Programmatic media buying has done many things well, but it has done one thing very poorly: it has not kept good track of one of advertising’s most important media buying tenets –context. Context used to be the watchword of print media buyers, who chose audiences by buying certain magazines, like the New Yorker for elite readers or the Pasadena Press for local readers. This sort of buying assumed that if an audience was reading the New Yorker, it would be in the market for jewelry, good Scotch, or luxury cars. They could tell by the context. And it works.
Now we have more data, many DSP users and ATDs are targeting audience without thinking about the context in which the ads appears. They forget to choose the right sites for quality and for their brand.
But on which site the ad appears is still very important. The marketoonist cartoon explains this with clarity.
John Battelle said it best:
Wouldn’t it be better if the ads matched the content? ….
That’s how it used to be, back when ads were bought and sold in a bespoke fashion by publishers’ ad sales forces competing on the quality of their content and the audience it attracted. And it’s how it could be again, given the wealth of contextual information available to marketers today. It’s not an either/or choice: It should be both. It’s well within the programmatic ecosystem’s reach to surface contextual information.
To help programmatic buyers, ZINC offers only top tier high quality sites. This allows ATDs and other buyers on DSPs to know that they are advertising on the very best sites that match their brand. Yes, the price is higher, but the increased performance (just look at the ZINC CTRs to start with) more than justifies this. Many advertisers who buy ZINC programatically are amazed at the performance. To be fair, ZINC performance is derived from great, unique ad units that ZEDO builds and tests specifically. But we have seen clearly that performance is still further enhanced by serving these ads on great, clean high quality sites.