April 19, 2024


Programmatic, when designed, was promised to be marketing utopia; allowing for precision audience targeting, greater accountability, flexibility, and real time optimization driving business outcomes.  Despite significant progress, there’s still work to do in order to achieve marketing nirvana.  Instead, digital, and programmatic have been mired in brand safety challenges, invalid traffic, bots, supply chain transparency challenges, and accountability to metrics that are either media proxies or tied to short-term business outcomes that will not drive sustained business value over a long period of time.  Marketing is designed to achieve these short-term business outcomes while building brands that are well positioned for 5-10 & 20-40 years from now.

The need for short term customer acquisition has led to poor optimization practices such as unsuitable choice of creative types or tactics, over-reliance on single performance metrics as KPIs, turning to prospecting tactics for profits, over frequency to audiences, poor re-targeting practices, etc.  We understand the business realities of quarterly earnings, revenues, and media’s focus on contributing to these important results.  However, there needs to be a higher standard and greater accountability.


It’s time for a new definition of success. An optimization and measurement solution that’s designed for the dynamic and programmatic marketplace, and an optimization/measurement solution that leads to sustained business value.  The current definition of success is focused on media metrics and leveraging legacy attribution models that were built for traditional media, digital channels, and not for biddable media/dynamic optimization.

If you look at the brands in the chart below that scored well against brand equity in 2000 compared to 2020, there is significant overlap. Only 3 brands were not on the top 10 list in 2000 vs 2020, Google, Amazon, and Apple.  It is clear brand equity is important and marketers need to invest in building brand equity as it translates to sustained business value over a significant period.  In this case, 20 years.  In many cases, the notion of delivering sustained business value should be the goal of media investment; not simply immediate profits & revenue.


The next phase of media accountability is required as we are currently not empowering our clients to drive sustainable business value.  Instead, our clients’ business experiences significant customer churn and quick profits at the expense of true business growth and longevity.

It’s important to elaborate on the need for a measurement and optimization infrastructure that’s fit for a dynamic and programmatically traded marketplace.  Most current solutions are not able to provide the ability to optimize at the pace at which we bid/trade, and the dynamism required for today’s current trading models.  While they’re driving business accountability, there are gaps in their ability to drive immediate optimizations.  There should be a higher optimization standard and approach that’s designed for the power of a real time optimized marketplace.  Thus, we took it upon ourselves to reimagine and establish the higher standard.

MEET ELEVATE - predictive of sustained long term business value


Ai Digital’s proprietary optimization and measurement framework; built by programmatic traders for a programmatic trading model.   ELEVATE is accountable to brand equity - tied to driving favorable brand perception & consumer sentiment that is predictive of sustained long term business value


Accountable outcomes tied to sustained business value

A shift in the traditional definition of success from media metrics such as impressions, reach, clicks to brand equity;

Targeted impressions to the audiences that are driving brand equity;

Minimized wasted impressions in the plan;

Insight into the audiences that are driving brand equity and loyalty.

Now, why do we call it ELEVATE?

As mentioned previously, we believe clients and the marketplace have not realized or capitalized on programmatic’s potential.  We are a collective of experienced digital practitioners, strategists, campaign success managers, and analytics experts that have a relentless passion for making marketing better and driving results for our clients.  It is our responsibility and goal to improve the digital ecosystem by ensuring marketers realize digital’s full potential and deliver in their best interests.

We are excited to push the industry forward and ultimately ELEVATE the marketplace for better.
Matt Bayer & Team Ai Digital

Matt Bayer has always been passionate about evolving the way media is traded, optimized and measured; all centered around providing clients greater value and, most importantly, accountability to business outcomes.  In the spirit of shifting the paradigm from media proxies to business outcomes, Matt is Ai Digital’s Chief Strategy Officer; alongside the most progressive team of strategists, optimization experts, statisticians and analytics specialists in our industry; Matt and team ensure that our clients investments are held to a higher standard and delivering on both short term and long term business goals through innovative optimization techniques.  Previously, Matt held senior leadership positions in programmatic, Advanced TV, biddable media, OTT/CTV,  emerging media, & video strategy & activation at both holding companies and leading independent agencies;  Cadreon (IPG), Carat & Crossmedia.

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