10 Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Programmatic Analytics Platform

By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer

How to Choose the Right Programmatic Analytics Platform

Programmatic advertising has transformed the way people buy and sell online ads.

In 2021, U.S. advertisers spent 41.2% more on programmatic display ads than in 2020—and it’s easy to understand why. 

Leveraging automated software and artificial intelligence (AI) to collect real-time data gives key stakeholders complete visibility over where their ads appear. It also highlights who’s seeing them and how profitable they are in real-time—a level of transparency that’s not available with any other type of advertising. 

Luckily, there are many programmatic analytics platforms on the market today. 

Choosing the right one helps businesses stop marketing dollars from flowing into irrelevant market segments while focusing resources on the most beneficial opportunities.

So how do you know which platform is right for your business?

In this blog post, I share

  • 10 Things to Consider Before You Select
  • 14 Popular Programmatic Analytics Platforms

    10 Things to Consider Before Selecting a Programmatic Analytics Solution for Your Healthcare Brand

    1. Define Your Programmatic Advertising Needs and Goals

    Before selecting a programmatic analytics platform, identify your business goals and objectives. Knowing these goals upfront helps you better understand which programmatic elements are must-haves (e.g., ad inventory options, audience segmentation options, channel options, device options, etc.). From there, it’s easy to leverage these insights to develop short- and long-term goals for your programmatic strategy. 

    2. Prioritize Data Transparency and Privacy Protection

    Find a programmatic analytics platform that emphasizes data transparency. You want to see exactly where your ads are appearing and what you’re getting for your money—in real-time. High-level access to data allows businesses to optimize offers, target, and maximize ad revenues. The protection of user data and privacy is also a crucial consideration.

    3. Evaluate the User Experience

    Once you’ve narrowed down your options, I recommend scheduling a free demo of each to review its ease of use and basic functionality. Having an intuitive tool that’s easy to learn and use is essential. If the interface is cumbersome, confusing, or takes too long to deploy a single ad campaign, do yourself (and your team) a favor and keep looking.

    4. Understand the Cost Structure Fully

    Cost is an integral part of any marketing strategy, especially when considering a programmatic platform. While some platforms will charge a fixed price for the actual cost of media, others will follow a flexible on-demand model with variable costs.

    Before signing any contracts, it’s essential to understand minimum fees, upfront or one-time fees, onboarding or training fees, actual costs of media, other fees not included in the subscription fee, and the typical billing cycles.

    5. Review Available Ad Formats and Targeting Options

    Another critical part of choosing the best programmatic analytics platform for your business is confirming which solution provides a substantial demand for the advertising formats (e.g., display, video, mobile, native, etc.) you plan to use. 

    Ensuring plenty of flexible targeting options is essential for building effective campaigns because they directly impact CTR (click-through rate), ad viewability, and other metrics that directly impact ad revenue.

    6. Ensure Demand Sources Align with Your Core Audience

    Generally speaking, the more demand sources (ad networks, ad exchanges, and direct/private deals), the better the platform is. However, it’s important to review available demand sources closely to ensure good coverage of your core audience’s geographical locations.

    7. Consider the Backend Technology 

    When looking at the platform’s technology, it’s crucial to determine whether it’s based on an original or third-party solution. While some third-party tech platforms offer robust features and reliable performance, the most reputable SSP (supply-side platform) providers maintain their own platforms.

    8. Look for Robust Integration Capabilities

    Finding a solution that seamlessly integrates with the third-party tools and platforms you are already using or may need to implement in the future (e.g., third-party data sources or analytics tools) is non-negotiable. To avoid unnecessary headaches, keep looking until you find a tool that satisfies these needs.

    9. Find a Scalable Solution

    Your programmatic data solution should allow you to view and use your data. The more you can customize data, reporting, and dashboards to your business, the deeper you can dive into your programmatic operations. 

    The programmatic analytics solution you choose should be a long-term solution that allows you to incorporate custom formulas and calculations. Platforms that enable the self-configuration of data can help you optimize your reporting and analytics and answer questions specific to your business.

