Can Shops Get a Premium, Mid-Tail Experience?
This is the capstone to our coverage of the Cannes International Festival of Creativity, brought to you by Centro, a provider of media services and software that aims to improve campaign performance and digital media teams’ productivity.
Agencies have a conundrum. On one hand, they need direct relationships with publishers that deliver high-quality content ideal for their clients. On the other hand, direct buying carries the burden of managing RFPs, negotiations, ad ops, campaign analytics and reconciliation.
To keep things simple, many agencies lean heavily on a few large and powerful publishers peppered with some programmatic buying. But when they reach for niche audiences via mid-tail publishers, direct buying becomes costly and complicated.
It’s easy to understand why it’s tough to buy the mid-tail and why some agencies avoid it altogether. First, it is an unruly exercise in unpredictably priced inventory. Even the best of breed publishers create a confusing environment, selling inventory to an SSP for less than a dollar but charging a direct buyer a $12 CPM for the same placement.
Second, there are hundreds of viable, quality mid-tail sites, without an efficient process to execute these complex orders. On a media plan, new vendors mean new line items, more management, a bigger chance of human error and, finally, messier reconciliation at the end of the month. Effectively sending out an RFP and then negotiating rates with more than 100 sites for guaranteed placements requires a streamlined workflow and deep buying data.
The digital media planning process without workflow organization can be more complex than anything in the history of media buying. In order to bring clarity to mid-tail buying, agencies need access to organized buying data. We have seen firsthand that with enough insight and the proper workflow in place, clients are happy to pay appropriately elevated rates for guaranteed inventory that has high probability for viewability, is aligned with quality content and avoids high-clutter environments. This applies across desktop, mobile, video, small-canvas and large-canvas display.
A mid-tail strategy of guaranteed, premium digital media execution can truly be the anchor of a campaign, augmenting both deep strategic partnerships with large publishers as well as audience-targeted programmatic bidding via a long-tail format. A media mix combining all three elements can achieve top-funnel brand objectives and later-stage purchase cycle goals. By intelligently navigating the logistics, agencies can transform the mid-tail from unruly and improperly priced into an efficient, brand-safe, element of their digital marketing strategy.
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