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Matthew Sweeney SVP Customer Engagement Xaxis

All marketers want an advantage, so where do you find the advantage amidst all the clutter?

It’s no secret that data, technology and inventory are key aspects in developing a sustainable and profitable digital strategy.  Then, of course, there is the expertise that is needed throughout those channels to ensure optimization of resources. So, where does the challenge lie? With so many options for these channels, it’s very easy for marketers to get lost in the ecosystem and end up with a sub-par solution. And, worse, they might not even realize it.

How can marketers navigate? By asking themselves these questions:

  • What is the right data? Data that is 100% verified and truthful in its reporting will ensure reaching a unique, proprietary audience and a disconnection from the clutter. A success strategy comes when the right data is used correctly to optimize and inform. Media is most important when considering data but advertising, inventory, activation and experience cannot be forgotten.

  • What kind of technology is necessary to obtaining the right data? A proprietary Data Management Platform (DMP). This will build audiences from a complete digital silhouette in real-time by combining 1st, 2nd and 3rd party data. These profiles are built using factual, observed consumer behavior and will provide you with an unparalleled advantage to other advertisers in the open market.

  • What is the opposite of programmatic? It’s not premium, not manual. Programmatic buying is not easy, and it takes tons of expertise. It encompasses inventory (brand safety, viewability, non-bot and premium), data (safety, privacy, guarded), people (engineers, analysts and data scientists), creative (dynamic, storytelling and impactful) and most importantly, technology (walled gardens, proprietary). All of these teams must be dedicated and specialized. As the digital environment continues to evolve, it is imperative that advertisers and marketers understand the valves of programmatic through industry experts.

  • How do you know your Inventory is premium?  Through exclusive publisher agreements and private marketplaces. There are three different buyer to seller programmatic relationships:

  1. Open Exchanges (many)

  2. Private Exchanges (few)

  3. Programmatic Direct (one)


The difference between these methods as we move down the list is simply less parties involved. When we get to programmatic direct, quality concerns diminish and the price is set in securing the predefined inventory. This is important because as an advertiser, you are now able to have much more control (and confidence) over where your brand is seen.  

Continuing to educate yourself and team is key to understanding the challenges faced with digital advertising rapid evolutions. Although the automated trading of digital advertising is relatively easy, doing it for a market advantage at scale is difficult, and there is nothing more important than your brand having the advantage.