    10. Ask About Technical Support

    The quality of technical support is crucial, whether it’s your first time managing a programmatic analytics platform or you’ve got plenty of experience. 

    Look for high marks in technical support solutions, including hours of operation and available communication tools (e.g., dedicated account manager, 24-hour live chat, email, phone). If a platform only has a generic email address, ask about their average response time. You also want to confirm the platform has comprehensive training materials and FAQs.

    14 Popular Programmatic Analytics Platforms

    Take time to research each of these programmatic analytics platforms to make the best decision for your brand. Alternatively, work with a team of skilled ad buying professionals to begin attracting a wider audience and converting high-quality leads more quickly.

    Here are 14 popular platforms that help businesses execute cross-channel, performance-driven campaigns, optimize return on ad spend (ROAS), and deliver comprehensive data tracking capabilities.

    Editor’s note: The platforms listed below are in no particular order.

    1. theTradeDesk

    Specializes in real-time programmatic marketing automation technologies, products, and services, designed to personalize digital content delivery to users.

    2. AdRoll

    Sophisticated audience targeting, cross-channel engagement, advanced measurement, and attribution

    3. PulsePoint

    Specializes in accelerating programmatic data analytics and health technology to deliver contextually relevant and personalized health information.

    4. StackAdapt

    Specializes in distributing and promoting content using real-time, data-driven audience targeting.

    5. Simpli.fi

    Specializes in delivering integrated omnichannel workflow to help media buying organizations perform more effectively and efficiently.

    6. Adobe Advertising Cloud DSP

    Specializes in cross-screen and cross-channel integrations for planning, buying, measurement, and optimization.

    7. MediaMath

    Specializes in helping marketing teams handle advertising data, audience segmentation, and programmatic marketing on a unified platform.

    8. PubMatic

    Specializes in connecting publishers with ad buyers through automated systems while allowing users to opt-out of having personal data collected via internet searches. 

    9. Google Ad Manager

    Specializing in streamlining operations and capturing the most value for every impression through granular controls, multiple ad exchanges, and networks (e.g., AdSense, Ad Exchange, third-party networks, and third-party exchanges).

    10. Criteo

    Specializes in self-service cost-per-click (CPC) bidding, allowing advertisers to place bids on display retargeting campaigns, see changes, and optimize campaigns in real-time.

    11. Xandr (fka AppNexus)

    Specializes in buying and selling consumer-centric digital advertising and optimizing return on investment for buyers and sellers. 

    12. SmartyAds

    Specializes in programmatic solutions that leverage machine learning, AI, and other smart technologies.

    13. Audience Studio by Salesforce

    Specializing in delivering deep data insights to strengthen customer relationships across every consumer touchpoint.

    14. Lotame

    Specializes in delivering flexible ad solutions using deep data insights to strengthen customer relationships across every consumer touchpoint.

    Programmatic advertising is an effective method for generating awareness about your brand. And, compared to other advertising channels, it’s very affordable, especially when you consider the advanced targeting options that allow you to connect with your brand’s ideal customers.

    Working with a skilled marketing agency with specialized experience in programmatic advertising can help you run targeted ad campaigns that increase brand awareness, attract new patients, and generate revenue for your hospital or healthcare organization.

    Stewart Gandolf
    Chief Executive Officer at Healthcare Success
    Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare Success, one of the nation's leading healthcare and digital marketing agencies. Over the past 20 years, Stewart has marketed and consulted for over 1,000 healthcare clients, ranging from practices and hospitals to multi-billion dollar corporations. A frequent speaker, Stewart has shared his expertise at over 200 venues nationwide. As an author and expert resource, Stewart has also written for many leading industry publications, including the 21,000 subscriber Healthcare Success Insight blog. Stewart also co-authored, "Cash-Pay Healthcare: Start, Grow & Perfect Your Cash-Pay Healthcare Business." Stewart began his career with leading advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, where he marketed Fortune 500 clients such as Wells Fargo and Bally's Total Fitness.

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