Steve Tazic

Vice President, Personalization & Media

Are You Overpaying For Your Programmatic Media?

Are you overpaying for your programmatic media? If your agency is charging you a flat CPM, you are probably paying too much.

Buying media today has never been easier. There are thousands of buying platforms accessible for anyone to learn. Behind each of these platforms is a technology stack, and each piece of technology takes a cut of the advertising cost. For example, to buy media programmatically in a proper setup, an advertiser needs an Ad Server to traffic ads, a DSP to buy media, and other add-ons that are crucial to buy the right media (such as viewability, cross-device tracking, and 3rd party data audience segments). This technology stack is usually obfuscated when buying from a single vendor, and the cost of each piece is marked up to get to a flat CPM. This means costs can be marked up from 20-100% of what it actually costs to purchase the raw media.
It is extremely important to understand where your advertising dollars are spent to make sure that your campaigns are running as efficiently as possible and maximizing your return. So how do you know if you are overpaying for your media? There are a few pricing options that may have hidden fees or other non-transparent methods to watch out for:

Flat CPM
If your agency is charging a flat CPM, you lose visibility into the raw cost of media. When the agency purchases inventory that is less expensive than the flat CPM you are paying, those savings go straight into the pockets of the agency.

Bundled Prices
Some agencies and vendors offer a dynamic CPM, but will bundle all of these expenses into a single media CPM.  Most of the time, each of these components will be marked up, so it is important to understand individual tech stack costs to make sure you are buying media as efficiently as possible.

Some vendors will only provide reporting from their internal tracking systems. You should always track through a third-party impartial ad server to validate the performance of your media dollars.

At Rise, our success depends on our clients’ success. This is why we have adopted a transparent pricing model. The more efficient we can be with our client’s advertising dollars the more they’re able to achieve superior results.
The complicated nature of the full technology stack leaves many opportunities for a middle man to mark up costs. Rise’s position is that there is often additional effort required to maximize the tools in a sophisticated technology stack. However, we believe in exposing the true cost of the tool independently from the cost of managing the tool. This is why we built Connex® Analytics -- so our clients have a clear understanding of where their advertising dollars are going.


Here are some questions to ask your agency or media partner to better understand the level of transparency in your media program reporting:

What are the ad serving costs of this program?
What is the cost of using a DCO ad server for personalized creative?
What is the cost of raw media? What are the costs of management, onboarding, and reporting?
Are automated bidding platform costs dynamic or flat-fee? What are the costs of activating data from a DMP, or measurement tools?

If you’d like to learn more about how Rise can help maximize the return on your media dollars with our transparent pricing model, contact us today.


04/19/2018 at 02:51

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