Back in the early days of Internet porn, all you needed on a site like Sex.com was a dizzying set of flashing ad banners slapped up haphazardly across a landing page to rake in millions of dollars in revenue.
The Internet and online marketing have come a long way since then, with a professional breed of media buyers now dominating the ad-based digital inventory by carefully testing, tracking and tweaking every minute detail of each new ad campaign across thousands of sites and several high volume ad networks.
The big advantage of programmatic advertising is the ability to quickly allow advertisers to place the right ads in from of the right people, in the right place at the right time. -Juicy Jay
To keep pace with the desire for the ability to fine-tune placements, track real-time results and stop or start campaigns in seconds, major ad networks are now offering programmatic marketing as an option for anyone seeking to scale promotional efforts based on the current data stream an existing campaign is generating click by click.
“The big advantage of programmatic advertising is the ability to quickly allow advertisers to place the right ads in from of the right people, in the right place at the right time,” said Juicy Jay, founder of JuicyAds.com. “It’s great for advertisers to save money while attempting to maximize their results – assuming they know who their audience is, though the downside is that allowing advertisers to only target the tiny slice of what they want through micro-targeting or programmatic advertising may allow buyers to bid higher for smaller slices of ad space, but the rest of the time the revenue on the same space may be far less.”
For some smaller ad buyers, the idea of manually testing a new creative or tracking a couple of ad buys may make programmatic marketing seem like a more complex way of doing business than necessary. However, on a larger scale when savvy ad buyers are engaged in multivariate testing of creatives and are jockeying for position of spots identified as lucrative depending on their current price, being able to have a standing bid in place on a fully automated platform becomes a much better way of doing business.
“We all have tasks that we find menial, things that we know must get done, that we have little desire to actually do, or spend time doing” said Philip Bradbury, vice president of the company that offers PIMPROLL, Porn.com, Paid Per View and Traffic Force.
“In advertising, especially in adult, sourcing content and creating highly engaging banners is fun, or at least somewhat enjoyable. A lot of the other functions involve statistical analysis, tweaks to bidding thresholds and boring data crunching. Automating not only allows advertisers a chance to concentrate on the areas of their work, but makes it more rewarding and enjoyable; it can also take away the time delay between when a real statistical change occurs, and when the advertiser actually notices that change or decides to take action on it, thus increasing the overall efficiency of a campaign.”
That move toward automation and streamlining the buy process can yield a better ROI, far lower resource costs to generate campaigns and a much faster more agile way of identifying trends, but it does come with some important risks that need to be mitigated as well.
“We allow campaigns starting at $250 and offer a refund if the entire spend is not allocated, but a budget between $250 and $1,000 should give a very good idea of if something is going to convert (and convert bad or good) on any platform,” Juicy Jay said. “Obviously this can be done less by targeting smaller slices of traffic such as by niche or by using our new proprietary SexyTechnology to weed out lower quality traffic sources.
“The effect of cherry-picking just the juiciest fruit may cause the rest of the inventory to become much less valued. Malware advertisers are also taking a keen interest in programmatic advertising as a way to target their victims more stealthily to avoid detection. That’s why one of the major benefits of professional brokers and ad networks are that we add the power of our network to your website.
“We protect our clients every day from credit card fraud, malware advertisers, and people who you just don’t want buying on your website. These shady figures can take a huge bite out of a publisher’s wallet and cause the loss of any gains of going it themselves. It’s like having a professional working in your office to sell your ad space, but only working on commission, its really win-win.”
The other aspect of programmatic marketing that needs to be mentioned is the way it can dovetail seamlessly into the publisher side of the equation with virtually zero effort.
“Certainly there are those out there that do a great job of selling their own ad space; but I think it would be somewhat ignorant for us all to feel that we could do a better job on our own than a company that specializes in dealing with media buyers,” Bradbury said. “It feels like the exact same argument was floating around our industry a few years ago with respect to selling ad space as opposed to monetizing it yourself.
“I remember all sorts of people telling me that selling our ad space was an admission that we couldn’t monetize the traffic ourselves, my feelings then were similar, how ignorant would it be for me to think I could monetize an ad space better than the collective of the hundreds or even thousands of media buyers who compete for that ad space through Traffic Force?
When you don’t sell your ad zones through a successful traffic platform, you not only close your doors to buyers who work exclusively with those companies, but you also put your advertisers in a situation where they have to learn your system and your tools, on top of all the others that they already work with — so essentially you are creating more work for them and yourself, when you could be concentrating on what you do best, generating traffic.”
For many the same bidding system and real-time interface offered by programmatic marketing networks for advertisers is the killer app as a publisher as well. Min/Maxing each ad spend gives better value to media buyers which fuels their desire to make future buys on the same platform, and the result is greater profits for publishers born out of the increased efficiency of available ad spots.
“Many publishers will earn more by having their ad space brokered (instead of selling on their own) because networks such as JuicyAds have thousands of advertisers who are targeting their links very specifically and bidding as much as they can to get as much traffic as they can out of that collection of traffic” explained Juicy Jay. “We also ensure the most lucrative offers are advertised.”
As with any form of traffic procurement, there still isn’t a single best way to do business that becomes applicable across all possible sites and campaigns, but the programmatic marketing methods that are becoming central to many new media campaigns are undoubtedly reaching the point of becoming the central ad style of many high volume buyers and sellers.