Programmatic advertising has been an extremely useful way of purchasing banner ads over the past few years. It has allowed advertisers to nitpick their own audience and pay the cheapest rate available set by the marketplace. It has also allowed publishers to sell their inventory to the highest bidder, helping them maximize their revenue opportunities without a full dedicated sales force.
This is all good news right? Not necessarily.
A huge concern that I have about programmatic advertising lies within local media and news. With the ongoing growth of digital across the country, this has caused many TV, Radio, and Newspaper companies to play catch up. The ones that are finding the most success are training their sales reps to change the way they sell their medium and start implementing digital ideas and solutions into the mix. Instead of fully counting on programmatic to sell their site, they are just as successful at finding buyers for their inventory.
So why are direct sales so important for a local media company? It’s because it helps maximize revenue while still maintaining the integrity of your site and the news content that it delivers.
This is a website example of a undisclosed TV station in a medium sized market. Everything you see as the color red is an advertisement. This TV station is in a completely different part of the country than I’m in, but I can tell just by looking at their site that their sales team doesn’t sell digital. All of the ads were remnant ad units either sold using an ad network or ad exchange.
What stands out to me is that the site is heavily overloaded with ad units. There are almost just as many ad units above the fold than there is content on the site. As a user, this would get rather annoying having to search for news content every time I visited. However, many media companies are having to place this many ad units on their site because they can’t get enough revenue to meet budgets without it. What can happen over time is that these sites will start to lose viewership because of how cluttered and disorganized their pages look. Which in turn creates less revenue; which companies counter by creating an extra ad unit to stop the hemorrhaging. This process begins a slippery slope that many media companies are finding out the hard way.
The way you fix this issue of programmatic advertising is by training and developing media reps to understand the digital opportunities on their websites. Counting on remnant ad sales will not help you succeed in any market. Show advertisers why premium placement, and a large share of voice, on one of the highest viewed sites in your area can help make a difference for their business. This is the way you can help maximize your digital dollars while not losing your share of voice in your market.
To learn how mobile advertising can work to your advantage, check out my article: We Know That Mobile Advertising Is Working. Here Is The Reason Why!