Why Don’t You Know Why? An Open Letter to Agencies Buying Programmatic Media


Here’s an awkward moment at a client meeting.

You: Unfortunately, our campaign didn’t meet it’s goals.
Client: Why?
You: Um, we’re still analyzing the data.

Here’s an equally awkward moment at a client meeting:

You: Great news! We hit our goals!
Client: Awesome, what did we do that made it work so well?
You: Um, we’re still analyzing the data

Regardless of whether your programmatic marketing campaigns are working or not, you should know why. Because you’re the media expert, remember? They hired you because you know something about audience targeting and media optimization that they don’t. Right?

All most agencies or brands receive from their programmatic marketing program is a roll-up report of impressions, click-throughs and conversions for a particular audience segment (or micro-segment, or nano-segment). And that’s great. But remember what happened the first time you ever saw a keyword search marketing report? It’s like the sky split open and doves cried. All of the sudden you knew exactly where your money was working for you and exactly where it wasn’t. And do you remember what you did with that information?

You changed the way you spent your budget. You stopped spending as much money in areas where you couldn’t prove the value and you started spending more where you could.

So have you ever stopped to wonder, “Why don’t I know why?” when it comes to your programmatic display advertising?

The answer is pretty simple. Because, chances are, your programmatic platform vendor doesn’t know why either. And that’s because the data they target and report against had already been put into a opaque audience segment before they received it.

Well, data is only as valuable as your visibility into it. And once data is put into a segment, you can’t see the activities or behavior that got the users put in the box in the first place. If you actually get a conversion, you can’t learn anything more about that converter to help you optimize your campaign or get more insight.

Unlike most PMPs, Simpli.fi enables bidding, reporting, and optimizing using data in its original, unstructured format. This allows you to eliminate the process of creating and maintaining segment taxonomies, which just takes time, costs money, and makes the data less effective.  By using every individual piece of data about a consumer you can  build a more accurate audience, optimize that audience and then, wait for it. . . report on exactly what that audience did.

So when you get a report from Simpli.fi, you know why. If it worked, you know why. If it didn’t work, you know why. You also see how every keyword and keyword combination performed, what domain your ads were served on, the contextual topics the person had been reading about, you see your cost–heck, you even see our costs. And all that info allows you to make smarter decisions about how you manage your clients’ media budgets (or improve your own margins).

All of our data is visible to you and therefore, it can be valuable to you. Because when you can explain why, you truly are the media expert. And you never have another awkward client meeting again. Well, at least not because of us.