Programmatic Advertising: an essential ingredient to any marketing strategy

Programmatic Advertising is sometimes referred to as programmatic buying or programmatic marketing. This style of online marketing entails campaigns that are run automatically through ad-buying engines. These engines work off algorithms which are built into the technology and can take into account certain factors or parameters, sometimes called audience attributes, to determine where, when and how frequently an ad is shown or “served”. In a nutshell, programmatic advertising automates the entire buying and selling process for ads on desktop, display, mobile and video through a real-time bidding (RTB) system.

For a campaign to be considered programmatic, the process of launching the campaign, optimising its ads and analysing the results must have a degree of automation attached to it. Carrying out a successful campaign using programmatic advertising techniques involves leveraging the data collected to make valuable insights into what aspect of a campaign is performing stronger and why, so that the budget can then be reinvested into the most robust and responsive audience segments.

By delivering your programmatic campaign in this way, where the initial audience attributes are quite broad and non-specific, you gain insights into your true online audience. The benefit of taking a broad and non-presumptuous approach during the initial stages of a campaign is that you will sometimes find that your strongest responses come from a demographic that you wouldn’t have expected, thus opening new markets to serve more targeted ads to. Another notable benefit of serving ads programmatically is that it opens up 2nd and 3rd degree connections of your market to whom your ads may be equally relevant and engaging. For instance, if someone browsing online shows interest in an ad for Timberland shoes, there is a possibility that his or her friends would also be interested in a new pair of Timberlands.

Why data is king

Taking advantage of valuable data is an integral piece of the programmatic advertising puzzle, and the analysis of this data and its application will directly impact the success or failure of any given campaign. In other words, running a programmatic advertising campaign without any prior experience in buying media is not recommended and could actually end up damaging your brand. The complexity is not simply in leveraging what we in the programmatic world call “big data”. To ensure you achieve the strongest possible return on investment (ROI), you must be able to identify the most important features of this data set that best serve your particular campaign goals.

One technique you could apply is in using the media insights you gain organically to better optimise your programmatic ads. In other words, draw insights from any of your media that receives customer engagement, and apply these insights to your paid programmatic advertising campaigns. What’s being shared? Who is commenting on what? These conclusions will help you understand your market, which will help you target more precisely, which should help your ROI.

What is Real-time bidding?

There are a few different ways to buy ads in programmatic advertising, and RTB is one of them. With RTB, it’s easier to marry the right data with the right inventory. Essentially, ad buyers can more easily purchase certain ad space by bidding on the value of each impression. This makes the entire market more competitive, transparent and ultimately valuable for advertisers, as more premium inventory inevitably becomes available as the programmatic advertising market expands. Part of why RTB has become so appealing to advertisers is due to the fact that it assists ad buyers in purchasing remnant inventory on a large scale and with more accuracy.

RTB allows ad buyers to make decisions on what inventory (or impressions) to buy based on things like domain authority, readership, category of content, or demographics like age or originating location. The buyer then chooses the price at which they are willing to buy the ad space and, if successful in the bidding stage, the advertiser’s ad will be served on that particular site. All of this takes place in a fraction of a second. Beyond RTB, there is programmatic direct, which is really just another form of programmatic advertising. Using programmatic direct, buyers are able to choose the number of impressions they want from a particular publisher.

Why programmatic advertising makes sense

In terms of efficiency in the ad-buying process, programmatic advertising is unparalleled. Rather than buying and selling ad space manually through real people (which is slower, more susceptible to mistakes and certainly more expensive), programmatic advertising engines boost efficiencies and lower overheads. With less time spent buying ads, more time can be invested by ad buyers and advertisers alike into the important planning stages to ensure that, once launched, their programmatic advertising campaigns have the best chance of success.

Next steps

As programmatic advertising becomes more and more popular, agencies are looking to purchase media this way, since that’s where advertisers are spending their marketing dollars. If you’re an advertiser looking to give programmatic advertising a go, get in touch with the specialists over at Benchmarketing. Our ad-buyers are leaders in the field and can help you achieve a stronger ROI for the year to come, so get in touch today.

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