For those of us that have been in Internet Advertising since the late 90’s or early 2000’s, we are all familiar with an Insertion Order (IO) or Purchase Order (PO). For those that don’t know, the IO was the contract establishing the advertising campaign quota between the advertiser or their agency and the publisher’s site or network.

Every salesperson’s daily goal was to bring in the IO. When that signed IO came in, bells were ringing, offices were cheering, highfives and parties would ensue.

The IO normally included standard details, date range of the campaign, ad unit dimensions, creative type, rate, total impressions and budget. Some may have had more specific campaign details in the notes about targeting, data or thirdparty reporting for billing purposes. Once this contract was signed by both parties, creatives would be sent to the site or network and then the campaign was launched.

At this point, the advertiser or agency essentially took a leap of faith in the site or network to run the campaign based on the IO terms. An account manager usually was responsible for daily delivery, creative changes and optimizations.

All manually done with reports from previous days, weeks or months and mostly based on impressions delivered and click rate. The account manager essentially tried to ensure that the daily goals were hit and click rate was met. So now, the campaign was running blind for the advertiser or agency with no control except the ability to email or call the account manager, who would hopefully make the needed changes.

Well, fast forward to today, the IO is dying or already dead in some cases. Much like the resume, the cold call, the voicemail, the rolodex and all other dated tactics of buying and selling media the IO has left the building.

Digital platforms and programmatic buying are on the rise

Enter the new-age era of mobile, programmatic advertising platforms; demand-side platform (DSP), supply-side platform (SSP), data management platform (DMP), customer relationship management (CRM), and more. These simple to use, webbased systems directly connect the advertiser or agency with their target market without a company in the middle. These platforms are changing the digital advertising marketplace by delivering data for strategic campaign optimization.

These digital platforms are on the rise especially as programmatic advertising grows across mobile platforms. According to Statista, the total worldwide digital advertising revenue is likely to be more than $227 billion in 2017 with another report showing DSP revenues alone are expected to reach $2 billion in the United States by 2022.

A campaign’s transparency, build, cost and efficiency remain a digital marketer’s top priority as the marketplace becomes saturated with companies looking to make a quick buck.

Although programmatic buying is complicated, in recent years, the term programmatic has been broken down and the inside of digital advertising platforms revealed. With greater insight into complicated processes such as programmatic buying, companies gain complete access to customizable platforms allowing advertisers to track campaigns and fees in real time.

Secure the right audience

As programmatic buying and data algorithms become more advanced with machine learning and artificial intelligence, marketers can target their exact audience. Thanks to digital platforms that provide complete access to campaign results, marketers can take a look at the in-depth data pulled by each campaign, assess the results and adjust accordingly to reach the right audience.

For instance, whether you want to target pregnant women in Florida within five miles of your store or target dog owners in New Jersey – it’s no problem. Run your ads on, and, no problem. Control your daily budget, start and stop your campaign whenever you want, make creative changes and so much more.

Take control of your campaign

In our on-demand world of choosing when and how we watch content, read articles, follow friends, book travel, get a car ride, date, and on and on, brands and agencies should also have the same controls for running their media programs. There is absolutely no need to rely on a company with unaligned motives to be in charge of advertisement spend, message and potential customers.

Fast forward to 2020, when the use of paper contracts will have vanished and are replaced by web-based agreements. Products such as Google Docs, Docusign and others will use digital signatures and online editing for ease of use. With one simple, secure login for increased automation, minimal room for error and little to no confusion throughout the campaign’s entirety.

It’s time for the advertising platforms and all their wonderful tools to become your marketing weapon!

About the Author: Robert Manoff currently serves as the CEO and co-founder of SoMo Audience, a pioneer in touch advertising solutions for both marketers and publishers. In his position, he oversees the development of the company, from strategy and implementation to directing and managing business and marketing efforts, to ensure growth of SoMo’s solutions.