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The Programmatic Trader’s Ultimate Wish List


With programmatic spending expected to surpass $79 billion by 2021, it’s never been clearer that programmatic traders are the true heavy lifters of the advertising industry. And yet, not every advertising platform considers their specific needs when designing and releasing their products.

So, what’s at the top of today’s programmatic traders’ wish list? Read on to find out – the answers might surprise you.

1. Holistic Programmatic Accessibility

These days, it almost goes without saying that programmatic traders want to work with omnichannel demand-side platforms (DSPs) – but not just because it’s inconvenient to log into and out of platforms when running campaigns across different channels. When a trader isn’t working in an omnichannel DSP, they’re not just limiting their access to a diversity of channels – they’re also reducing their ability to resolve identity. By using a different DSP for each channel, traders can fall victim to small match rates, and can’t share learnings across channels. By working with a unified system, traders can understand who was exposed to or reacted to an ad, and have a broader understanding of just who they have the ability to reach… This will likely help performance and cost too!

2. Integrated and Proprietary Tools

No trader wants to have to use four different solutions platforms in order to serve one account, but it’s an unfortunate reality for many. Forget geotargeting in one place, facilitating tags in another and forecasting in yet another; the more tools that are native to a DSP, the happier the trader who’s using it – and the most cost savings the trader is able to provide.

3. To Set it and Forget it

Wouldn’t it be nice if not all DSPs needed to be so hands-on? If a trader could plug in his desired KPIs and budget, press “go” and forget about it? Many traders wish for a platform that will do much of the basic, less strategic work for them, including providing recommendations for changes to make if performance goals aren’t being met. This opens up much-needed time in their busy schedules to be more strategic. DSPs should have specialized algorithms that are tried and tested for each goal traders need to select, and evolve based on the ever-changing bid-landscape.

4. … But Not All the Time

Sometimes, it’s good for a trader to be able to get their hands dirty. The best DSPs, traders say, will give them the option to turn autonomous features off and give them full control for the sake of scale or performance. As great as automation can be, at times it’s necessary to turn off due to the complexities of each campaign. For example, Viant’s Performance Matrix contains innovative impression multiplier functionality, allowing traders to adjust bids across eleven different variables at both micro- and macro levels of campaign structures giving traders the ability to maximize performance where they deem necessary. It’s like Goldilocks and the Three Bears – traders wish for the level of control that’s just right.

5. Better Reporting Features

Reporting on campaign performance is a key part of a programmatic trader’s day-to-day. Knowing where a performance stands can make or break a campaign, but unfortunately, reporting can be a hassle to compile. That’s why this list rounds out with a wish for customizable, more in-depth and easy-to-read reporting features in an ideal DSP. Transparent, insightful reporting data is key for traders to draw insights and optimize performance. Machines are lessening the overall workload, but the ability to interpret reporting is where traders continue to prove their worth. A DSP that streamlines analytics and recommendations reduces strain on a trader and enables them act on insights faster and more effectively.

6. Advanced Reporting and Measurement Capabilities

The ideal DSP will offer traders the ability to produce the top-tier reports like cross-channel measurement, offline sales lift and multi-touch attribution. But more than that, it should provide the ability to pull back the curtain on such reporting, allowing traders to go a level deeper understand the data at a granular level. To borrow an analogy, some technology partners don’t allow traders to see how the sausage is made – and many do – which can limit traders’ ability to get a complete 360-degree view of their work.


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