Get With the Program
Even though the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) declared "programmatic" the word of 2014, marketers self-admittedly lack deep knowledge and understanding of it. The ANA put it best when it stated that, when it comes to programmatic, "everyone is talking about it, trying to see how to measure it, implement and/or define it. But few people get it or do it."
Brand marketers are hungry for knowledge. They want to better understand programmatic to make the most of their budgets. They actively seek advice from analysts and vendors about how to run programmatic campaigns effectively and drive return on advertising spend (ROAS). Having said that, marketers should consider three benefits that are often overlooked, yet deliver measurable programmatic campaign success.
While retargeting and look-alike modeling both reach interested consumers, they often miss the benefits of true data-based optimization, putting brands at risk of artificially—and often incorrectly—narrowing the audience. True optimization involves one-impression-at-a-time decision-making. Active machine-learning adjusts consumer targeting, media placements and bids to improve the results of branding and direct response campaigns.
Advanced programmatic partners have systems that use algorithms to discover new audiences who do not look like people who've already visited a brand's website, but are still ideal candidates for purchasing its products or offers. Systems based on audience discovery algorithms can be effective throughout all stages of the sales funnel. Optimization based on the right type of machine-learning has the benefit of discovering untapped audiences, expanding markets and growing the customer base.
2. Exposing Profiles of Top-Performers
The story of programmatic is much larger and more complex than having a machine hit the right consumer, at the right time, in the right context. It's bigger than simply meeting a brand's campaign metrics. Programmatic campaigns ingest big data, but they also generate massive amounts of information about performance. The generated information reveals audience insights that deepen and expand a brand's understanding of its customers.
Campaign performance informs a brand about the effectiveness of combined campaign elements, including creative, platform, media and audience. Additionally, polls can also inform a brand about the emotional and logical motivation behind a purchase. Through interactive ads, polls can be used to ask consumers about their preferences and values, and the answers to these questions further strengthen the brand's understanding of its audience.
By discovering the intersection of a consumer's persona, the context of the website he or she is browsing and the motivation behind behavior, programmatic partners can help brands complete the full-circle buyer story.
3. Using 1:1 Contact to Dynamically Show the Right Ad
Typically, marketers use programmatic technology to identify and target top-performing personas (gender: male, age: 25 to 34, income: $100,000-plus, etc.), but it can also be used to dynamically select or assemble ads for each individual. Dynamic ads personalize the offer, message or presentation to apply to consumers on an individual basis.
Programmatic dynamic ads integrate certain components into creative in real-time, according to the predicted preferences of each consumer. Personalization by weather and seasonality, consumer profile, locale and regional pricing, last action, and more can be achieved with this type of advertising. A travel brand, for example, can show consumers destinations based on their home designated metropolitan area. Seattle residents might receive Hawaiian deals while Boston residents receive Caribbean deals, for example.
As consumers, we can all appreciate the possibilities that come to life with a higher level of personalization. The data from our online profiles, shopping preferences and browsing habits, as well as other personal data we choose to share, makes way for a future where advertisers anticipate our needs before we even realize them. A display ad might offer us a coupon to our favorite local grocer the day before we go shopping, or a phone cover that matches our style preference and phone type on the very same day that we activate a new phone. Anything is possible.
Bill Guild is the VP of Product Management and Marketing at ChoiceStream. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.