Five Ways MTA Should Be Controlling Your Programmatic Stack

The promise of programmatic advertising technology is increased efficiency - both in dollars and time. The reality is more of a mixed blessing, as the proliferation of vendors, solutions, channels, devices, and challenges complicates almost every step of the campaign lifecycle.

Multi-touch attribution (MTA) is being used increasingly to provide a north-star of measurement - giving clarity as to the effectiveness of each ad a consumer sees. But what’s a marketer to do with this clarity? The work of continual optimization across paid social, paid search, display and video media can be mind-numbing. When you multiply that with creative optimization at a message level across these same channels, just the thought of another A|B test can lead shear depression.

To help, the individual systems of our programmatic stacks will optimize for us. They can move media spend from tactic to tactic, and creative to creative, based on various goals we set.  However, a multi-channel marketer taking this approach now has siloed systems working toward different KPIs. This is like the different sections of an orchestra playing different pieces simultaneously.  Without a single conductor leading all the players in the same piece, there’s no harmonious result.

Talk with your MTA provider about how their systems can act as a conductor. Here are some elements that MTA should be able to remote control other systems in your programmatic stack:

  1. Spend Allocation: If your MTA system provides fractional credit at the ad level, it should be able to direct small budget changes to DSPs and SEMs.

  2. Keyword Selection: Some keywords, while they don’t close a sale, are valuable in the mid-funnel portion of a consumer’s journey. Your MTA system should value each search keyword according to multiple factors, not just how frequently it closes a sale. By controlling your SEM tools, MTA can defund keywords that have the least value, while investing in high ROI keywords.

  3. Audience Selection: MTA systems that integrate directly with a DMP provide ROI insights for audience segments purchased as well as those who have performed well even without being activated. Certain audiences have high ROI. Other audience segments will be heavy repeat purchasers. Other segments may have a particularly short path to purchase. Use these insights to create new test buys that target these overlapping segments.

  4. Creative Messaging and Sequencing: Modern MTA solutions provide insights on creative ad performance: where high-performing messages fall in the path-to-purchase, which call to action yields the highest revenue per purchase. Links between MTA and ad servers or dynamic creative providers can automate the optimization of creative.

  5. Frequency Capping: By overseeing all channels, MTA systems will show you the optimal ad frequency for reaching a brand’s key goals. These optimizations can be transferred to ad servers and programmatic tools to reduce manual work.

How does this all happen?

MTA systems can be integrated with other parts of your programmatic stack in a few ways:

  • Server to server connections: These advanced integrations allow fast sync of two systems in real-time or near-real-time.

  • APIs: These interfaces allow one system to request or send information to another and have that info go to the right place. Depending on how sophisticated a system’s APIs are, one system can remote-control another system.

  • Batch updates: These transfers of large data files can occur daily or hourly. Batch updates can contain user IDs, conversion data, and recommended optimizations/changes.

How do we avoid letting the machines take over?

Speak with your MTA provider about the business rules and governance you want to institute. Advanced MTA systems allow a variety of engagements between the attribution results and the activation commands:

  • Manual: You may wish to review all MTA optimizations for a given channel first, then manually log into the DSP/SEM and change the items you approve.

  • Approve automated changes: MTA solutions like Convertro will present a variety of options for optimization. You can review the options and click “ACT” on the items you wish to optimize. Convertro will then automatically make the adjustment in the programmatic tool for you.

  • Fully automated changes: MTA, if properly integrated, can virtually take over the optimization of campaigns on a DSP or SEM, using its north-star view over every channel to ensure optimal performance in each channel.

Want to learn more about Marketing Mix Models + Multi-Touch Attribution best practices? Get in touch with one of our experts,

This post was written by Michael Lamb, Director of Product Marketing.