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Matt Westover, General Manager, Turn Audience Suite, does a nice job summarizing key takeaways from Forrester’s new report in his post, The Future of Digital Media Buying – Key Takeaways from Forrester’s New Report.

Matt writes,

Recently Forrester released an important new report, “The Future Of Digital Media Buying,” examining how marketing leaders can best use technology to improve targeting, mitigate waste, buy more efficiently and drive better results. Turn was among the sources interviewed as part of the report.

The report contains a wealth of valuable information, and here I’d like to share our perspective on a few of the key takeaways.

Data management enhances the algorithm. According to the report, algorithms on their own don’t make a significant difference for buyers. Although the claims by demand side platforms (DSPs) insist that specific approaches to algorithmic bidding yield better results, marketers are starting to see that the true value driver is the data combined with the algorithm. While it is critical to have a DSP that can execute at the highest level, integrating data management and analytics into that execution is what creates opportunity and dramatically improves performance. The best marketers are truly “customer-obsessed,” as the report puts it. Leveraging a data management platform (DMP) to combine all of your available data, from point-of-sale and CRM data (first party) to third-party sources produces powerful insights about your audience and opens the door to precise and effective targeting, prospecting and engagement.

Programmatic beyond performance – brand dollars are shifting. The report identifies common concerns that kept brand marketers from investing in programmatic in the past – viewability, brand safety and fraud issues. The rise of the private marketplace largely solves these issues, and as such the report predicts a rapid escalation of brand spend in programmatic. We believe private marketplaces can offer brands the best of both efficiency and control. And importantly, private marketplace deals can provide brands access to unique and high-quality inventory not available on the open market, across mobile, display and video.

Unification is the name of the game. Forrester highlights the importance for marketers of data management and buying mechanisms that span across channels – video, display and mobile (and in the future, non-digital channels such as TV and radio). We believe that the ability to plan, view and execute campaigns based on finding the right audience and reaching that same, consistent audience on any channel will become a critical differentiator for marketers. The power of a combined DSP and DMP, along with improvements in multi-touch attribution technology, deterministic and probabilistic device matching and new metrics to connect between online and offline media are now enabling marketers to have a truly unified view of their audience and their campaigns.

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