Understanding The P Word

January 20, 2017 by guest author, Richard Fortin

Guest Post: Stephanie Gutnik, BroadSign

If you spend anytime thinking about advertising in digital signage these days, you have likely come across the term programmatic.

Stephanie Gutnik

You might also be unsure of what that P Word means, as the term has been co-opted and used in many ways. To further the confusion, throw in all of its accompanying acronyms, like SSPs and DSPs.

To me, programmatic is most simply defined as the automation of processes that are based on data-driven decisions. When automating the analysis and application of data for direct ad sales, it will speed up the existing workflows for buying and placing ads, and reduce human errors. When opening up sales to a larger marketplace, it will allow buyers (advertisers and agencies) to purchase Digital OOH inventory in the same way they have been accessing digital and mobile displays for years.

An SSP, in the programmatic world, is a Supply-Side Platform that exists to represent the best interests of advertising inventory suppliers. In the context of the digital signage industry, suppliers are digital display network owners who wish to expose available inventory to buyers they do not deal with directly.

An SSP integrates with as many DSPs (Demand-Side Platforms) as possible. DSP users are media buyers who want to efficiently sort and select available inventory – the displays best suited to their campaign requirements.

Bids are placed, the highest one wins, content is played and performance is proven.

Digital (online) workflows have set the tone for programmatic standards and procedures, posing a problem for Digital OOH media owners because the mediums are quite different.

For starters, using online-centric buying platforms means Digital OOH operators would only be paid for one impression (as one person typically uses their computer or mobile), even though digital signage displays are one-to-many mediums and payment for multiple times this amount is warranted.

In addition to technology, there is an equally important educational component that will dictate the success of programmatic DOOH. Informing advertisers, agencies and DSPs of DOOH’s benefits and value-add to campaigns – that previously only incorporated media such as digital and mobile – will take time. Digital signage network operators must also be brought up to speed on new transaction methods and how they can enhance business operations.

I work at BroadSign and we have long placed a major product focus on Digital OOH. It was clear to us that programmatic will work best for Digital OOH if there is a platform tuned to the medium – which is why we developed BroadSign Serv SSP – a Supply-Side Platform (it’s not related in any way to Samsung’s SSP – or SMART Signage Platform).

Programmatic has become somewhat of a naughty term. Just like the F word, it can mean a variety of things and be used in a multitude of ways. To grasp its existence in the digital out-of-home industry, I suggest you read this “Programmatic DOOH 101”.

Upon covering the basics, you can take a look at “The Long Road to Programmatic DOOH” to understand why, again like the F word, the P word can be used to describe fascination or frustration.

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