5 Best Practices in Programmatic
In the digital advertising space, technology moves at warp speed. Full realization of a technology's benefits is dependent on the combination of a variety of factors: a brand's culture, internal infrastructure, executive buy-in, and technological proficiency and alignment.
Programmatic media buying is the epitome of such a technology that is most beneficial to an organization when the internal and external strategies are aligned. While some early adopters have experienced impactful results from programmatic, and others have started to lay the groundwork for programmatic success, there are still many advertisers for whom programmatic media buying is still somewhat enigmatic.
For marketers who may be a bit more reluctant to make the investment into programmatic, it's worth reiterating that the benefits are vast. The big data revolution has proven that the activation of the data available to a brand has tremendous impact on audience targeting and optimization, if used correctly. Programmatic strategies may give you the power to leverage those benefits in an entirely new and more meaningful way. Not only are ads bought and sold in real time—and at scale—but also, targeting and optimization are executed with accuracy. A marketer's Holy Grail of creating one-to-one communications efficiently and effectively can be realized. When it comes to programmatic technology, "industry-altering" is by no means an understatement.
Let's explore what programmatic looks like when you pull the right levers and set yourself up strategically. Here are some guidelines for implementing programmatic into your organization:
- Break Down Silos and Align Your Teams Around a Central Technology: A good programmatic strategy will touch multiple departments within your organization—everything from marketing and technology to inventory and merchandizing. To be truly customer-centric and ensure synergy across departments, teams need to break down the walls and collaborate, and leverage the information from a central access point.
- Get Buy-in and Support From the C-suite: Marketers know that little can be accomplished without this. Not only will you have the backup you need, but bringing in the executive team will also help achieve the previous recommendation regarding stronger collaboration between teams. Furthermore, you'll gain more support in defining processes, unifying the technology, and making more informed decisions along the way.
- Find an Ad Tech Partner for a Best-of-Breed Platform: Programmatic can be an overwhelming and confusing new world for the uninitiated. A trusted partner can help prepare and educate your organization, building a stronger programmatic core. They can also help define more sophisticated analytics, and assist in finding strong media and data partners.
- Harness Analytical Brain Power: There's so much data involved in programmatic. Enlist the best brains in your organization to help sort out which data points really are "smart" and "actionable," while also encouraging every team member to nurture their analytical side. You'll have better results—and a happier, more empowered team.
- Test, Evaluate and Be Flexible: As with all digital advertising, test, test, test. Trust your data more than your gut, and test everything. The creative you love may be the creative that performs most poorly, so be flexible! And the internal infrastructure you set up may need some tweaking along the way. Monitor and track those performance dips and peaks. You're going to learn a lot about what works and what doesn't.
Call it autonomy, synergy or call it creating the groundwork for a programmatic-focused infrastructure. Regardless, team structure, aligned goals and putting programmatic technology at the center of your organization's universe is a way to harness and utilize data in a way that may render desired results.