Fixing the leaky bucket

Guide April 2020
How to optimise value from programmatic media buying

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How to optimise value from programmatic media buying


Most advertising is now digital and almost 90% of digital display ads are traded programmatically.

The programmatic digital media supply chain is incredibly – and often unnecessarily – complex. In certain areas, it has become this way almost by design. It's no wonder that many marketers struggle to understand how it works, let alone appreciate the potential value that all of the links in the chain can add and subtract.

Optimising the return on investment that programmatic can deliver comes from knowledge and experience of the market. The key to unlocking value in programmatic ecosystems is for brands to build a detailed understanding of how it works. Central to building this understanding is a willingness to ask questions of your agency and technology partners until you’re satisfied with their answers.

While getting to grips with programmatic may seem like a daunting task, our clients’ experience shows that it's possible to demystify your programmatic ecosystem – and in the process improve return on investment – by navigating through the different aspects of it logically, step-by-step.

Contributors to this guide include specialists across our Media and Tech practices, our specialist contract compliance business, FirmDecisions, and our digital media monitoring business, Digital Decisions:

Federica Bowman - Director, FirmDecisions;
Angus Mclean - Director, London;
Travis Lusk - Director, North America;
Ben Millar - Director, Sydney;
Martina Nikolova - Client Partner, Digital Decisions.

Photo of Jide Sobo

Jide Sobo

Director, Strategy & Innovation

Jide Sobo is Director, Strategy & Innovation at Ebiquity. He brings a wealth of experience to the role, having previously been Director of Digital at the company. He has worked in digital marketing for the last 15 years, advising clients including J&J, Danone, Kingfisher, Morrisons, Burger King, and Tesco. He has also partnered with mobile operators where he helped develop early mobile advertising propositions. Before joining Ebiquity, Jide was Head of Mobile for media agency MEC.

What it covers

 Mapping the supply chain to follow the money    

 Managing relationships    

 Taking control and ownership of data  
It’s impossible for marketers to know whether the links in the programmatic supply chain that serve their brand are adding value unless they understand the structure, purpose, and design of that chain.