Digital Media Simplified: Part 2 – Better Technology, Better Decisions

In Part 1 of our 3 part blog series, “Digital Media Simplified: Understanding the Data”, we explained the vast number of data options available to businesses and how to use that data to target the right users.  In this next part of our series, we will break down the 2nd key ability: Making Better Decisions Using Better Technology.

Technology Driven Solutions_1

For years publishers and advertisers used a legion of planners and buyers exchanging paperwork and insertion orders to buy media. It was all very…manual. I wouldn’t call it Stone Age, but it wasn’t what we have today.

stone age

Over the last 3 years the buzzword “programmatic” has become commonplace among digital media buyers.  In this context it means a program built to make automated decisions on a per impression basis in order to serve the most cost effective piece of content to the right person at the right time for the right cost.  

Bid Factors

Feeling that there must be a more efficient way to bid on media, a few demand-side platforms actually took it upon themselves to create the technology to better serve both advertisers and publishers.

This resulted in a few really great technology options for buying media, however, they needed to be guided by a set of principles or guidelines.  We recently developed a partnership with The Trade Desk, who have a transparent approach to optimizing media. They use a set of bid factors giving a value modified multiplier to each attribute. These attributes are limitless including: a specific audience, a placement, an ad size and even the time of the day.

trade deskMachine Learning

This concept of bid factors is the perfect compliment for an age of machine learning. In the digital media universe machine learning really has two phases:  

machine learning

Finding out what works with minimal bumps and bruises along the way is crucial. The exploitation phase is where we start to make progress. Guided by the bid factors, the algorithm starts to optimize toward a target KPI that guides every decision. Commitment to this optimization process allows our advertisers to trust the machine learning and start focusing on the things that marketers really should:developing more content or improving the content they have.


Using the technology to achieve the results is important, but what’s even more important is communicating the results properly.  This can make or break a multi-channel digital strategy.

Communicating to stakeholders and senior management can be challenging. This becomes even more difficult if senior management doesn’t have a strong digital acumen. At Delphic we take the approach to not just report, but tell a story, and of course simplify!  

For one of our clients it was important to make sure to measure any marketing tactic against a holdout group to measure the incrementality of our display efforts.  In this case, the results were apparent within weeks:

banner measurement

This allowed our client to communicate the success of their investment and also use this data as a vehicle to have conversations about additional investment in digital channels. Using the proper technology and communicating the results are important,  but perhaps true success in digital media is having a commitment to differentiating your brand and your story from all of the noise out there. That is the ability we’ll review in the final part of our Digital Media Simplified series.

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