The Trade Desk’s New Product Suite Could Boost Emerging Programmatic Channels

The Trade Desk on Tuesday released a campaign planning tool called Planner. Powered by company’s first branded AI product, called Koa, which was also released Tuesday, Planner is designed to drive pre-campaign and in-flight optimization.

The vendor hopes the two products will accelerate spend in emerging categories such as streaming audio and connected TV and entrench itself more deeply with agency clients.

Agencies want to connect their media planning and strategy teams with the people doing the actual media buys, said Brian Stempeck, The Trade Desk’s chief client officer.

The planner product evaluates first-party and third-party data to generate a strategy mapping the most effective devices, sites, apps, geographies or demographics for a brand to reach its target audience and suggests ways to reallocate media spend.

The Trade Desk hopes it can do away with large “test-and-learn budgets” that often eat up $100,000 or more and stifle programmatic spend, Stempeck said.

While the planner doesn’t just turn on and run by itself, it helps clients think more deeply about their campaigns and refine their KPIs, Stempeck added.

The campaign planner can show how different priorities would impact in-flight optimization. It could help a brand decide whether to consolidate budgets in the best-performing locations or spend more to boost awareness in underperforming markets. Or it could help a marketer decide whether it’s better to appear next to relevant media content or any media that overindexes for its target audience.

The campaign planner will also suggest potential channels to add to the media mix.

Many brands are heavy online video advertisers but have no budgets or plans for connected TV campaigns. In those instances, Stempeck said, the planner tool gives The Trade Desk and its agency clients a stronger case during strategy stages to consider new, high-performing channels.

“We saw with mobile how long it took media dollars to track consumer adoption, and it was very profitable for companies that took advantage of that,” Stempeck said.

And streaming audio channels like Pandora and Spotify are other examples of already popular consumer hubs with strong branding ROI that’s undervalued because marketers lag consumers, he said.

The new services are all free add-ons for The Trade Desk clients. “We figure the more they spend this way, the more they’ll spend programmatically overall,” Stempeck said.

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