The digital media environment continues to change at a rapid pace. In order to sell digital sponsorship with confidence, we need to stay ahead of the pace of change by educating ourselves about the latest trends.
The trend toward programmatic ad buying continues to increase, and this is a bit of a pain point for us in public media. Because of our language restrictions, we can't wholeheartedly embrace this trend alongside other advertisers.
Clients who engage in programmatic buying are using a publisher or ad network/agency to set a determined budget, upper/lower CPM, and start/end dates. The process is self-service so when the buyer clicks "go," the buy is executed automatically, non-stop, until the budget or end-date is reached.
If you're talking to a prospect about digital sponsorship, you should assume they're engaging in some sort of programmatic buying. Common platforms are through Google and Facebook, but the practice is becoming more universal. In fact, an April report from eMarketer shows that $46 billion will be spent on programmatic advertising this year, meaning that 82.5 percent of digital display ads in the U.S. will be purchased through automated channels.
This doesn't mean there's not a valuable place for public media sponsorship.
Radio advertisers like digital.
There a strong case to be made to your clients for broadcast and digital to be sold together. Why? Because:
- Merging broadcasting and digital gives additional reach and/or repetition.
- 85% of radio advertisers also buy digital (RAB and BA 2017).
- Digital generates 7.5% of average station revenue (RAB and BA 2017). This will grow as digital migration continues.
- Public media’s audience, content, community, and uncluttered environment still entice buyers.
Be ready to position against programmatic.
Programmatic has a low barrier to entry, is low-maintenance, and increasingly common. But it
have its weaknesses.
Significant percentages of media buyers cites the following - legitimate - concerns about programmatic: (eMarketer 2017)