Programmatic advertising is a hot topic in digital marketing these days, with ad spending expected to reach $22 billion this year, according to eMarketer — that's nearly a 40 percent increase from last year. But, according to an IAB report cited by Econsultancy, only 45 percent of people who use programmatic advertising actually understand the concept behind it. Here's the vital information on programmatic advertising and how to approach your creative in these campaigns.
What Is Programmatic Advertising?
Essentially, programmatic advertising is a data-driven, automatic approach to media buying that allows for hyper-personalized targeting with agile messaging across all paid advertising. It dramatically reduces the margin of human error and the labor-intensive process of media buying and replaces them with technology-based techniques that target the right customer with the right ad at the right time.
Until now, when it came to programmatic, advertisers focused mostly on the technology behind the automation of buying and selling and on the data and analytics involved — but, with the ad buys automated, there is now more time to focus on the more innovative elements, namely, the creative.
What Is Different About Programmatic Creative?
Programmatic creative can be matched with thousands of audience segments that are created by data-management platforms. By using machine learning algorithms that decide whom to target, and with what, you can tailor your creative to serve a brand message that is hyper-personalized, enhanced and adaptable to location, time, behavior, device and more. For example, you can highlight a product in an ad, but change the price depending on the geographic location where the ad is served. You can change the content, font color, call-to-action (CTA) and other aspects of your message according to these hyper-individualized audience segments.
This goes further than just serving dynamic ads to user segments predefined by the marketing department. It allows for ongoing agile adaptation to individuals' needs on a real-time basis. For example, if the weather is chilly one day in a given location, you can show them an ad for hot coffee (and, conversely, show them iced coffee on a hot day). You can show discounts on products based on user location or socioeconomic data, or modify the elements delivered based on what the data says about age, gender, parental status and other aspects.
Note that programmatic strategy runs counter to the "repetition, repetition, repetition" strategy of traditional brand advertising. Using multiple creative allows you to perform A/B testing affordably, without expensive focus groups. You receive tangible data to make quick, small changes to super-serve the correct message, and you can incorporate the best performing creative into your overall strategy.
What Are the Principles of Good Programmatic Advertising?
To maximize the creative potential of programmatic, marketers should stop thinking in terms of a single campaign and focus on delivering great content in an overall ad system that is responsible and adaptable for delivering highly relevant messages to users.
When you exploit the benefits of programmatic advertising, you can create great elements for real-time adaptable ads that speak to your customer. After all, the more relevant your message, the more memorable you will be.