Is it a new gimmick? Does it have something to do with advertising? Is it a new form of marketing? Does it have anything to do with sales funnels? These questions may be buzzing through your mind even as you nod wisely when someone talks about digital marketing. For those who came in late and may not know what this is all about, experts from programmatic advertising company War Room explain why programmatic marketing is something that is changing the landscape of advertising.
The conventional advertising methods involved requests for commercial proposals, floating of tenders, analysis of quotes, and human face to face negotiation, all of which became incredibly time-consuming and expensive. All that changed in a big way with the advent of digital advertising. In programmatic marketing, a software does the job of buying advertising digitally.
At this point, you could be excused for thinking, “If the software does everything and humans are out of the scene, what happens to good old creativity?” Actually, human input is still very relevant. In the traditional setup, insertion orders had to be manually approved, and the process by itself was/still is time-consuming and labor-intensive work. Digital advertising just took care of that work for you sparing you the time to do what you do best – optimizing and improving the content of your ad.
Once you’ve set up your programmatic advertising campaign, you’d be synergizing what’s best in the algorithm-human interface, a pairing that will do wonders to your brand image. You’ll be free to target the advertising, narrowing it down to a specific demographic.
Of course, we’re not implying that programmatic advertising is perfect; sometimes publishers end up pushing ads into affiliate sites where the ad will be on display, but it won’t be reaching the intended audience. For example, an ad initially intended for an adult website could show up in a children’s app. That’s why it’s essential to hire reputed software that shows you exactly where your money is spent, which is the audience it is targeting, and how you can get it to do more for you.
One thing that you can credit programmatic software for is its outstanding efficiency. It gives you the freedom to set the exact criteria for targeting your preferred audience, whether it’s in a particular geographic, or on individual devices only, or a specific group of customers. The smart algorithm takes over and displays the ad before the targeted group and nowhere else.
If you’re worried about cost overruns, you can breathe easier because the software targets your audience within the budgetary ceilings that you prescribe. The algorithm locates the most affordable bandwidth in which your target can be reached, and since rates are communicated device to device, you won’t be troubled with rates negotiation.
According to analysts at eMarketer, the US aggregate spending on programmatic ads is estimated to cross $40 billion by the end of 2018, accounting for more than 82 percent of all digital ad displays. The maximum share of the programmatic pie is garnered by private setups that are increasingly offering ad placement clients greater control over the ad buying process. In totality, programmatic advertising promises and delivers the most efficient use of time and resources needed to reach a target audience.
The conventional method of advertising used the much-maligned “spray and pray” method of smothering audiences with a concerted ad campaign that could either hit or miss the intended audience by a considerable margin and charge an arm and a leg in fees and commissions.
Programmatic advertising places the client back in charge. You state the budget and feed the campaign details and tell the program what or who is your target audience. Then you relax as the algorithm decides where your ad money should go. The program is not an all-in-one rocket launch. The program will continuously monitor activity and brief you how your money is being spent and suggest course corrections and cost savings.
Programmatic advertising is increasing its market share of display advertising precisely because of its effectiveness. It’s a program that educates you on media handling, unlike anything that you could possibly learn from consulting the most prominent media experts in town.
You don’t have to be a nerdy geek next door to grasp what programmatic advertising can do for you. The entire programmatic media buying spiel is about using algorithms to automate ad buying, ad placement, and for optimizing media selection through a bidding process. Here are strategic inputs coming from the smartest advertising brains in the industry that you’ll find helpful in getting a hang on this new trend:
Even if you’re a professional marketer who hasn’t yet climbed on to the programmatic marketing bandwagon, here are five strategies that will validate your decision to engage a trend that is catching advertising like bushfire:
Your marketing team will be brainstorming ideas that will decide for you what the core audience for your product looks like. You then study that market and understand how the demographic segment behaves with your product. Once you know your audience, you decide the terms of engagement.
You can’t jump into the programmatic marketing pool without studying its depth and dimensions; otherwise, your campaign will sink like the Titanic on its maiden voyage. Your market data will tell you about the kind of advertising awareness that you wish to create. With that in mind, lay down short-term and long-term goals regarding what you want to achieve and where you want to take your target audience.
Humans with all the expertise at their command just can’t match the scalability of advanced algorithms. Similarly, software left to itself may not guarantee the perfect result every time. The software may do only what you program it to do. The best way out is to use services where machine intelligence works in unison with human investment; the software doing the heavy lifting while the human expertise gives proper depth and direction to advertising strategy. It works best when you have experts that do a lot of planning, monitoring, and optimization of the ad buying process.
Remember, we touched the issue a while back; an algorithm could be diverting your ad to an unintended audience. This is a challenge of programmatic marketing, but there is a simple solution. Access the programmatic display inventory and scrutinize it for objectionable sites. Then, you blacklist these sites from future campaigns. This is a crucial exercise because you don’t want your ad to appear in the middle of fake news or extremist views. If this is monitored and performed on a regular basis, you’d be saving your brand image and reputation.
The exact opposite approach would be a whitelist of only approved sites that excludes everything else. This narrows the field to a specific demographic; it’ll be expensive, but you wouldn’t have to worry about your ad rubbing shoulders with objectionable material.
This brings us to a challenge facing the entire display advertising industry (and not just programmatic advertising); your ad could be running on a fake traffic site and may be missing the target audience by a mile. The comforting news is that the programmatic ads have a fraud exposure of only 16 percent which is low compared to other display ads. This is where the selection of your agency must be perfect; the most reliable programmatic software performs well in eradicating bot traffic.
Programmatic marketing is recurring in every advertiser’s dreams precisely because these are ad campaigns that zero in on specific targets and effortlessly multiply an ad’s power and performance. If you’ve analyzed this post threadbare and reflected deeply on how your past advertising performed, it will dawn on you sooner than later why your ad campaign needs to move away from conventional ad buying to programmatic buying. If you’re straddling a product or service with mass appeal, then you should definitely opt for programmatic ad buying.