What to Keep in Mind When Building an In-House Programmatic Team

Making it internal can save money and increase ROI

As programmatic becomes increasingly important in advertising, many are looking to create their own in-house teams. Getty Images
Headshot of Alex Perrin

In-housing programmatic effort can help you save on costs, increase ROI and keep control of your data, and that’s just a few of its benefits.

But it can also raise some important questions, starting with a big one: How do you build out your programmatic team? Attracting top talent is often one of the biggest hurdles brands face after making the decision to in-house programmatic.

Below are some of the most important factors for brands to consider when building their programmatic teams and what kind of knowledge is important for prospective hires to have.

Know the skills to look for

You want to make sure, first and foremost, that any experienced programmatic hire has expertise in running media, either at an agency or in-house at another brand. Qualified candidates will understand auction dynamics, including supply and demand economics and real-time bidding.

It’s also important to remember that the buy and sell sides require two distinct skill sets in programmatic advertising. Ad execution experience matters. Any in-house programmatic hire should know how to identify what inventory is most valuable for the brand and how to report on audience insights and get the most out of the media spend.

Programmatic technology is complex and requires a specific set of skills to manage. You’ll need talent who knows their way around the Lumascape, can help identify what technology to invest in and understand what’s best for the brand.

Understand your key platforms and how to use them

The terms DSP, SSP and DMP should be familiar territory for your new in-house programmatic team. Demand-side platforms, supply-side platforms and ad servers are all integral components of a programmatic campaign and need to be understood by the team working in the weeds of any project. Past experience with the technology is critical so that the team can determine which platforms and capabilities make the most sense for your brand.

Would you get on a flight if your pilot had never landed a plane before? Your programmatic team should know how to choose and leverage the right technology to fit your needs.

Prioritize transparency

Transparent access to data and reporting are two of the main reasons brands are moving programmatic in-house. Therefore, it is important to ensure your team is invested in using accurate data and reliable reporting methods. When weighing the benefits of scale and inventory that walled gardens provide with control and access to data, more brands are making decisions that diversify their partners and allow them to know exactly where their budgets are going.

To do this effectively, though, your team needs to be well-versed in reporting and have a thorough understanding of reach and frequency management to so they can make data-driven decisions, including making optimizations, on the fly.

Have experience with the right creative

For in-house programmatic campaigns to be successful and avoid issues with the creative flighting process, your programmatic talent needs to move away from dated formats and have a strong grasp on tag and pixel management to get the job done.

They also must think big. Consumers engage with an array of gadgets and screens and are met with advertising all day every day. Creative campaigns that are both cross-channel and cross-format reach customers on any device and in any environment, giving them a much better chance of breaking through the noise. When brands implement personalized and quality creative that targets audiences on all channels and incorporates different ad formats, they stay relevant and top-of-mind to the consumer.

@AdelphicDSP Alexander Perrin is vp, programmatic strategy at Adelphic, a Viant-owned people based DSP.