Programmatic: What Is It and How Can It Drive Results?
Mar 04 2021
Programmatic still works and has a powerful impact on the market but all programmatic is not created equal. Great results require attention to detail when it comes to campaign set up, audience targeting and optimization techniques. Much of the success is reliant on a brand being able to not only identify their audience but getting the right message to the right user at the right time…for the right price. The correct combination lets advertisers take advantage of the massive scale and reach to ensure ad dollars are being spent effectively and efficiently. Automated buying and selling helps streamline this process making programmatic a winning solution for advertisers of all budgets.
What is Programmatic?
Programmatic advertising is the buying and selling of digital ads in real-time with automated systems. Through the use of algorithms, targeting levers, and previously acquired data, programmatic ads optimize campaign effectiveness by delivering ads strictly to a campaign’s primary audience.
In the endless struggle to invest every marketing dollar where it will create the best return, programmatic is a powerful tool. It can provide greater insight into the customer buying journey, discover untapped audiences, and cut out a layer of guesswork that previously burdened marketers trying to optimize without the requisite data.
Programmatic ads enhance marketers’ ability to strategize and optimize serving relevant ads. Programmatic can apply to a wide range of advertising channels in the form of display advertising, Connected TV, digital audio, video, and more.
How it Can Help Your Strategy?
Any method of ad delivery that saves you time and creates more data-driven decisions is worth exploring. Programmatic advertising’s effectiveness is derived from what it can do for you while you’re not looking — not only will it identify the best audience for your ad, it will also determine what is the most effective way to establish contact with that audience. Some users might respond better to a CTV video ad spot than a mobile ad, or be more likely to take action after seeing a retargeted ad the next time they open a laptop. You can also incorporate more sophistication by retargeting across devices or leveraging dynamic retargeting for a more personalized ad experience.
In the past, marketers would have to conduct layered experiments to discover the most efficient ad placement strategy, or perform their own deep dive into mountains of site data to construct a crude estimate of their average customer. Programmatic models replace this complex process with an elegant solution, locating, delivering, and measuring the relative success of campaigns in real-time and giving marketers a valuable head-start in the process of further optimizing their campaigns.
The widespread success of programmatic advertising continues to grow, accounting for an estimated 86.5% of all digital ad spend in the US in 2021, with video, social media, and mobile as the main drivers. The emphasis on automation and machine learning can be expected to refine the ad experience for advertisers and consumers alike as ads become increasingly relevant and in-touch with the needs of their target demographics.
Ways to Measuring Success
Among the many benefits of programmatic advertising is the ability to streamline measurement across advertising channels and gain insights in real-time. That means an added layer of transparency between a brand and what its audience thinks about active campaigns — even those launched promoting a time-sensitive promotion or event.
Capitalizing on this instantaneous feedback relies on how well marketers map their existing customer touchpoints and key interactions. Brands with a solid grasp on their most important metrics are better prepared to optimize campaigns and determine which are creating the most opportunity.
The convenience programmatic ads can provide doesn’t remove the importance of knowing your brand’s key metrics — in the words of our own VP of Strategic Accounts Brian Kroll, “You are only as good as the data that you are using.”
That can mean looking deeper than the broad ROAS metrics for individual ad groups and campaigns. Even as the advertising landscape reacts to a season of pandemic-driven uncertainty and the recent removal of third-party cookie-based targeting, clicks, views and impressions can still be reliable indicators of success for a given campaign.
Evaluating campaigns based primarily on direct conversions may not always be the best practice — particularly for campaigns focused on upper-funnel brand awareness goals. Programmatic aims to provide an overall lift to your marketing efforts, but requires an understanding of each campaign’s central goal to properly measure success.