under the skin of what everyone needs. Then you can plan how content can grease the wheels.

Programmatic ad delivery is precision, as must be the content. Otherwise it’s the blind leading the blind leading the blind — unless you’re a search engine, social network, and maybe even a directory, all of which have acquired powerful binoculars.