Programmatic advertising is a form of digital marketing that uses data and automation technology to deliver targeted advertisements. It allows brands to reach their desired audiences with precision and scale, resulting in higher engagement rates and higher returns on investment. Read on to learn more about this innovative advertising tactic, and how you can implement it in your own business.
One of the key benefits of programmatic advertising is its ability to track campaign success in real time and make changes in the moment – making it a powerful tool for brands that are looking to maximise their ROI and grow their businesses. However, a lack of understanding of the technology can lead to many misconceptions about how it works and how to best use it.
The use of acronyms such as DSP (demand side platform), SSP (supply side platform) and DMP (data management platform) can confuse those unfamiliar with programmatic advertising, but these tools help to streamline the process and give advertisers a greater degree of control over their campaigns. With these platforms in place, marketers can upload their own first-party data in a secure way and use it to target potential customers based on their preferences and interests. This approach is known as retargeting, and it can be used to communicate with existing customers and encourage them to take further action, such as a purchase or sign-up.
It is also possible to utilise third-party data to identify new prospects and find similar audiences to existing ones. This is known as lookalike targeting and can be incredibly effective in finding new leads. Harcus says that while it is important to invest in data and analytics to ensure a robust foundation, it is equally vital for companies to stay agile with their programmatic strategy, as changes in algorithms can significantly impact performance.
Another concern that many marketers have with programmatic ads is the risk of fraud. eMarketer estimates that fraudulent activity costs US marketers $6.5 billion a year, and this figure is expected to rise. Advertisers must be sure to partner with a trusted provider and ensure that their ads are only placed on high quality sites.
Despite these concerns, programmatic advertising is a highly effective approach for many different types of brands. Charity Child Rescue Alert switched to this method in 2016 and was able to increase the number of people reached with its appeals by using targeted adverts on popular websites. Similarly, The Economist saw a remarkable return on its adverts when it targeted intellectually curious readers who had been to other publications with thought-provoking or witty headlines.
As a result, more and more brands are transitioning from the agency model to running their own programmatic ads in-house, with Unilever leading the way, along with consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser. Despite this, Harcus believes that a fully managed approach to programmatic is still the most efficient way for smaller companies to go about it, with agencies ensuring they are fully up to speed on all aspects of their clients’ accounts and campaigns.