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Posted in HotTopics, Adtech specialist Rocket Fuel is ranked 15th on Deloitte’s Fast 500 US tech companies. Much of its success is down to its pioneering work around programmatic ad buying. Here Eric Porres, Rocket Fuel’s chief marketing officer, outlines six ways to choose a programmatic solution…

Since its inception a decade ago, programmatic buying has remained the dominant theme in discussions about the future of online marketing. Today, it has evolved into much more than just a buzzword. Rather, it’s become a pivotal component to any strong digital marketing strategy.

Magna Global forecasts that 63 per cent of digital display, video, social, and mobile advertising will be transacted via programmatic buying, and will grow to over 83 per cent by 2017.

Moreover, the International Data Corporation (IDC) and Forrester Research forecast programmatic will very shortly capture the bulk of all digital advertising spending.

The writing is on the wall, and it’s in bold face and neon ink: executives today need a good understanding of programmatic to run successful digital marketing programs and advance their careers.

But using data to buy media is just the start. Marketers need now to think beyond managing third-party audience targeting in display. Instead, they must consider: how I use proprietary data in all areas of consumer communications?

To do that with any success, marketing execs have understanding their goals and evaluate their options. Thankfully, there is plenty of help available.

Meanwhile, here are some things to consider about prospective partners and your own business before deciding which to work with:

1. Get your data together in one place

It’s time to start thinking about expanding your footprint on all marketing and media channels. These days, every company is a big data company. So it’s best to have a single repository of data that can inform all marketing activities. Marketers should be able to drive internal and external efficiencies in data migration, integration, and media activation.

2. It’s about more than just return on ad spend

It’s not 2009 anymore, which means programmatic is no longer just about getting the best return on ad spend (ROAS) on display campaigns. These days, marketers need to be telling an immersive story about their brand, which means getting the right message to the right consumer, in the right place, at the right time, in the right frequency, in the right channel – across the most effective inventory.

3. But return on ad spend is still important

Marketers do want to take into account buying criteria like transparency, data access, and an attractive user interface. But in the end, good ROAS will usually lead to the goals they’re after.

4. Be introspective

Marketers should take stock of their needs and capabilities. Depending on the level of media spend, data volume, and automation already integrated into their marketing process, both “partner” and “vendor” models can help lower endemic overheads and streamline operational processes, which ultimately reduce costs. The fact is, the right level of integration will eventually require one or more key partners. Find the ones that can build a long-term strategic relationship with your company.

5. Be sure to take a partner’s track record into account

The programmatic world is a complex one. Just like a hiking guide in an unfamiliar place, experience and proven success carry a lot of value. If a vendor has a good reputation, it is more likely to find success with you as well.

6. Ask yourself: Are you ready to bring programmatic in-house?

This level of integration may require changing some of your processes and systems—and it’s not easy. Understand that deploying a programmatic platform is a complex project and will require significant resources and commitment. Pay special attention to partners that clearly describe resource requirements such as staffing, team composition, training, deployment, testing, travel, and other relevant details.

The solution(s) you choose should be capable of reaching consumers across screens while managing device frequency and messaging, all while syncing with the unique aspects of your company. Building out a successful, fully integrated marketing effort isn’t easy, but remember: you’re not on your own! All you have to do is find the right partners to help you succeed.

Read the article here.