How Today’s Best Sample Suppliers Succeed with a Programmatic Approach

Dec 19, 2016 | Marketplace

In our last post, we discussed how the rise of APIs has given way to a new era of sampling that is programmatic, automated, and far more efficient. In this post, we take a look at how programmatic sampling directly impacts supplier success.

As we’ve described before, an API is a software-to-software interface that makes it possible for two pieces of software to talk to each other and exchange data. You can think of an API as a set of rules that govern how one application can communicate with another. APIs:

  • “Expose” some of an application’s internal functions and data to another application in a limited and defined way without having to share all of the software’s code.
  • Provide the “building blocks” for developers by giving access to features and data.
  • Connect businesses, create partnerships, and fuel innovation and growth.

Developers “consume” an API to build or integrate with existing apps that leverage the features and data exposed. Examples of APIs at work in your daily life:

  • Google’s integration with the Uber API tells you the location of the nearest cab and the estimated Uber fares to get you from point A to B. It sends you directly to the app to book a ride.
  • Target’s integration with the PayPal API lets you use your PayPal account for speedy and secure online checkout. Since PayPal links to your debit cards, credit cards, and bank account, you can skip entering payment and shipping information at checkout.
  • The social share buttons you see on most news sites and blogs – like this one 🙂 – enable you to easily share articles on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn through integrations with their APIs.

When we talk about “programmatic” in the world of sampling, we’re referring to a software solution that integrates with APIs to automate the process of supplying sample. Programmatic solutions like these are the direct result of API partnerships.

More control for sample suppliers

Sample suppliers who take a programmatic approach gain control of their sampling strategy and can innovate in new and exciting ways.

For example, by integrating with our Supply API, suppliers access Lucid’s global marketplace and a vast inventory of available surveys. They can then develop faster and more effective ways of delivering sample to those surveys. Our API exposes important survey metrics like CPI, LOI, and conversion so suppliers can optimize their delivery efforts. With the API, suppliers have the power and flexibility to customize their integrations to best serve their needs.

In 2013, 10 percent of all Fulcrum Exchange transactions were supplied through Supply API integrations. This year, that share has grown to 94 percent. Automated, programmatic supplying is exploding in the online sample world for these reasons:

  1. More efficient sample transactions

Programmatic marketplaces have eliminated what was previously a manual sales effort of phone calls and emails between buyer and supplier.

Before programmatic sampling, suppliers bid on projects, committed to feasibility, and locked in price before surveys went live. Now, suppliers access real-time survey stats and other critical, API-exposed survey meta data to evaluate performance.

Suppliers build their integrations with advanced algorithms that adjust and optimize sample delivery automatically throughout the life of a survey. Delivery is lightning fast, beginning as soon as a buyer hits the launch button. Delivery stops as soon as quotas are full, or if important metrics like conversion or earnings per click (EPC) drop below a predefined threshold.

All of this is done with little to no human intervention creating great efficiencies in both workflow and performance.

  1. Higher earnings per click (EPC) and conversion

Earnings-per-click or EPC and conversion are the bedrock metrics for suppliers and both are seeing after taking an API-driven approach.

The foundation of programmatic delivery is data. Understanding key survey performance data, like CPI, conversion, and LOI, is paramount when comparing competing survey opportunities. The value of this real-time data cannot be overstated.

Effective suppliers drive their EPCs and conversion up by adding business rules to their API integrations that ensure high EPC surveys receive the most traffic and low conversion surveys stop receiving sample altogether. In doing so, they also influence buyer pricing and behavior, contributing to a healthier ecosystem overall.

Inherent to this improvement is choice.  Now that suppliers can choose the right survey for each respondent in real-time based on the best data possible, suppliers metrics are getting better.  

  1. Happier respondents

The benefits of programmatic delivery also contribute to a much improved experience for respondents. Suppliers avoid sending their respondents to low-converting surveys with a poor user experience.

They match respondents with the best survey opportunities based on demographic requirements and other qualifying criteria. Also, since suppliers limit their delivery to those surveys they deem to have the greatest value, this often translates to higher incentives for respondents.

The result: Faster screening + better incentives = happier and more engaged respondents.

Programmatic Supplying Is Here To Stay

The world of data-driven, programmatic sampling is here to stay. By using technology to automate what have traditionally been manual tasks, suppliers gain speed and efficiency. This allows them to spend more time optimizing and fine tuning their strategy, developing smarter and more sophisticated ways of supplying sample, and maximizing revenue.

Programmatic is no longer an experimental strategy but a must-have in the sample supplier’s toolbox. The reality is that in order to remain competitive, sample suppliers must adapt or they will fall behind.  

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