With programmatic spending expected to reach $69 billion by 2020, programmatic traders are the heavy lifters of the advertising industry. And yet, surprisingly, not every advertising platform considers their specific needs when designing and releasing their products. Perhaps that’s because there’s a lot of misunderstanding about what traders actually do all day.

So, what’s at the top of today’s programmatic traders’ wish list? The answers might surprise you.

1. Omnichannel Focus

Every year, the concept of “omnichannel” becomes more important – and it’s always at the top of many traders’ lists. Historically, traders haven’t had direct access to emerging channels without going through a managed service provider, so any DSP that can diversify its offerings goes a long way. Platforms that give a trader access to mobile, desktop, TV, DOOH, audio and native all within one interface are in demand.

2. Native Tools

No trader wants to have to use four different opensource platforms in order to serve one account, but it’s an unfortunate reality for many. Forget geotargeting in one place, facilitating tags in another and forecasting in yet another; the more tools that are native to a DSP, the happier the trader who’s using it.

3. To Set it and Forget it

Wouldn’t it be nice if not all DSPs needed to be so hands-on? If a trader could plug in his desired KPIs and budget, press “go” and forget about it? Many traders wish for a platform that will do much of the basic, less strategic work for them, including providing recommendations for changes to make if performance goals aren’t being met. This opens up much-needed time in their busy schedules to be more strategic.

4. … But Not All the Time

Sometimes, it’s good for a trader to be able to get their hands dirty. The best DSPs, traders say, will give them the option to turn autonomous features off and give them full control for the sake of scale or performance. As great as automation can be, at times it’s necessary to turn off due to the complexities of each campaign. For example, machine learning viewability (MLV) is great, but if the client is more concerned with scale, it makes more sense to turn off MLV and run on inventory where the trader has seen good performance. It’s like Goldilocks and the Three Bears – traders wish for the level of control that’s just right.

 5. Better Reporting Features

Reporting on campaign performance is a key part of a programmatic trader’s day-to-day. Knowing where a performance stands can make or break a campaign, but unfortunately, reporting can be a hassle to compile. That’s why this list rounds out with a wish for customizable, more in-depth and easy-to-read reporting features in an ideal DSP. Transparent, insightful reporting data is key for traders to draw insights and optimize performance. Machines are lessening the overall workload, but the ability to interpret reporting is where traders continue to prove their worth. A DSP that streamlines analytics and recommendations reduces strain on a trader and enables them act on insights faster and more effectively.